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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Staying Up In A Down Job Market


Joining a job search group is a great way to help you find a job. Talking to others in the same situation not only allows you to clarify and enhance your techniques, and help others do the same, it is affirming to talk to people who are experiencing the same stress. You can learn and support each other.

If you can’t find a job search group, carpe diem, create your own in your shul or community. It will provide you with some great exposure, and you can really make a difference in people’s lives at the same time. As an aside, it is a great idea to pledge to continue helping job seekers even after you secure employment. Agreeing to host regular job search meetings even when you are working can be very rewarding and provide significant meaning to the otherwise mundane job search.

It goes without saying that the whole aspect of self-care is crucial at this time in your life. Getting enough sleep, eating well and exercising should not be neglected.

Sometimes finances dictate that you have to take a job you otherwise would not have taken. Contrary to popular belief, there is no shame in these so called “survival jobs.” Just the opposite, there is never anything demeaning about honest work that brings home a paycheck. Many of our parents and grandparents, who literally built the American Jewish community from the shambles of the Holocaust, were employed in those kinds of job. Working hard to put food on the table is commendable and is another illustration of how dedicated an employee you are.

No one is denying that unemployment is a difficult time. It is a challenge and it can be a frightening and lonely time as well. To reiterate, you are not alone, this is not your fault and you are not a bad person because you don’t have a job. Stay positive and upbeat. No one wants to be unemployed, but there are positive steps you can take to keep yourself productive and motivated.


Create a written job search plan and keep a schedule. Join or create a job search group. Do not neglect other important tasks. Go to minyan, and make sure to have some fun every once in a while. Be proud of every step you take, because it moves you one step closer to your goal and helps keep you upbeat and positive. Keep a schedule, set aside time for your personal enjoyment as well as chesed and tzeddaka every day and make sure to help others. Project your value, because if you don’t see your own worth, it is very difficult to sell others on your worth.

This is a learning experience. It may seem petty now, but there can be a time when you look back at this challenge and marvel at what you gained through the process. Use that knowledge wisely and “pay it forward” by extending an understanding and empathetic hand to your friend or neighbor when they find themselves in a similar position.

We will discuss practical suggestions for implementing other important strategies for the unemployed, including choosing and hiring an appropriate career coach, job search networking, making a true chesbon hanefesh (self assessment) and reading job search/motivational books in a future article. Stay tuned!


We welcome your feedback. Please email your career-related inquiries and/or feedback to tourocareerservices@gmail.com. Touro College’s Career Services assists Touro students and alumni in all aspects of their career search. Contributing to this feature are Ron Ansel, MBA, CPC, Director of Career Services, Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed, and Sarri Singer, Assistant Directors.

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