What is the profile of the job seeker? Who is it?
Nowadays, looking for jobs unfortunately affects more and more people.
Examples of people who seek employment:
- A newly graduated student,
- A person that is piling up temporary contracts desperately searching for a long-term contract,
- A person who has been made redundant, following for instance a company restructuring or a conflict with hierarchy,
- A person wanting to give his life a new start, due to a personal decision either to be more in touch with his own values, or following an event such as illness or burnout,
- A housewife after having raised her children and wanting to return to work,
- A widow or divorced woman, forced to find a professional activity,
- An expat’s partner who, after the so called “tourist” phase, bitterly regrets having given up their job when moving to the new country.
What happens when the person is unable to find a job?
We are not all equal when facing this situation. Indeed some people will find this situation more stressful than others.
Even though work can generate suffering and alienation, it can also
- bring acknowledgement
- help build an identity
- give one a feeling of usefulness
Generally speaking for most, being unemployed is difficult. This often entails the questioning of numerous areas in one’s life. One of the main focuses is the family cell, especially when the situation lasts more than a few months and the future becomes more and more uncertain.
What emotions are generated by this situation?
The individual seeking employment will be experiencing several diverse emotions. Note that an emotion is a physiological response allowing oneself to adapt to a situation.
These emotions may be:
- joy of being contacted for an interview,
- fear (of an interview, of not being able to cope financially any more),
- anxiety (waiting for responses from potential employers, and endless unsuccessful applications),
- sadness/disappointment (of not getting the job),
- anger (to hear the same criticism, for example of being over qualified),
- jealousy (when someone else has been chosen for a job),
- frustration (of not finding a suitable job),
- guilt (for having panicked or not having prepared well enough for an interview),
- doubt (regarding one’s capacities),
- shame (if failure to get a job is repeated over a prolonged duration).
As it happens, Canada, along with certain Scandinavian countries, is particularly advanced in job placement: they have developed specific methods for job seekers.
These methods, initially developed by Professor Jacques LIMOGES working with the University of Sherbrooke, are essentially based on the psycho-social factors of the individual, in particular:
- the environment,
- personal organisation,
- relationship to oneself and to the world.
Jacques Limoges uses the image of a cameraman with his tripod: a person seeking employment relies on three feet
- a foot that represents ‘I Am’, which is one’s personality,
- a foot that represents ‘I know’, which is one’s knowledge and skills,
- a foot that represents ‘I want’, which is one’s will.
Too often, the professional job seeking process does not take into account the person in their individuality.
How can sophrology be useful when seeking employment?
Sophrology takes into account a person’s balance between
- the physical,
- the mental,
- the emotions.
For someone looking for employment, sophrology is an opportunity to prepare for a (new) relationship with the world through a new conception of oneself and one’s environment.
The support of sophrology precisely helps the job seeker to:
Get to know oneself better, and to reinforce one’s self-esteem and confidence,
2 parameters that are often negatively affected during the job seeking process.
- conscious breathing,
- learning how to relax, and to let go by using breathing techniques, the relaxation of the body will lead the mind to relax,
- learning how to come back to the present moment (for instance the 5 senses technique), being there in the present moment and for others, stopping over-intrusive thoughts,
- looking at oneself and the environment through a different positive lens,
- reinforcing rooting (tree technique) because one’s professional inactivity often implies a loss of spatial and temporal reference points.
Taking a step back regarding the past and thinking positively:
- learning how to unload physical and mental tensions,
- making one see an event in a more positive way, whether it be professional or personal (visualization through synchronized breathing/a resourceful place) and to live in the here and now with the 5 senses technique,
- if needed, finding a balanced sleeping schedule.
Taking action by learning how to project oneself into success and by motivating oneself:
- developing one’s attention span and concentration, which are often low in job seekers,
- if needed, improving one’s creativity and imagination,
- if one has difficulties achieving fixed goals, one can improve one’s motivation with the Vittoz method,
- positive visualisations and the trigger signal technique can be used to prepare oneself for stress inducing activities, such as the techniques used for sports preparations at highly competitive levels,
dynamic relaxation to propel a person into action.
The movements, exercises and techniques taught during sessions are simple and can be rehearsed alone at home. The idea is to really head towards the person’s autonomy so that this person becomes the true actor in the job search. Sophrology is an interesting method, however, to obtain successful results, one must practice regularly.
5 minimum, depending, of course, on the person’s goals, motivation and training.
Sophrology sessions are generally held once a week.