Town Talk Features

The Honest Truth: Igniting Careers & Dousing Burnout

My son just graduated from college and I want him to be gainfully employed. Any advice for how he can put his best foot forward?

Beth: I work with talented young people who have a great deal to offer but often don’t see it in themselves. That is because most people tend to focus on what they lack rather than what they naturally bring to the table. And what we do that makes us most compelling is nearly impossible to see in ourselves. When job-seekers are able to crisply describe their qualifications and experience, they get offers. Your son should find someone to help him uncover his strengths, translate this to his resume and then help him develop real-world examples to present during an interview. This sort of work can be quick but powerful. Not only will it help him land a job, it also will boost his confidence in the process.

Jill: Beth’s right. And if you can swing it, hiring a career coach to help create a strong resume and interview skills can be really helpful to learn some good habits early.

I feel constantly overwhelmed this year. I have so much work to do, but I don’t want to do anything. I feel guilty most of the time for what I need to do. Do you have any suggestions?

Jill: Psychologists have described how early in the pandemic, many of us used “surge capacity” to do all the things needed to organize kids’ learning, sanitize everything, reschedule plans and figure out how to make a living. By now, the extended disruption and uncertainty have used up that capacity—and many folks are feeling burned out. To heal from burnout, I recommend slowing down expectations and keeping things as simple as you can. Pandemics and perfectionism don’t mix. It’s important to be really intentional about making room for things that recharge your batteries. Additionally, exercise is vital for metabolizing stress hormones. Finally, mindfulness and meditation can train your brain to better cope with the massive plot twists we’re all experiencing.

Beth: You’re not alone. I talk to people daily who are experiencing exactly what you describe. I hope Jill’s advice helps to take the pressure off. She is my go-to person for burnout.

Jill Farmer is a master certified life coach, author and time management aficionado. Beth Chesterton is a master certified executive coach and an expert in organizational development.
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