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Energy: The Basics
Master your energy, stir in a large dose of enthusiasm, entrench yourself in the process, and you will find your job search becomes empowered. You only need to employ both energy and economics to expand your opportunities.
In chapter 8, I will begin to address what I call "economic tools" because they deal with the business aspects of job searching: skill-sets, résumés, connections, etc. I will even touch on a few traditional economic concepts, such as demand for labor and maximizing utility. But, first and foremost, we are going to have a little fun with the energy side of job searching. The energy side involves thoughts, beliefs, and, most importantly, feelings. How you feel about yourself, the economy, money, your occupation, and prospective employers has an immense impact on the outcome of your job search. Your energy has the potential to turn your job search into a smorgasbord of opportunities.
This powerful energy is your emotional energy, not your stamina. Stamina is great, and very necessary, but it isn't the stuff that will bring your world into balance. Stamina is the stuff that keeps a puppy chasing its tail—necessary for physical movement, but not all that productive if applied without inspiration. You can have plenty of stamina and still be digging your grave with your low emotional energy. On the flip side, you can be very physically tired and have fantastic emotional energy. Great emotional energy can be compared with a runner's high: emotionally high as a kite while physically wiped out.
The concept of energy is easy to understand. In fact, its pure simplicity may be why some people discard it as kooky or nonsense, instead of looking at it as a powerful tool. The principle of energy, in a nutshell, goes like this: As humans, we are made of matter. As matter, we are made of energy, therefore we are energy beings. As energy beings, we are forever sending out energy and receiving in energy in the form of vibrations. You may have felt good or bad "vibes" coming from somebody at some point in your life—the strength and the frequency of the incoming vibrations were so powerful that you consciously felt the energy resonate! Most often, though, we are not conscious of the vibrations we pick up. We pick them up unknowingly.
Give Me the Keys, Please
The type of energy we send out attracts like energy. This simple concept unlocks the path to good experiences and favorable outcomes. It's the key to success. And shortly, you'll be taking it for a spin in your quest for a job. It's commonly known as the Law of Attraction.
Everything in your world, or not in your world, is a function of your vibrations. The vibrations you put out connect with like vibrations and, zappo, you've got more of the same. You are just a body full of vibes. Actually, it works much like a tuning fork. Think of a room of tuning forks set at a variety of vibrations. Ding one. What happens to the rest of the tuning forks? The ones on the same frequency start to vibrate. The others just sit there and do nothing. They don't connect.
Like a tuning fork, you put out your own vibrations. Your vibrations hook up with energies vibrating at the same frequencies. These hook-ups work like magnets, bringing in experiences and things vibrating on your wavelength. Your vibrations cannot possibly pull in something vibrating at a higher or lower frequency. You can only connect with like energy. So, if you are putting out all sorts of bad vibes, you will get all kinds of lousy stuff back, maybe even a lousy job, but you can't get anything back that's different from your wavelength.
Unlike a tuning fork, you are not pre-set. You can change your vibrations from frequency to frequency by your thoughts. Most of us shift frequencies all the time. We may be sending vibrations way up on the scale, then a thought or two later, we might be sending out something pretty darned ugly. That's what keeps most of us in lives that are much the same—a little good, a little bad, but mostly just trudge, trudge, trudge.
Our vibrations are determined by our feelings. If we are feeling good, we send out high-frequency vibrations that connect us to even more high-frequency vibrations. If we are feeling less than good, we send out vibrations that are going to bring in something less than good.
Think about it. When you smile at other people, they smile back. When you give people an obscene gesture, what do you generally get in return? It only takes a little bit of positive or negative energy to get the process moving.
Vibes and Jobs
So, what does all of this have to do with landing a job? Well, just about everything. People who send out I-am-successful-and-I-am-a-great-employee- and-Iam-the-perfect-person-for-this-job energy get the job. People whose energy connects with the interviewers get the job. People whose energy connects with the corporate culture get the job. Many times, they get the jobs with less-than-stellar résumés. They get the job when everybody around them says it's impossible. This all happens because the energy they send out connects with what they want to bring in, and it all begins with their feelings.
How we feel at any given time impacts the energy we send out, which in turn impacts the energy we draw in. Therefore, it's our feelings, our emotions, that we need to master in order to bring good jobs into our lives. Lynn Grabhorn states this principle so wonderfully in her book, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting:
We create by feeling, not by thought!
