Put Your Money on Your Job Search

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Millions of people buy lottery tickets every day in the hope of hitting the winning numbers and taking home the million dollar, or mega-million dollar jackpot. Even though the odds against winning are staggering, they go back, day after day, filling out the forms with their secret numbers or scratching off the tickets hoping to find a match for the big prize.

You may feel like the odds are just as great if you’ve been looking for a job for awhile with no results. Just like those lottery players, you can’t look at the odds against you, but the possibility of hitting the winning interview and landing the job. There are job postings, and new ones are added every day. Someone will eventually be hired, and if it’s a job you’re qualified for, it just might be you.

Have you ever been asked, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” It’s fun to imagine someone handing you the oversize check for $250 million as the big winner, and all the things you could do with the money. Houses, vacations, paying off bills, giving to charity, taking time off, even quitting your job to travel the world. Imagining yourself as a winner is enough stimulus to buy another ticket for the next drawing.

Playing that game, with a twist, can keep you excited about your job search. “What will you do once you land a job?” You may not get a $250 million check, but there are probably a lot of things you’ll be able to do that are still exciting. Make a list of those things a new job will allow you to do and how it will make your future brighter. Keep it positive. For example:

1. Pay off the bills. Books like Dave Ramsey’s, “The Total Money Makeover,” can help you plan how to get out of debt and start building your fortune.
2. Refinance the house. Interest rates are at their lowest, but it’s tough to get a loan or even refinance when you’re unemployed. When you land that job, you may be able to lower your mortgage payment and start saving hundreds of dollars a month.
3. Plan your dream vacation. Or maybe just take a vacation. Not right away, of course, because you’ll be working (Yes!). If you happen to land your dream job in the hospitality industry, you might just get great hotel or travel discounts to take that dream vacation after all.
4. Take the boat out of storage, gas up the motorcycle and renew the gym membership. You can again indulge in all those things you used to enjoy but qualified as “extras.”
5. Continue your education. Why not put “tuition reimbursement program” on your new job list of “must-haves. “ You may have a waiting period, but your new job can be your winning ticket to a brighter future. After taking courses at several different colleges, I finished my degree while working at Marriott Corporation through their tuition reimbursement program. That degree allowed me to compete for management positions and added credibility to my consulting resume.

Mary Nestor-Harper, SPHR, is a consultant, blogger, motivational speaker and freelance writer for BusinessWorkForce.com. Based in Savannah, GA, her work has appeared in Training magazine, Training & Development magazine, Supervision, BiS Magazine and The Savannah Morning News. When she’s not writing, she enjoys singing with the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and helping clients reinvent their careers for today’s job market. You can read more of her blogs at businessworkforceblog.com and view additional job postings on Nexxt.


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