By Silvia Seelig
Life is filled with choices … whether it’s about our personal life or our job … we find ourselves making decisions that impact our future. On a daily basis, we make choices that dictate the life we live and at other times, extenuating circumstances find us in situations that we never imagined finding ourselves in. Whether it’s losing our job due to cutbacks, re-entering the job market after being unemployed for a period of time, going through medical problems, dealing with a divorce, having too many bills, not enough money or any other life changing event, our self-esteem and self-worth take a huge hit. We can either allow these events to become a problem or we can look at these circumstances as an opportunity to re-invent ourselves and empower ourselves for a better life. The choice is ours to make.
We need to turn our negative situations into positive ones and embracing that change can really be the turning point our life needs. We should use these circumstances as the ideal time to reach within ourselves to become the person we want to be. We all have inner powers that, with practice and repetition, can be effective in allowing us to have a more peaceful and happy life.
The first of the inner powers is our sense of “I can.” A “can do” attitude is based upon our expectations of how well we handle things as they come up in life. Our general sense of “I can” is our overall confidence. The best way to build up our confidence is to take on more things in our life that challenge us and teach us. Learning from both our successes and failures will allow our personal power to expand rapidly and easily.
Flexibility and Adaptability
The second internal power is our ability to accept things as they come. Life is always changing and being able to manage change with grace and ease will allow us to see that as some doors close … others open. Many of us can get stuck in our ways and in our thinking so keeping a flexible and adaptable attitude will allow us to make the best out of any situation.
The third internal power is having the capacity to take action. Taking action is the single most powerful way to counteract stress. Our capacity to take action comes from taking responsibility for our situation and doing whatever needs to be done. The power to act is in our hands. We need to figure out what needs to be done and prioritize our actions.
The fourth of our inner powers is the relationship we have with ourselves. We must feel worthy and deserving of having a great life in order for us to take the steps necessary to make it happen. While our self-esteem is mostly developed in childhood, there is a lot we can do to improve our feelings about ourselves now. Every time we act consistent with whom we create ourselves to be, the prouder we become of who we are. The higher our self-esteem, the more we are able to handle upsets, disappointments, and frustrations. The higher our self-esteem, the more likely we are able to put ourselves in situations where we will learn and grow. A person who takes risks and can handle setbacks is a person who will succeed.
The fifth inner power is our ability to speak up for ourselves. Our ability to speak for ourselves is the key to convincing others that we are able, willing, and responsible to do the job. We must let the people in our world know what we are up to and how they can help us. We can’t expect others to read our minds so we must learn to ask people for help and vocalize our needs.
These empowering tools are used to assist individuals enrolled in the Choices Program through Workforce Solutions-Alamo Rural and CampusJobXpress. These individuals are facing life changing circumstances and have reached out for help in preparing themselves for a better future. Many of these individuals are facing situations that find them with low self-esteem and unsure of what direction their lives need to take moving forward. The one inner power they have used is speaking up for themselves and reaching out to programs, such as this one, to help them reach their full potential, despite the negative situations taking place.
Through the Choices Program, participants are assigned to a CampusJobXpress Employment Specialist to assist them in gaining employment and establishing themselves in their new workplace, as well as, offering one-on-one direction in all aspects of their lives. The Choices Program recognizes that everything they face in their day-to-day life affects how they carry themselves and how it influences their self-esteem and self-worth.
Individuals who are enrolled in the Choices Program attend a one-week class that allows them to bond with the Employment Specialist and cover many areas that will help them be more successful. The Employment Specialist is able to spend time with the participants to discover their needs and together, they outline a course of action to help them become employed and productive in their future. Career goals are discussed and plans for pursuing those goals are outlined. The ultimate goal for the program is to assist the participants obtain and maintain employment that will provide them with a stable life.
Through CampusJobXpress, participants are offered the assistance of the Employment Specialist for a specific period. During this time, the Employment Specialist will have daily contact with these participants and will address issues and concerns that arise acting as a liaison between them and their Workforce Case Manager. The Employment Specialist will also maintain a relationship with their employer to ensure that their supervisor is happy with their job performance and to ensure continued employment. Participants receive daily text messages with important information pertaining to their situation, motivational and encouraging words, and reminders of upcoming deadlines and/or appointments they have to meet. Program participants are given employment leads and are registered in a job club through CampusJobXpress which provides resume services, job leads, interactive conversations with other participants, online books to read, skill enhancement articles, and many more tools.
Like the participants in the Choices Program who are able to take negative circumstances and convert them into opportunities that will provide stability in their future, you too can empower yourself. By using the inner power tools of the “can do” attitude, adapting to circumstances, taking action in your own situation, strengthening your self-esteem, and speaking up for yourself, you can empower yourself to reach your goals. The choice is yours to make. △