Do any of these statements sound familiar?

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We know interviews by their very nature are stressful. There are many things you can do to reduce the stress a job interview produces. You can prepare the possible questions, dress your best, research the company, and use many other interview preparation strategies. However, there is one simple secret to acing a job interview: breathe. Yes, breathe. Not the breathing you are doing right now but breathe from your diaphragm. There is a remarkable relationship between how you breathe and the stress you feel. Put breathing from the diaphragm into your interview preparation.

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Have you ever seen a world class athlete before their event? If you have, you might have seen them with their eyes closed and head moving. What they’re doing is not some weird superstitious ritual before competing. They are performing their competition in their head. Every movement their body will make imagined along with any feeling they have to go along with the action. Included will be any sounds they will hear, smells in the venue, and the feel of their clothing on their skin. This valuable exercise is as valuable to them as the time they spend practicing. They will do this several times during the day. It is a way of practicing without being out on the slopes. It can be done anywhere at any time. They can practice while waiting for something, taking a plane to a race, or just sitting at home. What they are doing is called guided imagery. If you imagine you are doing something and you include all five senses, sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, your subconscious can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination. Guided imagery misleads your autonomic system into believing that what you are doing is real. As a result of this trickery, you get the expected benefit. If you could read this with your eyes closed, I would tell you to close your eyes and think of a restful place. Imagine you are sitting in a chair on warm, silvery sand next to a beautiful, blue ocean while the smell of the salty air fills your nostrils. You can hear waves gently run to the beach and then pull back into the sea. You can feel warm tropical breezes blowing across you cooling your warm skin. The taste of coconut lingers sweetly on your tongue. You feel your tense muscles softening in the peaceful, restful atmosphere while your body melts into the lounge chair. You didn’t go to a sunny, tropical beach, and sip pina coladas. But through guided imagery your mind thinks you did. If this had been an actual session, you would feel relaxed, warm, and tasting coconut. Guided imagery has many uses including relaxation, stopping habits, performance enhancement and for improving health by relieving pain and rapid healing. Research shows guided imagery can decrease/manage stress, increase your confidence and self-esteem. Job searchers use guided imagery to eliminate them of job loss trauma; forgive and forget any injustices they have experienced; and practice job search skills. The job searchers who practice guided imagery are more likely to obtain jobs more quickly than those who don’t. A study by Dr. Lynn Joseph showed over 60% of participants in a study using guided imagery for job seekers obtained jobs within two months. Only 12% of the control group obtained jobs in the same time frame using another method. One of the last things an athletes imagines at the end of their session is standing in the winners area receiving accolades. They have been dreaming of this moment for a long time. Job searchers imagine accepting a new job that comes with a regular paycheck. They, too, have been dreaming of this goal for a long time. Job seekers athletes image from Shutterstock
Name: Arleen Bradley Twitter: @arleenbradley LinkedIn: /in/arleenbradley Personal Website/Blog: [Website] [Blog] Bio: Arleen is a Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach, a Certified Career Management Coach and a Certified Job Search Strategist. She is holistic in her approach to coaching as a result of her job loss experience and sincerely believes the job searcher is just as important as the job search. To that end she provides continued encouragement to help the job searcher remain positive and motivated while offering state of the art job search strategies for a successful outcome. Arleen works with clients to rid themselves of the negative effects of an unplanned job loss and shows them how to prepare for the job search ahead. She is the founder/coordinator of two job search networking groups in which over 225 people have obtained jobs - and is the author of the weekly blog, Surviving Unemployment. What's your favorite career related quote? “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." (Alexander Graham Bell) What’s your favorite part about being a CAREEREALISM-Approved Career Expert? It is an honor and a privilege to be a member of elite professionals. I am excited to bring to followers of CAREEREALISM the tools necessary to put closure on the past and begin looking forward to a future with new and exciting possibilities. Experiencing an unplanned job loss is very much the same as losing a loved one. The same stages of grief are felt and some of the effects can unknowingly sabotage even a well planned and executed job search. It is my hope to be to help as many people as I can to liberate them from the grief and be able to proceed with a job search that uses the latest job search strategies that can be found on the pages of CAREEREALISM. Articles written by this expert: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas… For a Job Seeker Surviving Unemployment: 5 Steps for Coping with Family Holiday Events What Athletes Can Teach Job Seekers About Career Success How to Use the Law of Attraction in Your Job Search The Secret to Acing a Job Interview Are You Sabotaging Your Job Search?
Unemployment + Holidays + Family = Stressed To The Max. In a parody of seasonal favorite, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” one of The Twelve Pains of Christmas is facing the in-laws. Well, it isn’t just the in-laws that can be a pain, but your own family as well. Whether immediate or extended, your family has your best interest in mind. Or maybe they just like pushing your buttons. The holiday season is sure to do one thing: Bring everyone together, the in-laws and the outlaws. And, yes, you have to go. But you can make the time less agonizing. One of the topics of conversation is sure to be your lack of employment. You can expect career advice, criticism and lots of questions. Facing this experience is enough to give you hives! But it doesn’t have to be this way. As someone who is search for a job, you can take steps to prevent attacks and make attending holiday gatherings pleasant. Planning ahead a little, instead of dreading it, will make family gatherings much better for you. The key is to take the initiative and bring up the situation. Yes, you bring it up. By doing so, you take control of the matter because you have determined the ground rules beforehand. And you can certainly follow your own rules regardless of what others do or say. You will have to stand firm, but you can do it. This is a commitment to yourself.

