By David Rose

You work hard at work. What I mean to say is, you spend a lot of effort, energy, and focus on your job and job-related activities. Even when you try not to, you think about work. It creeps in. A creative solution, a new perspective, an innovative idea, or a lingering frustration from a co-worker can appear, unexpectedly, at the strangest of moments. Often, the things that stick with you are the things you didn’t do well. It’s frustrating and can be defeating to encounter unexpected challenges, and to realize you are not equipped to handle them.

When you don’t know what to do, here’s what you do:

Make it simple. Don’t try to do too much at one time. Pace yourself. There are too many factors that you cannot control.

Exclude negative people; naysayers. Avoid people who offer opinions without being asked. They may be well meaning, but they rarely have enough information before offering their opinions, and people who are uninformed or have limited information rarely make good decisions.

Educate yourself. Formal learning is tremendous, but not always required. Access to information is easy today. You can participate in online courses and learn something new every day if you commit.

Connect with your connections. Sounds simple enough, but so many people hop on networking sites, connect with other professionals, and then, never actually communicate with those folks. Networking sites are platforms designed to bring people together. They encourage new communication, and create a place where communication can be fostered. As the old adage says, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.’ In other words, find time to engage your network, not just build it.

Communication. When job searching, be prepared to use all types of communication vehicles – email, phone, in person, and social platforms. For email, add the company’s (or companies’) email extension to your Safe Sender’s list. Email platforms provide the ability to Block or Never Block domains. This will ensure you never miss an email during an interview process. On a related note, get into the habit of watching your Junk Folder. The extra attention you pay to your Inbox could make a difference in your job search.

As far as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and your other platforms go…keep them organized, easy to navigate, and clear of any photos or videos of illegal or unprofessional activities. Use your social platforms to highlight your individuality, but stay professional.

The ability to adapt, and to manage through change with clarity are sought after traits. The best way to develop those traits is through experience. Take the call, respond to the email, and answer the DM. Actively participate, rather than passively wait. Accept the interview opportunity. Dismiss hesitation. Listen. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know. There will always be barriers, but how you overcome those barriers will lead to job search success.