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Career Q&A: Staying Inspired in the Job Search

Coach Lauren Zander answers job-search and career questions. This week: It's all about you

My colleagues and I at the Handel Group will be answering your questions about job-search and career-related issues at the Coaches Corner at BusinessWeek. Please e-mail us so we can help you find solutions. (Read our most recent Q&A about the upside to the down economy.)

How do I stay inspired to look for a job when I just got laid off—and there are so many people competing for so few jobs?

Remember that people have dealt with losing jobs for decades. Your mind-set is the most important factor: Get resolved that you will find a new job and stay focused on that. Don't give in to the general public's overall anxiety. Focus on yourself: It's happening to you, and that's what matters.

If it's all about how bad it is for everyone, it's going to be even worse for you because it makes it seem more epic than it is. This situation is about you and your life, your family, and your community. In order to stay in the right frame of mind, you have to cut out the things that amp up your fears. Stay away from negative hype and negative people. Feeling good and hopeful and taking the right actions right now is key. Keep panic at bay by focusing on your world. This will get you into action faster.

Lauren Zander is the co-founder and chairman of the Handel Group, an executive coaching and personal life coaching company based in New York City. Lauren has developed and is currently in her third year teaching a popular and groundbreaking course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called Designing Your Life. The Education Division of Handel Group will soon be implementing similar courses at New York University and Rutgers University.

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