I don't know about you, but I'm always happy to greet the Winter Solstice. I love to watch the days grow longer, in part because I find it challenging when the sun sets before 5. For years, I've coped with the darkness through attending performances by The Revels , a performing arts organization which observes the Solstice with song, dance, poetry, and drama. Each performance showcases a different culture (the one I saw last week focused on French Canadian life) but features common elements, "The Lord of the Dance" before intermission, a Mummer's play, and a reading of "The Shortest Day"–a poem by Susan Cooper which I share with friends every year.
Produced in ten cities nationally,The Revels was founded by the late John Langstaff as a way for communities to "drive the dark away" during a time of year in which night comes early and it's easy to go home, hibernate and be alone.
I don't know about you, but many of the job seekers I work with find that "driving the dark away" is a big part of looking for a new career opportunity. I've come to believe there are actually two parts to any job search.
- The job search: networking, figuring out how to navigate the competition, the mechanics of applying for jobs, crafting an online presence and tight resume, determining your best fit, etc.
- The psychology of the search process – finding the motivation to keep going, feel good about yourself, connect with others who are important to you, working, etc.
In any job search–finding a way to feel good in the process of the search is necessary fuel for the journey.As my friend Jason Alba said in a post that's received over 480 comments, Depression Clouds Everything and is a very common experience.
There are many ways to fight the psychological blues in job search. Find a Meetup group of others who share your career or outside interests. Jump on Twitter and make some new friends. Ask a friend, mentor or person of interest to meet you for coffee. If you've been laid off and it's awkward, coach them on how to talk to you. Spend time in places and with people who appreciate you. Go offline and explore an outside interest after you've spent some time exploring and applying opportunities.
Albert Camus once wrote, "In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." How do you drive the dark away? What's your Revels equivalent? Do you have any strategies to share?