You may have felt largely in control while carrying out the duties of your most recent job. If you had a supervisory position you probably controlled the time and activities of others.
You may feel that loss of control because:
- You genuinely have lost the ability to exercise control over job-related activities and outcomes that you used to do. Admit it if you do suffer from such loss of control. Take that reality step (you know, it’s the next one just above denial).
- You’ve tried exercising a renewed sense of control over others in your household and such efforts have not met with an enthusiastic response. Maybe you’ve made the mistake (as I have) of pointing out to your spouse, “You know dear, there’s a better way of loading the dishwasher. Here, let me show you.” You better be quick to stand back. Those dirty dishes may soon come flying your way. By the way, have you ever wondered why it is that at work you can make suggestions that seem to be appreciated and yet the same courtesy isn’t extended at home? If you figure that one out send me a note.
- Someone has promised you that you will be contacted about a job opportunity by a specific date and that hasn’t happened.
- People aren’t returning your phone calls or emails within the time frame you would like.
If you’re tired of grinding your teeth about losing some of the control you used to have in your life, and if you’re ready to give up the frustrations of trying to control the people and circumstances that now surround you, here are some suggestions:
- Give up control. Not, control of everything, just those things that you really can’t control. Can you really control the behavior of others? Really?! If one of your contacts has told you that she will get back to you with some information on a job lead by the end of the week and that doesn’t happen, don’t try to control those circumstances. That doesn’t mean that you don’t send out a gentle reminder to her on Monday, but it does mean you shouldn’t spend all weekend being out of control yourself because of someone else’s action you truly can’t control.
- If you thrive on control and much of that control was exercised in your former workplace, look for things in your own life (not the lives of others) that you can control. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. Similarly, our human nature tends not to like it when something that was present is suddenty no longer there. So, fill your “control vacuum” with a tight structure for your job search and other activities in your life that now require your attention. Develop and commit in writing to a detailed plan including strategies, tactics, deadlines and a means of evaluation. Control the plan and by so doing you will be channeling your energy into a positive job search.
- Re-evaluate what you really can control. In most cases I think you’ll find it’s largely your own God-given time and resources. So, use your time, your energies, your money and your abilities in ways that serve God – particularly during this period of uncertainty and opportunity for losing or building your faith.
Above all else, keep your thoughts and your actions focused on the praiseworthy things in this life.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)
By Keith Lundquist
To find other blogs and related resources on building your faith during a job search, go to www.FaithBetweenJobs.com