That's right, we get what we get by the way we feel, not by trying to slug things into place or control our minds. Every car accident, job promotion, great or lousy lover, full or empty bank account comes to us by the most elemental law of physics: like attracts like.
At this point you might be thinking: Wait a minute here. This stuff is too off-the-wall for me. You're not alone. We were not raised to think like this. Most of us were brought up to beat back our feelings. When you were having a bad day, what advice was dumped on you? If you're like most people, you heard, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself." "Stop whining." "Get over it!" "Don't wallow in self-pity." I think of it all as pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality. This mentality proved we were strong. We could get over our feelings. It was the only way we could do something about whatever situation was causing us pain.
We are a society of "doers," and when "doing" doesn't work, we "do" some more. Now, "doing" isn't bad—in fact, it is downright necessary—but problems arise when we get sucked into uninspired doing, or worse yet, doing simply for the sake of doing. I was once in that trap, sending out résumé after résumé, thinking that enough résumés would land me a job, as if landing a job were nothing more than a numbers game. Sadly, a lot of people seek employment from a throw-mud-at-a-wall perspective. If they throw enough mud, some is bound to stick. If they send out enough résumés, one will turn into a job offer. This process sends energy out all helter-skelter, and the job that comes back rarely has the potential to lead to a beneficial employment relationship.
Hindsight Is 20/20
If you are skeptical of the relationship between energy and employment, think back to your last interview. Whether the experience was good or bad, you felt something from the moment you walked into the interview and you sent off "vibes."
As a human resource manager, I was the gatekeeper for the flow of candidates. I had the responsibility to forward candidates to the hiring managers. When I started my career in human resources, I was not familiar with the principles of energy, but I constantly got a gut feeling about one candidate over another. I could seldom pinpoint what I felt or why I was an advocate for one candidate over another. I often had to tell the hiring managers that it was instinct, or gut, that made me want to give a less than stellar applicant a second interview. On the contrary, there were times when I told a hiring manager I just didn't feel "good" about a candidate whose credentials appeared to be nearly flawless.
As a job seeker, I have plenty of experience with the end results of my own energy. Here's a personal example of the kind of job I pulled in when I went job hunting with low vibrations. At the time, I had an upper-management position at a slow-paced company. The product was mature, the management team was lethargic, and the community was a picture-perfect country postcard. Unfortunately, that little postcard didn't have a place for me, a single woman. My days were spent in my solitary office, and my nights were spent in my solitary home. The only activity available to me was walking alone. During my employment at that company, I lost 18 pounds and resented my own companionship. This resentment was to play a key factor in my next professional position.
It was obvious that I needed a job in a metropolitan environment, so I began to submit résumés based primarily on geography. I got several responses and interviews. My first interview was for the position of Director of Human Resources for the United States Senate. I must admit I was pretty pumped up about the interview. Unfortunately, I wasn't pumped up about myself. Deep down, I felt I didn't deserve such a position. But I flew to D.C., hired a limo, and stepped into the interview with the necessary background and a crisp navy blue suit. My outward appearance was appropriate, but inside I was saddled with self-resenting energy. Ignoring my inner feelings, I went face to face with Senator Dole's Chief of Staff. The interview did not go well. Not only did I not get the job, but I also got the impression I was wasting her time. I walked out of the interview on legs made of Jell-O. In retrospect, I had the skill-set—I never would have gotten the interview without it—but I didn't have the appropriate energy to stand on my own on Capitol Hill.
After a much-needed vacation, I continued seeking employment in metropolitan areas. Each interview was in a great location, but each interview was a disaster. My self-resentment fermented into self-loathing. A few interviews later, I gave up actively seeking new employment and resigned myself to staying on at a slow but good job in a bad location. I figured I didn't need, or deserve, anything better.
Back then, I didn't know the first thing about energy. I didn't know then that what I put out is what I would get back. I learned the hard way that my "I don't deserve any better" energy was tacked onto résumés that had not landed into perpetual filing cabinets. One of those tainted résumés landed on a desk that led to the worst professional job of my life. The day I started the job, I realized I had hit some sort of professional bottom with a painful crash. At first, I was pretty shocked, but within weeks I began saying, "I am better than this." I said those words when I drove to work. I said those words at work. I said those words when I thought about the job and my life. Within months, I was out of that place.
