I have several friends who are struggling through the job application process. This blog post is directed toward them. You know who you are. Stay positive!
First, try to relax. From the dictionary, I have learned that “relax” is pronounced re·lax, or /rəˈlaks/. The definition is 1. To make less tense or rigid. 2) To relieve from nervous stress. 3. to seek rest or recreation. 4. To cease working, anxiety. 5. To become less formal or reserved.
So relax! You can find a great job. You can relax by swimming, playing tennis, jogging, bicycling, or engaging in another type of physical activity. I find swimming particularly relaxing, because the experience of being immersed underwater is calming, sort of like returning to the womb. Mindful meditation, as is taught by Ken Wilber II, is another way to relax.
Second, I suggest starting to study a new language. Being bilingual, trilingual, or a polyglot is a useful skill for any professional, and it actually isn’t that difficult. I suggest studying Spanish if you don’t speak it already, because it is similar to English and you can practice with millions of folks around world. More on my philosophy of language learning in a future blog post.
Third, embrace your inner artist! Take a few minutes and write down what kind of art, music, or dance you enjoyed most as a child, from age 0-10. For example, I loved painting and playing the trumpet. So I recently started painting again and bought a trumpet. Both have brought me happiness. You can even be like Banksy, the famous street artist, if you are feeling particularly creative and brave.
Fourth, commit to reengaging with nature. You can spend a few minutes a day taking care of a plant. You could take care of a cactus in your living room window, or plant a backyard apple tree. It is a lot more work, but you could get a cat or a dog. Or a fish.
Fifth, turn off your IPhone for chunks of time and practice the philosophy laid out in Mindful Tech. This book is incredibly important.
Sixth, start singing again. Everyone sang as children, and everyone can take voice lessons and join a choir. Even if you think you have a bad voice and can’t carry a tune, you are probably wrong. Singing brings joy to all humans. The first step is to buy a metronome. More on this later.
Seventh, start learning about naturopathic, integrative medicine. I suggest studying the work of Andrew Weil first, and then you can go on to Joel Fuhrman. Remember what Dr. Fuhrman says: “You cannot buy health; you must earn it through healthy living.”
Eighth, love. Find someone to love. Make love. But be cautious, and remember what Mahatma Gandhi taught about Brahmacharya.
Ninth, we’re ready to start working on the job search. Instead of diving into applications and interviews, I suggest reading Adam Grant’s book, Originals. You will learn a lot from this book, I certainly did. Take some time and paint, make some art, or play your musical instrument. You are making major progress.
Finally, start smiling and talking to people. You are going to get the job! Practice smiling in the mirror for 5-10 minutes a day, along with doing some “power poses” like Amy Cuddy suggests. Make more art. Practice your foreign language. You are undergoing a transformation.
If you do all these things, I guarantee you will find a new, interesting job within a few months. It might be in a totally different field, or it might be in the same field.
Please let me know what you think of this blog post by leaving comments below or sharing on social media. Thanks!
Philip Albert Lederer MD