Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing!


Our Thistle Sailboat

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

I am excited for this month’s Career Collective roll-out, which I co-coordinate with my colleague, Miriam Salpeter. In July, this collective group of Careers bloggers speaks to the topic of a Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup. For the rest of the posts, please scroll to the end of the blog on July 19.

Job Search Wake-Up Call

For me, a mid-year checkup of any kind is often a wake-up call as to areas of our lives that are faltering, falling short, in need an infusion of new energy or new ideas and simply, craving a jolt to get us off the ho-hum way of doing things.

Oftentimes, when what we are doing starts to feel stale, loses momentum or stops showing the progress intended, and no longer infuses us with any sort of energy, enthusiasm or hope, then we simply must change things up.

In job search, this may mean maintaining an intact job search plan, but taking time out to do something different, energizing and bold that will get your juices flowing, fueling your preset plan with the gas it needs to get out of the slow lane, and drive confidently forward.

Though my recent life and business changes have shaken my life at the very core, generating all kinds of new ‘energy’ and joie de vivre that directly and positively impacts my business, I’d like to share one recent story vignette that I think vividly illustrates what I mean regarding doing something energizing – in fact, I’d extend that to say, doing something that provokes a bit of fear blended with excitement.

With All My Experience, This Will Be a Breeze

My husband and business partner, Rob, and I were embarking on our first sail on our new, 17-foot, Thistle sailboat. With 3.5 sailing seasons under our belts, piloting a 34-foot Columbia sailboat that requires aptness, dexterity and employment of a bit of fearlessness, we thought (or at least I thought), this littler boat will be a breeze.


First, for me, since this boat is one we trailer from our house to the lake, and which we then launch from a local launch site, we had a lot of prep work to do BEFORE the boat ever touched water. This included stepping the mast. Sure footing, solid and clear communications between captain and his first mate and a lot of patience for detail combined to create our first mast stepping partnership. I was not all that enthralled by the extensive process, but my captain assured me that the processes would get simpler and faster as we gained more experience.

Job Searching Feels Unstable – That Means You’re Doing It Right!

This is akin to job search practices that make you feel out of your element, unstable and frustrated at times. I say, dive into those new, foreign waters and let the current take you for a ride. It will get easier. And I know my new little boat setup will, as well.

Next, Rob’s job was to back the boat into the water while I, knee deep in the lake, signaled to Rob that the boat was in place, at which time he quickly exited the truck, unleashed the boat and handed me the line to steady the craft while he parked our vehicle.

Here is where the adventure began; unbeknownst to us, the rockiness of this marina launch site, as well as the unruly morning winds would combine to create a launch havoc that had us being pushed into the rocks, flailed against the marina barriers (super huge tires) and questioning our day’s success in moving from harbor to sea.

The long and short of it is that Rob and I – because of Rob’s exceptional tenacity and guts – made it from port to sea in time to see the sunrise. We experienced a fast, smooth, close-to-the-water sail, zipping across the lake at a speed outpacing our bigger boat. The only fallout was a broken wooden rudder that now is in the marina shop being repaired.

We left that day with new-found courage and exhilaration that directly fed the rest of our day’s business, marketing and client-care initiatives, as well as the day after that and the day after that. Anticipating our next sail, we have researched a new, sandy shore with a better angle to the winds and no rocks to buttress our boat.

Anticipating our next sail, we have a story to review and share with others that further fills the sails of our life and keeps us moving toward our well mapped out goals.

Rely on Your Own Gumption to Jolt Your Job Search!

So, if you are presently in job search, rely on your own gumption and willingness to explore and reinvigorate in order to stay the course of your well laid out plans. Stop reading all of the millions of articles saying there are ‘5 simple steps to create a resume’ or there are ‘3 tips that will guarantee you get the job.’ That will only serve to confuse you and move you off course. There are NO magic bullets or uncomplicated solutions to getting from unemployed to employed.

In the midst of your job search experience, you may feel adrift in the ocean of so many other job seekers. If you do not already have a well laid out job search plan, and if you find yourself flailing about without any career search stability, then hire a career resume writer or coach. Your job search is too important to be jostled about by unpredictable winds. The right processes, over time, if employed with diligence and focus, WILL lead you to your next career opportunity.

Please click on the following links to read what the other members of the Career Collective are saying:

4 Summer Strategies to Step Up Your Job Search, @DebraWheatman

Putting Your Job Search Up On The Rack For Inspection, @dawnrasmussen

Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: Are you wasting your time? @GayleHoward

What is your unique value proposition? @keppie_careers

It is Time for Your Check-up Ms/Mr Jobseeker, @careersherpa

Mid-Year Career Checkup: Are You “On Your Game?” @KatCareerGal

How to Perform a Mid-Year Job Search Checkup, @heatherhuhman

Reposition your job search for success, @LaurieBerenson

Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: What’s working and What’s not? @erinkennedycprw

Mid-Year Job Search Check-Up: Getting Un-Stuck, @JobHuntOrg

Mid-Year Check Up: The Full 360, @WalterAkana

5 Tips for Fighting Summer Job Search Blues, @KCCareerCoach

Are you positive about your job search? @DawnBugni

Where Are The Jobs? @MartinBuckland, @EliteResumes

When Was Your Last Career & Job Search Check Up? @expatcoachmegan

Is Summer A Job Search Momentum Killer? @TimsStrategy

Is It Time for Your Resume Checkup? @barbarasafani


6 Responses to “Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing!”

  1. […] Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords […]

  2. Jacqui – I love your sailboat stories. They are so relevant for job seekers. You encourage people to “Rely on (their) own gumption and willingness to explore and reinvigorate in order to stay the course…” True enough. Nothing is simple, but it is important to have things “well mapped.” With the RIGHT information and rudders in the right direction, job seekers can expect smoother sailing and to learn from their mistakes, which I think it a great lesson for everyone!

  3. Great post Jacqui – indeed, simply acknowledging that change is not easy can easy the struggle of the job search a bit. But knowing that there is much out of our control, what’s important is not only be prepared for what life my bring, but bring tap into the “gumption” to get beyond the rough spots. Life is a journey, and it is often the challenges – once overcome – that bring us the greatest joy and satisfaction.

    Thanks for your wise words wrapped in a great story!


  4. Dawn Bugni says:

    Jacqui –

    I so enjoy sailing through your words.

    The job search/sailing analogy rings true. A sailor and a job seeker have to be nimble, ready to adapt to prevailing circumstances and winds. What worked yesterday may need tweaking today.

    As you indicated, there is no magic employment bullet. However, experimentation, discovery and tenacity go a long way in attaining career (and life) goals.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. […] Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords, #CareerCollective […]

  6. […] Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords […]

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