I would love to say that I learned my lesson about energy at that point in time, but such is not the case. It took a few more energetic explosions before I gave the concept of energy a peek, but even then I did so with a great deal of skepticism. I wanted to believe, I felt a connection, but I had reservations. I had to look at my life in retrospect to confirm the idea before I applied it to my future. My 20/20 hindsight gave me the confirmation I needed to start working my energy.
I now realize that energy plays an enormous role in landing a good job. People who work their energy get elevated to places in the world of work that the rest of the population only dreams about. They understand that they can "have it all." They take control of their energy and they take responsibility. Yes, responsibility. Unfortunately, I've seen too many people think that visualizing a job will bring it magically to them. Well, if they visualize a lot, and have the right feelings attached, it might happen, but generally speaking, people who succeed are far more proactive. They visualize, they feel good, and they move on a gut instinct when they are feeling good. If their good feelings lead them to believe they should be calling an old coworker, or sending out a résumé to XYZ Company, they make the call or send off the résumé. They go with their hunches. They know their energy will open doors for them, but it's their responsibility to notice the doors and walk through them. Noticing such doors isn't easy. It takes practice to notice the doors, but all of this energy work takes practice.
Working energy becomes a way of life. It is a way of thinking. It is a way of being conscious. Our energy is at our command, but we must be willing to put feet on our thoughts and do the legwork necessary to succeed, as you will see throughout this book.
So what can energy do for you? Everything. There is nothing in your life that your energy has not brought to you so far. Your entire life has been orchestrated by your conscious, or, more likely, unconscious, use of your energy. If you have any doubt, look at your life through the clarity of hindsight. Remember a time when you were "on a roll" and everything went your way. For a while, you had the Midas touch. Then you started wondering when it would end. Perhaps a little voice in the back of your head kept telling you your good fortune wouldn't last, and your winning streak came to a crashing halt. Then there were other times when everything went wrong.
Nothing went your way. That same little voice started nagging about having your "luck" change, and it did. That little voice prompted a shift in your energy, and your life changed because your energy went forth and connected with other energy on the same wavelength.
Since the key here is to have your energy hook up with the energy you desire, you need to determine where you are and where you want to be. Take an inventory of your professional life. Think about it for a few minutes. Where you are today is a direct result of the thoughts and energy you created in the past. If you aren't fond of your current life, don't worry. Worrying will keep you trapped in negativity. Just look at your professional life honestly and accept that where you are is as good a starting place as any.
If you find that this personal inventory stuff isn't easy, you are not alone. In many cases, looking at one's life is downright painful. As humans, we don't care much for pain. When pain pops up in the personal-assessment process, it's quite natural to look for a scapegoat rather than to address the issue. It's far easier to blame a bad economy, a stupid boss, or a lousy company for a bad employment situation than it is to accept that your own energy is creating the havoc. Ahhh, we love to put out those bad vibes. But just because it's easy, or maybe even "normal," to place blame, it is not self-serving. A major component of working your energy is abandoning ideas, beliefs, and practices that no longer serve you. Therefore, if you happen to be one of those people who would rather blame someone or something else than accept responsibility, stop the blaming game now. Blaming creates a ton of bad energy. If you are blaming somebody else for your situation, then you are trying to deny that it's your problem. That doesn't work. You still have the problem, plus you have all of the negativity that goes along with the problem. By denying that you have a problem, you avoid resolving the issue. Instead, you sit and stew, whine and moan, and play the victim role well enough to win an Oscar, generating more negative energy in the process. That energy goes out into the world and joins forces with more negative energy. So, what do you get? More garbage, more stuff to whine and moan about, more negativity. In the case of job searching, it can very well bring you another lousy job or a longer duration of unemployment. So abandon blame and accept responsibility for your situation. Accepting responsibility is simply admitting to yourself that you put out energy that wasn't serving you well. It's nothing to feel bad about because you will soon be choosing to refrain from repeating that pattern.
Once you figure out where you are, it is time to figure out where you are going. You have to identify a job you want. This topic will be addressed in detail in the following chapters because knowing what you want is extremely important in getting it. As a human resource manager, I've interviewed dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who had no idea what they wanted. They would blankly look at me and say they wanted a job. From an energy perspective, they were putting out vibes saying, "I'm not worth much." In return, I put many of those people in dead-end jobs. I didn't do it to be mean; I simply did it because those positions needed to be filled, and filling them with people without direction was the easiest way to fill them.
Excerpted from EXCUSE ME, YOUR JOB IS WAITING by Laura George. Copyright © 2007 Laura George. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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