How to Stay Strong When the Search is Long.


I recently posted this on the MENG blog. Marketing Executives Networking Group which is comprised of over 1800 Senior Marketing people across the country.

I recently heard on NPR news that the majority of those who are in transition have been without a job for over 39 weeks. That can be a long and challenging time.

I often speak to many organizations on networking and other subjects. Many of these are transition groups.

Although I am a consultant I can relate to people in transition because in many ways I am perpetually unemployed. My assignments tend to be projects with completion dates and then they are over. No more checks.

Sometimes I am in the oasis and many times I am crossing the desert looking for new revenue.

The angst of a consultant is matching the regular flow of bills with the irregular flow of income.

What I have learned is you have to reset your switch daily and refocus on being a success.

Anxiety has never really been a great motivator for success.

The key is moving from helplessness to hopefulness.

I reached out to a friend of mine, Dr. John O’Keefe, from the Center for Peak Performance. to get his take on how to stay strong and maintain the right attitude.

“Staying positive in any situation, especially when one is in transition, has several benefits. Your mind tends to work to achieve your most dominant thought, so if you keep your thoughts positive you will move in that direction. However, if you are negative you will move in that direction as well. The reason this is true is because your conscious mind is what holds your emotions, happy, sad, good, bad etc. It is affected by perception, emotion and events. Your subconscious mind is like a hard drive in a computer, like a robot that is unemotional. It accepts what you tell it without question. Reinforced over time, whatever is placed there becomes your habit regardless of it being good or bad. So if you develop a habit of positive expectancy and maintain it, positive results will tend to emerge.“

I regularly network with people in transition and have blogged about that in the past. Effective networking is work. It is as serious as a meeting at the office that includes your boss and your boss’s’ boss. There is a big difference between getting together and getting together with a purpose. It is not just a Starbucks. Many people treat networking meetings like a coffee club. It is far from that. It is a business meeting that can be the window to your next job. If you haven’t printed out the Linkedin profile of the person you are going to meet, cancel the meeting.

I often meet people who tell me that they have stopped going to events because they don’t want to pay the $35 to attend. Big mistake when you are looking for a MENG level job. You need to be seen to be remembered. You don’t know which person is going to take you to the promised land. You have to turn over a lot of rocks.

I hate to be personal but some people say they have a disadvantage because they are competing with younger candidates. You can compete with the young by matching their energy and you get that by going to the gym and working out. Physical fitness is a big component of your personal appearance and your attitude. A physical edge will definitely give you a mental advantage. It will keep you invigorated but never go to the gym without your business cards. The person the bike next to you may start your journey.

Today, your elevator speech to quote Marshall McLuhan is a cold medium. Your Google presence is a hot medium. The chances of you getting on an elevator with your potential hiring manager are very slim. The chances of a hiring manager doing a Google search on you are much higher. You have to own the entire first page on Google when people search for you and a strong social networking presence can help you achieve that.  Google Hank Blank and see.

I networked with a 23 year old social media maven last week who has the pleasure of doing what she chooses. During our conversation she quoted Darwin and said that it was not the biggest and strongest that survives. It is those that are quickest to survive. Reaction and reinvention are key to finding that new job.

To close. What I have learned in my journey is to be grateful each and every day for what you have. I have walked out of many deserts. You will land.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:



7 thoughts on “How to Stay Strong When the Search is Long.

  1. Geetanjali Pandit Gutpa

    Hey Hank,

    makes sense…… i am currently racing to complete my book on self empowering work practices (to be published by Hachette India later this year) and this is a thought that certainly makes sense. Staying positive is the key…… how to is the challenge…..

    Geetanjali Pandit Gupta

  2. “Anxiety has never really been a great motivator for success.” ????
    Not only is it a key motivator, anxiety is also a natural bi-product of success. That’s the Human Condition, and we continue to live in what Alden coined in 1946, “The Age of Anxiety.” My advise? Learn to channel your natural, evolutionary Anxiety Response to achieve positive outcomes. Much more effective than patting yourself on the back and reminding yourself what a wonderful person you are. (Even if no one else is presently recognizing those qualities.

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