One of the things most people are doing these days is looking for work. They may be unemployed, under-employed or just plain miserable where they are working at the present time. If you fall into any of these categories, the most important piece of advice anyone can give you is not how to write an effective cover letter, but how to stay sane in the midst of what can only be called the most insane time in most of our collective lives.
Several creative ways that have merit will appear below. I make no claims as to your own coping skills or how to arrive at “that place,” that keeps you from pulling your hair out of your head in this most maddening time in our history.
One of the most creative I have heard is to write a letter you will never mail. In that letter, you will enumerate all of the reasons that you should have been hired for the job you interviewed for, but were not the “chosen one.” You should include all of your thoughts, even the unsavory ones. You can criticize the company, the HR person who interviewed you and say all things that come to your mind. Then, as tempting as it may be to slap a stamp on it and drop it in the mailbox or to hit the send button on the e-mail (I suggest leaving the person’s e-mail address out of the address line as the temptation may be too great to resist) you should either tear up that letter or hit the delete button on your computer. You will feel infinitely better after having gotten all of this off of your chest, but you will not have burned any bridges.
Another way to stay sane is movies. Comedies work especially well for this, but a tear-jerker can do in a pinch for getting out all of those bottled-up tears and emotions that you have inside of you. The sillier the movie, the better. Adam Sandler movies work especially well for this. Sleepless in Seattle is another if you are in tear-jerker mode.
Exercise is of course great. Get those punching bags ready and take that aggression to a new level. This is also good for your body as well as your emotions. Get on that bicycle, strap on that helmet and bike for 15 miles to clear your head. Your surroundings should be of the rural type as there is too much to think about with a lot of traffic if you ride in the city. You want to be able to lose yourself in the beauty of your surroundings while you clear your head.
Get together with friends and do something fun. There are tons of inexpensive and free things to do in the Hartford area, from having a picnic in Elizabeth Park to seeing the comic stylings of your favorite comedian at City Steam. Share a pizza and a pitcher of beer at your local pizza parlor and just let loose and laugh until you cry with those friends that you share a history with. Head out to the beach for the day, letting the hot sun and the waves crashing on the shore transport you to somewhere else.
Take a walk around Constitution Plaza at noon on a weekday, imagining yourself as one of those workers on their lunch hour. Do some networking while you are at it. Strike up a conversation with someone who is soaking up the sunshine on their lunch break and who knows? They may just be the person who knows of a job that is right up your alley and maybe they can even introduce you to someone with some pull. Even better, it may be that you are already talking to someone who is that decision maker and can set things up so you get that interview. Don’t forget your business cards and/or resume. These should always be close at hand, even when you are at the beach!
Getting your head on straight before tackling the job search is important. Keeping your sanity helps you to concentrate on the task at hand. Now, go and have some fun!