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Keeping Your Chin Up


As a career coach, I work with a lot of folks who have experienced frustration in their search for a new job, feeling confused in how to change careers, in shock after a layoff, or are just learning the twists and turns of today’s job market after college. If you’ve received some not-so-great advice, experienced some missteps along the way, or are simply daunted at what you are about to take on, here are a few links that I as a recruiter and career coach can highly recommend:

  1. 4 tips for staying positive while searching for a job

  2. Top 10-ish points on starting your career (or re-starting, again)

  3. MY own Top 10 tips for getting a job, posted right here on this blog, aimeelevens.com: a series covering resumes, cover letters, networking, interviewing, LinkedIn, and internships!

Having been at the recruiting, hiring and coaching game for two decades, I’ve watched the emotional process many times, in men and women, in a huge variety of career paths and throughout a ton of industries. And certain things I notice in this process: Everyone goes through ups and downs. Everyone has self-doubt. Everyone has a past they are trying to reinvent themselves away from – whether it be a type of job, a type of company, or a type of environment (i.e., culture) they want to escape. Everyone wants to find a bit of bliss.


And with that, this is also consistent: it’s what you do with the challenges you’ve got.  It’s how you tackle it.  And it’s how open you are to doing what needs to be done. Ask yourself these three key questions:

  • Are you facing your fears head on or are you still going about your search the way you always have in your professional life?

  • Have you written down a plan to document what you want, who you’ve met (and who you want to meet), and what has/hasn’t worked (rather than simply mulled it over in your mind)?

  • Are you willing to try new tactics to get closer to where you want to be?

If you answered “no” to any of these, it’s time to think long and hard about how bad you want it. It’s time to think creatively about reaching your goals.  It’s time to take some risks, to be courageous.  Meet people who are doing what you want to do – there is more than way to get from point A to point B, trust me, and if you don’t get out there and open yourself to new people, places, and directions, you might never see those other paths.


Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s worth the time, the effort, and the willingness to do what it takes to get there. It might not always take the path you originally envisioned. The more you are open to this, and the more you are willing to surround yourself with people who will encourage, inspire, and motivate you to go the extra mile, the better off you’ll be.


“Optimism is the foundation of courage.” ~Nicholas Murray Butler

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