Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I’m 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 don’t sound as interested as I could.
I haven’t been looking that long, but I’ve job-hunted several times throughout my career and I know the process by rote. It must be clear to other people that I’m on automatic.
A: Dear Blahhh, If you’re doing everything by rote and you think you’ve 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. It’s possible that you’re so good at what you’re doing that you still shine.
Reinvigorate yourself. It’s 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. Don’t 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, I’m a small-business owner who’s been working out of a home-office for several years. Although I haven’t 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, I’m willing to sacrifice this to be back with people again. How can I convince employers of this?
A: Dear Re-directing, You needn’t say anything bad about working at home to make a case for shifting. Your priorities or the scope of responsibilities you’re seeking may be different and require more input from other people. Counter concern about isolation by discussing what you’ve been doing in your off-hours that involves other people.
If you don’t have activities that fit, you can always say that you’ve 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 that’s what the company wants. Just don’t muddy the waters unnecessarily.