Keep Your Spirits Up, Whatever It Takes

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Life has many trials, and earning our daily bread is one of them.

During my job search, I rode an emotional roller-coaster. There were plenty of days when I was depressed and did not want to speak with anyone. But I never lost hope. With a little help from family, friends, career counselor and my inner faith, I always bounced back.

When you're unemployed, it's important to do what you have to do to keep your spirits up. That can mean eating right, exercising regularly, taking walks, meditating or praying - whatever is needed to help you stay centered, healthy and optimistic.

Just when it looked as though things couldn't get much worse in my financial life and in the economic environment, after 10 months of unemployment and at the height of the financial crisis things started to turn around for me. A candle shines brightest in the darkest places, and salvation comes at the last possible moment.

Considering Voluntary Exile

By October 2008, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the economic situation in the U.S. had gone from bleak to disastrous. Was there any chance at all of me finding a job in New York - or indeed, anywhere in the United States? I had already left New York. Would I soon be leaving the country? My wife and I discussed that question. We decided that for the right opportunity, we would be willing to relocate abroad for a year or two.

I started focusing on international opportunities and had several phone interviews with the chief executive of an international furniture company based in the Netherlands. I corresponded with a businessman in Hong Kong who said he helped American companies conduct business in China. I spoke with the CEO of a used car parts company in England. I was also called by a doctor from Yokohama who said he needed help managing his cancer clinic and disseminating his research internationally. He even offered to fly me to Yokohama for an interview.

Closer to home, I was contacted by an executive recruiter with whom I had been in touch on and off by email for over five years. She told me that a hiring manager at a large and well-established New York accounting firm was looking for a valuations professional who was a good writer.

An interview was arranged and went well, but I kept my expectations low. The executive recruiter told me it was a done deal. Then, however, I was called in for another round of interviews and asked to submit a writing sample.

While waiting for an answer from the accounting firm, I took up the doctor's offer and flew to Japan. I did not want to pass up the opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime fantastic journey - or the possibility of a job, even it was on the other side of the world.

The Tide Turns

After a full day's journey from New York to Yokohama, I checked into my hotel room, set up my computer and learned that I had received the green light from the accounting firm. Apparently, I had to fly over the North Pole and to the other side of the world in order to get a job offer in New York. The Lord works in mysterious ways!

After an inspirational week in Yokohama, I returned triumphantly to New York and felt as though I was waking from a dream. After all I had been through, I had finally found a job.

A few weeks later, I flew to Omaha for a real Thanksgiving celebration with my wife and children. We had so much to be thankful for and were so fortunate not to have lost hope -or each other.

Joshua Persky is a New York-based career management author, blogger and lecturer whose professional background is in corporate finance and valuation. Last year he gained worldwide media attention for handing out his resume to strangers on the street while wearing a homemade sandwich board that read: "Experienced MIT Grad for Hire."

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