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It’s not about C.S.I. Las Vegas, not about C.S.I. Miami, and not even New York. It’s about the number one anxiety and worry when looking for your next job. It’s Career Search Isolation. C.S.I. is the troubling feeling of being alone that is experienced by unemployed job seekers. Unemployment plays with your mind. It eats at your self-confidence. Uncertainty and fear lead to the feeling of isolation. Some job seekers have stated it feels like they’re in solitary confinement. Here’s some tips to help shut down your isolation

Continue to expand your contacts. Make many phone calls and e-mails. Set a daily goal to accomplish. Use your phone time to set up in-person meetings. Keep a phone log so you can follow-up properly. Persistence will create success.

Get up and get out. Set meetings for coffee or lunch. Create reasons and deadlines to leave your home and meet with networking contacts. Stay involved with former colleagues. Meet with friends and be open about your situation.

Continue your involvements. Attend church, synagogue or temple. Attend school meetings, civil and business clubs. Stay in shape at the gym. Enroll in a seminar or adult education class. Join a volunteer organization. Keeping active will energize your self-confidence.

Take every interview you can. When a company calls you to interview, don’t prejudge the opportunity, even if it seems like a job you don’t want. There may be other jobs available that fit your qualifications. If not a fit, it’s good practice to sharpen your interviewing skills.

The bottom line is action, action, action. When you are involved with people, it’s difficult to feel isolated. If you stay at home and brood, it compounds the problem. A job search is a solitary endeavor, but staying involved with people can facilitate your job search.

Dear Headhunter,
I was laid off about 3 months ago along with 60 to 70 others in my company, due to a loss in business. I was with them for almost 17 years, working my way up to Senior Management. It’s tough out there trying to find a company with an opening to suit my experience. My experience aside, I am a really nice guy. I work very hard and have attempted to benefit each employer I have ever had. There haven’t been too many, but I have always left a company in much better shape operationally than when I arrived. How do I get the chance to talk to a real person or at least convey my value to a potential employer? I haven’t had much luck yet. I received a severance package, but it will be exhausted in a month or two. Help. Thanks

Dear Tom,
It's time to get serious about your next job. Don't wait until your severance is depleted and you are facing zero cash flow to find a new position. Being a nice guy is a good thing but it's hard to translate that quality into a productive employee. Tighten up your resume to no more than two pages. Take every interview possible to practice your interviewing skills. Nothing can resist positive persistence. After 17 years with the same company, it's tough to accept the fact that you need to sell yourself to a new company.

Good luck on your search.

Do you often look forward to Monday, rather than Friday? Thank God it’s Monday, you get excited to restart each workweek. Do you think money will fix everything? Does your spouse or significant other ask, “What are you thinking about?” Are your only meaningful conversations about work? Do you continually check your e-mail on weekends? Last minute deadlines often make you late for family or personal meetings. If these apply to you, you could be a workaholic.

Balancing your career and a healthy personal life remains one of the biggest challenges in today’s career workplace. The ever increasing work demands from your employer and career building can overshadow attempts to balance your lifestyle. The first step is to acknowledge your problem. The best starting place is a Web site I found www.workaholics-anonymous.org. Go to this site, answer test questions and evaluate your work habits. If you are addicted to work, there are groups to join and good sources for you to improve your lifestyle and future.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
–William Arthur Ward

Dear Headhunter,
Your column really got my attention! My son-in-law has an MBA, class of 1995, and has experience with a couple Fortune 500 companies. He is willing to relocate, but has zero foreign language acumen. Please suggest avenues for a new career search. He’s a winner and can definitely think outside the box. Equip me with data so I am able to speak intellectually when we speak.

Thanks, R.G. Pasadena

Dear MBA-in-Law,
Two thoughts come to mind. One is that without a second language, he is limited to countries that do business only in english. To be an executive and a leader, it is very important to be bilingual and bicultural if possible. My second thought is a guess that he has an MBA and you do not, so don’t be intimidated on how to communicate with him, after all, he married your daughter.

“Ability may take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”–John Wooden

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.