Just got an email from a reader who is having a hard time getting a job in his industry in his home country, dislikes some things about his culture, and it's leading to him feeling like he's in a bit of a rut. Here's my reply -
I see 2-3 basic themes here.
1. Job market
2. Home country or not
3. General feelings about yourself
Re: The job market, I don't entirely know because I've never been salaried. However, one thing I do know is that people don't hire off resumes, they hire off personal connections. To that end, you'd do well to do a couple things - accomplish cool things - anything - in the world to prove you're competent, and start reaching out to people to connect with them. Accomplishing could literally be anything - write essays/analysis on finance, organize an event, get additional credentials, hell even put together a small group of people to clean up a local park or something. When I say anything, I mean anything. Obviously money/revenues/tangible-value-created is superior to random stuff, but doing anything + connecting with people is going to be helpful.
Re: Your country, well, traveling can help - I've gotten a lot of it - but remember that you bring yourself with you wherever your go. Some problems might be location related if your home culture isn't a good fit for you, but you'll still be you wherever you go... leaving your home and striking off can sometimes solve problems but certainly not all of them.
Re: General feelings, I think the only way to get out of a rut is gradual trend upwards progress. Work on the fundamentals - improve your diet a little bit, exercise and get into motion a little bit (even a 10 minute walk), do some breathing, do some stretching, take some vitamins, try to write 10 emails to people you don't know over the next week and who cares if they don't reply (generally, if they're shorter and have one clear request for an answer, you're more likely to get a reply), read a little more, disengage a little more from some of the most high stimulation distraction you've got going on. If a guy was addicted to TV for 10 hours a day, I'd tell him to attempt to get it down to 9.5 hours tomorrow, and use the .5 hours stretching, taking a walk, and reading for 10 minutes.
Seriously, that's progress. If I had a magical solution I'd offer it, but I don't know anything other than focusing on the fundamentals for an extended period of time. Eat better, sleep better, breath, stretch, connect with people, work on tangible accomplishments, read, track your time a little, do some goal setting, cut back on intoxicants, cut back on high stimulation distraction, spend some time in nature, fully relax and disengage if you're burnt out, keep a set schedule... none of this is really complicated, but it does take some time to right the ship. I do find general trend upwards + do tangible stuff in the world + connect with people = results.
I hope that helps. This is almost a full length post, so I'll edit it a bit and take out personal details and put it up on the blog in the next day or two - so maybe there'll be some more good feedback in the comments. Cheers man,
Your comments for someone feeling like he's in a rut and not getting jobs by sending out resumes, dear reader?