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Navigating unemployment with gratitude to classic films

As a movie fan dealing with job loss during the pandemic, I have been watching a few favorite movies on Netflix and other streaming services as part of my self-care routine. Movie watching is a great way to relieve stress and boredom and to take a break from job search. I adore movies and find that many of them give me wisdom and inspiration during unemployment. Here are the best lessons I've learned from popular films.

Let’s start with the 1939 classic film, Gone with the Wind. While Scarlett O’Hara is a bit of a mess emotionally, her all-consuming focus on one goal (to save Tara!) paid off in the end. Her passion encourages me to focus on how I will feel when I find the new, right opportunity. It also reminds me to break my job search into a series of smaller steps to make the process feel less overwhelming. Methodically work your way through your contacts and request referrals, but don't try to do it all at once or you will lose focus. I created an Excel schedule using “block time” to help me accomplish a variety of tasks, one at a time.

Of course, some days, you will get off track and not get things done. Thank goodness we can rely on the overly dramatic last line of Gone with the Wind, “After all, tomorrow is another day,” to teach us to let go of the days when we not at our best, start again fresh, and do it better the next day.

Legendary Mel Brooks' comedy movie, Spaceballs includes a quote that particularly inspires me since it includes my last name, “Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!” But, you do not have to change your name to benefit from this quote! It teaches you to remember that your experience, insights, and skills make you uniquely valuable and that a company will be lucky to have you.

Another self-care favorite movie quote of mine is in Garry Marshall's Ferris Bueller’s Day Off“The question isn’t ‘What are we going to do?” The question is, “What aren’t we going to do?” The spirit of carpe diem (seize the day) that comes through this message energizes me. It reminds us all to find something to do every day that makes us happy -- personally or professionally.

In conclusion
Take time for self-care! Schedule Zoom time with former co-workers -- it's not only a fun way to catch up, it can help you remember contributions that you made, projects in which you collaborated, and deadlines that you pulled off together against all odds. I have tweaked my resume a few times from these calls as I have been reminded of impressive accomplishments. 

These calls also remind me of why I have been blessed throughout my career to have a network of talented, kind, supportive, humorous colleagues. I always knew I was lucky, but during job loss, these friendships have even more meaning to me. When I am feeling down, scared about the future, or worried about how to find new work and new ways to handle whatever is ahead, I am renewed talking with these co-workers. Then I stop and allow myself to feel proud of what I have done, and am grateful for those I met along the way. It restores my confidence and helps me keep the faith that tomorrow really is another day.

Guest post by Nancy Schwartz of St. Louis, Missouri.

Nancy is a nimble, action-oriented global marketing leader with experience in retail, experiential / entertainment, premium brands, healthcare, pharmacy, wellness, and franchising. She is looking for a new opportunity to grow revenue, client or customer engagement, and brand value in St. Louis or through remote. She thanks her Executive Connections-STL group for their support and wisdom.

Contact her at nancygschwartz@gmail.com. Connect with her at linkedin.com/in/nancygschwartz


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