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What to do When Your Job Search is "Code Blue?"

When you're at a hospital and you the overhead speaker blares "Code Blue," do your thoughts automatically go to the patient and his or her family? If you're not familiar with that announcement, it means someone's the heart rate is at zero and CPR is being performed.


Your family, friends, mentors, professors and others are part of your "code blue" team for your job search. But it's up to you to call the code blue. No one else will do it for you.


I've witnessed "code blue" in a hospital setting before and I think there are some lessons we can learn about ourselves, job search, and how to revive our efforts.


1. Call the team to help you. Yes, you may be letting everyone know you're looking for a new job, but only certain people will be helpful. You may have identified those people from your last job search. Your network is the most critical need in your job search. Everyone on the "code blue" team is trained and certified health professionals to perform CPR. During a code lasting for more than 20 minutes, much of them will take turns doing CPR. Similarly, people on your team should help.


2. Every move must move you closer so pay close attention. During a code, vitals are recorded and carefully monitored. Usually, the leader who is either a doctor or nurse. Since you will likely look for a job several times in your life, you should document what is yielding results.


3. Your team must respond quickly. Everyone on the code blue team drops what he or she is doing to answer to the announced code. In some hospitals, they have medical students to help with the code operation in some way. They are often asked to help perform CPR. People who you rely on want the truth so that they can respond truthfully and quickly. Otherwise, they'll ignore you.


4. Every person has a role. Everyone on the team is educated in CPR. They help with the compressions and wait for the result of the entire team's work. In your job search, you must facilitate how you are doing to your team. Allow them to inspire you and give you input. It is time to put aside your pride and understand people helping are hoping and cheering for you. They want to see results, too!


5. Time is of the essence. CPR is performed for at least 20 minutes. It is difficult to give your job search a time of how long it will take, but you can reset a goal. Mainly, keeping your team motivated to will take communication to show your engagement is enthusiastic and even short of zeal.


6. Sometimes there is a family intervention. I have seen times when family members are asked to leave during a code blue. When your job search is in code blue, it's all on you. Hopefully, the family should be ready to support. The family is often the job seeker's harshest and misunderstood advocate. They are easily confused and impatient, but your team understands the dynamic of your job search. They don't always know how hard it is to get leads, interviews, and the final offer. Sometimes, family members are the most empathetic. Other times, they are unsure and don't know how to support. It's up to you to communicate what you need from them.


7. A little patience is necessary to interpret results. CPR elevates the heart rate, and the monitor will show the numbers go up. If the numbers don't level off at a certain point, CPR is applied until the doctor sees the heart has sustained a heart rate. After 20 minutes, and the heart rate lowers to 0, the doctor calls the time of death. There is a lot of activity to do for your job search, but is it to keep busy? Or the illusion you're trying because you've lost heart?


8. Tell the family. Keeping your family apprised even when it looks abysmal is important. Many job seekers belong to a family who will offer lots of grace. Allow them to encourage and reassure you of the faith they have in you.


The "code blue" is over when either you are revitalized and functioning on your own. It's also ended when you have given up and have a distorted view of your possibilities. If your job search success is contingent on one strategy, then failure is imminent. We know the job search is hard with moments of frustration and uncertainty. Good relationships with family and others help when it seems hopeless.


Last Updated: March 21, 2017
About the author

Mark Anthony Dyson

Mark Anthony Dyson is a career consultant, job seeker advocate, career writer, and founder of The Voice of Job Seekers. He helps the employed, unemployed, underemployed, and under-appreciated find jobs. Mark has published more than 400 articles on his blog as well as some of the largest career sites such as Recruiter.com, YouTern, and Come Recommended.