When Dealing With Family Holidays...

Step 1: In the days leading up to the occasion, determine what you want people to know. Anticipate their questions. Because you know them so well, you can predict what comments they will have. This step is crucial to being prepared for any situation. Write it all down. Step 2: Look at what you have written and take each statement one by one. Write down how you want to respond. Rewrite, tweak, then practice, practice, practice your responses. Out loud. It is very important to rehearse so you don’t forget any of the golden nuggets you worked so hard to obtain. You should be able to fluently recite the answers word for word or paraphrase them without missing a thought or idea. Step 3: Pre-arrange a signal with a trusted ally. This will get you out of harm’s way in case someone grabs your attention and–despite all your best, most polite efforts to get away–won’t let you go. This signal should be subtle and discreet—remove your glasses, a tie or scarf, or tug your right ear, ala Carol Burnett. You don’t have to leave the gathering, just that person. It can be a life saver. Step 4: When you arrive at the event, you get to choose the time and place to use your prepared statement. You can also choose which person you talk to first. Say what you have planned and don’t allow anyone to interrupt you. This is your time to say what needs to be said. When you finish, indicate that you are not open to discussion about it. It’s a party! By all means remain, calm and respectful. One more thing: Remain alcohol-free when you do this. It adds to your credibility. Step 5: Enjoy the rest of the event! You will enjoy the rest of the event if you continue to stick to the commitment you made with yourself. Gathering for the holidays is meant to be fun and enjoyable for everyone. But every family has ways of pushing its members’ buttons. Sometimes, it is all in good fun; other times, not so. This can be hurtful for the person on the receiving end, even when comments are intended to be in good fun or to be sincerely helpful. With a planning and patience, the holidays with family can be the happy times they are meant to be. Enjoy the holidays and your family! Arleen Bradley is a Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach, a Certified Career Management Coach and a Certified Job Search Strategist. She is the founder/coordinator of two job search networking groups in which over 225 people have obtained jobs - and is the author of the weekly career blog, Surviving Unemployment. Family holiday dinner image from Shutterstock
Because of my desire to help the unemployed, I frequently find humorous things to share with my clients and unemployed friends. This year I took the poem, "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" and tweaked the words. Here is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it and my sincerest apologies to Clement Moore.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was working, not even the mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes they wouldn’t show the wear and tear. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of iPads, Abercrombie and Fitch danced in their heads. With bills unpaid and the mortgage due, I tried to relax and renew. When in my chest I felt a flutter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Right to the laptop I flew, To see what I should do. To WebMD I went right away, By now it was all the healthcare I could pay. But what to my eyes should appear, The reason for my flutter became clear. With the symptoms spelled out, I knew I was stressed with no doubt. Not having a job was heavy on my mind, I needed a job of any kind. To CareerBuilder! To Monster! To Craigslist and Indeed! On the company websites I had to look with speed. I found all the jobs that I would apply, Now to create a resume without a lie. Functional or chronological, it was difficult to choose, The only thing that mattered was the schmooze. So I decided on one, And from my mind the words did run. And then in a flash it was complete, Making it effective was quite a feat. But there was no time to relax, It had to go by fax. Each had a cover letter, To make my skills and experience look better. Sending a packet to each firm, I wondered who would confirm. The fax machine LCD twinkled on each transmission, While I only hoped for a successful reception. The tones and beeps confirmed my premonition, I was on my way to ending this transition. The cookies set out for Santa before, Were my fuel for this tedious chore. One by one the resumes were fed into the machine, To finish this task I would surely need caffeine. This would be a good job for some little elf, I laughed when I thought of this in spite of myself. Soon I realized I had nothing to dread, Because doing it myself they would arrive and maybe read. Without taking a break, I continued my work, I wanted to finish before I went berserk. The hour was late and I wanted to doze, But needed to finish before everyone arose. I finished at last with some time to spare, And decided to spend the rest of the night in my chair. I managed to utter before my head started to bob, Happy Christmas to all and to all good a job!
Arleen Bradley is a Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach, a Certified Career Management Coach and a Certified Job Search Strategist. She is the founder/coordinator of two job search networking groups in which over 225 people have obtained jobs - and is the author of the weekly career blog, Surviving Unemployment. Read more » articles by this approved career expert | Click here » if you’re a career expert Businessman with Christmas tree image from Shutterstock