Recently I have been reading a number of career books to improve my thoughts on Career Counseling. One book I have working through is The Job Search Solution by Tony Beshara. He is the President and owner of Babich and Associates which is the oldest job placement firm in Texas. One thing that drew me to the book is that he obviously has a passion for helping people through the difficulties of the job search.
The best sections of the book for me were the interviewing process which is a scary process for many people. It is often a topic that is not discussed well in career books. Still there was a chapter that caught me off guard as I was not expecting the topic in a book about job searching. I was pleasantly surprised to see a chapter entitled, “The Benefits of Practical Spirituality”. What does spirituality have to do with looking for a job? Isn't that side of life just for religious types on the weekend? I could simply say “Buy the book and find out”, but that is not what this blog is about. Even though I encourage you if you work with career issues a lot this book will be a help to you in helping clients.
I will share some of the ideas he discusses in the chapter with you. What I like is that they are practical ideas so that even if someone is agnostic and the idea of humans having a spiritual side is nauseating they can still honestly see themselves incorporating these ideas. Also I believe the ideas can be helpful simply in our daily work lives.
The first idea he mentions is Be Grateful. I have written in the past on the importance of having a thankful spirit in our life journey. There is a wealth of research showing the importance of being grateful. Carrying an attitude of gratitude as the poplar phase goes, builds up a positive outlook to the our daily journey. I know from having been on job hunts myself that it is easy to get down negatively on life. When working to help those in the middle of a job search, I know being grateful after another job hunt dead-end is difficult. Those who do try writing down a few things they are grateful for each day, though find that an attitude shift occurs that helps the day to day job search process more manageable. This spirit of thankfulness helps in the daily grind of work as well.
Practicing Forgiveness is something the author mentions that again someone may think has nothing to do about the job search. Although if you think about it, an unforgiving attitude exudes bitterness about the gripe or complaint the person is often holding onto. Many times in the job search process maybe the issue that needs forgiveness was things that happened at a former place of employment. Maybe there needs to be forgiveness of themselves for making a bad choice in quitting a job too early or taking a job they knew they weren't qualified for. In today’s job world of layoffs possibly it is hard feelings about being downsized. Forgiveness can lighten the heavy spirit of bitterness that weighs on a person’s emotions. It is best to be rid of the bitterness as it can be a body language hindrance in an interview setting. Or even in a new job if the person has not let go of the past issues it can hamper work effectiveness.
Another idea that he mentions that meant much to me is looking at the power of prayer. He makes a point of saying not to pray for a specific job but to pray for wisdom and guidance in the job search process. I see this thought as praying for opportunities to open and then wisdom to know which opportunity to focus in on. Of course this idea is not attractive to those who disbelieve in the power of prayer. For those people he encourages them to look at this idea as creating a list of what he calls positive intentions that you desire to pass on to other people . This can relate I believe to visualization. Take some quiet time to visualize in your mind new opportunities and ways to help others and often you will become more aware of opportunities in your daily life. I strongly believe prayer is important is our daily work life as well, to live out the best intentions in our work and with our co-workers.
The idea of positive intentions towards others relates well with another idea he relates which is volunteering. Of course a job search should be considered a full time job until a person finds work. But finding some time to volunteer is a positive experience to help others. Of course it can be a productive networking experience as well for those on a job search. For those who are working, volunteering is an extra way to give back to your community in your local church, synagogue or community service group. It provides a positive example to your children and enriches your life as you are giving to others often less fortunate than you are.
Tony Beshara’s chapter on Practical Spirituality in the job search process has a number of other ideas. I just wanted to touch on a few here that stood out to me. Hopefully if these wet your mental appetite you will look for his book at your local library or bookstore near you.
Reflection: How does Gratefulness, Forgiveness, Prayer, and Volunteering relate to your career life? Write your thoughts down in your journal.