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Attitude Counts: Even for the Leaders

Finding yourself out of a job or searching for one can be frustrating, even for executives with a strong network system. It is especially difficult because the feeling of a loss of power usually accompanies the lack of a job. Granted, many severance packages are quite good, but the reality of losing your title, office and prestige can be very debilitating.

However, the worst thing you can do is become discouraged. This is easier said than done, with the power of positive thinking, you can overcome the negative thoughts and emotions that may prevent you from getting the job you want. Decide that no matter what, you won’t let a long search get you down or force you into a position you know you’ll hate. If your goal is to continue being CEO, then focus on CEO jobs only.

Do your research. Study companies you’ve admired in the past, learn about their habits, successes and operational activities. Even if there is already a strong team at the helm, it is in your best interest to keep your hand in the pot, so to speak. Besides, doing research keeps your mind active so you’ll be too busy to think “poor-me” thoughts.

Take courses at your local college – many offer free or low-cost workshops and seminars that can expand your interests and insight. You might also make valuable networking contacts or meet someone from your target company. Don’t ever think that because you’ve held a high-power job that you’re “too good” or immune from further learning.

Be resume ready. You should have a professional, well-written resume ready at all times – you never know when you’ll meet someone to happens to know of an opening. Keep a portfolio of projects, accomplishments, awards, speeches.  Make sure the format, content and language of your resume is up-to-date and chock full of achievements. Have other high-level colleagues review it, and don’t take feedback as criticism, but professional advice. You may also wish to have a professional resume writer evaluate your document for its effectiveness.

Above all, retain a sense of humor. Everyone has a funny work-related story – coffee that spilled on meeting documents, a boss who wore mismatched socks, or the time you mistakenly addressed a visiting V.I.P as “hey, you” (before you were the visiting V.I.P.!) Don’t limit the fun in your life just because you don’t have the job of your dreams. You must choose to be positive to keep yourself from falling into a slump. Keep  working toward your goals and soon you’ll be able to pass your own words of wisdom to someone else.

Best of luck in your career endeavors!