Q: Dear Dr. Culp, Im so bored with job hunting that I know it must be affecting my search. I think my cover letters are dull and I know that in interviews I dont sound as interested as I could.
I havent been looking that long, but Ive job-hunted several times throughout my career and I know the process by rote. It must be clear to other people that Im on automatic.
A: Dear Blahhh, If youre doing everything by rote and you think youve lost spirit, check first for confirmation. Get a friend to look at recent cover letters to see if they smack of dullsville. Practice interviewing with a friend or coach in search of similar feedback. Its possible that youre so good at what youre doing that you still shine.
Reinvigorate yourself. Its summer; so you have more options outdoors than in other seasons. Too hot where you live? Find some air-conditioned venues near you to attend. Dont just go to those you always do. Search for something different.
Your greatest challenge right now is finding something new to think about. The same ol, same ol is contributing to your boredom.
Q: Dear Dr. Culp, Im a small-business owner whos been working out of a home-office for several years. Although I havent had any problems convincing employers that I can do the work they need to have done, I stumble over what to say when they ask me about working in an office.
I have to be honest about loving the quiet at home, which reduces distractions, gives me a sense of control over my work and contributes to focus. However, Im willing to sacrifice this to be back with people again. How can I convince employers of this?
A: Dear Re-directing, You neednt say anything bad about working at home to make a case for shifting. Your priorities or the scope of responsibilities youre seeking may be different and require more input from other people. Counter concern about isolation by discussing what youve been doing in your off-hours that involves other people.
If you dont have activities that fit, you can always say that youve met your objectives in your home-office and now want to expand. You might also volunteer to telecommute part of the time if you sense thats what the company wants. Just dont muddy the waters unnecessarily.