The Power of a Compliment

It’s easy to get discouraged during a job search. When I was employed, I would wake up every morning with a to-do list a mile long. I knew exactly what I needed to do at work, and would sometimes give myself a mental pat on the back for crossing things off my list. At the end of the day, I could look back and feel accomplished.

Now, the to-do list is still a mile long, but I’m have trouble deciding what to prioritize. This is so not like me. I’m the queen of prioritizing my work. But this is different. Like a Wordle puzzle with too many options to choose from, I tend to freeze up (or scroll Reels on Facebook as an exercise in avoidance and procrastination).

Do I hit the job boards on Indeed and Idealist or plan out posts on LinkedIn? Should I work on my freelancing website or schedule a few more networking calls? Maybe I’ll add a few more organizations to my target list and work on some answers to potential interview questions. I also need to nag a few people about a few letters of recommendation.

Which one of these things will get me that much closer to a new job or a writing gig? The answer: all of the above. It can be quite overwhelming at times. My goal every day is to be able to say that I was productive.

Which is why a compliment from an old friend was so welcome. We go way back to my synagogue days when we were program directors in our respective congregations. While we live in different states, we stayed in touch online. During this phone call, we talked about the different directions I could go in with my career. He shared some of his most recent work experiences with me and offered some solid career advice.

Before we got off the phone, he said, “You are incredible at what you do, Elisa. Hang in there.”

Incredible? I don’t know if I would describe my contributions as incredible. But I have to admit that it’s really nice to hear someone else say it. He put me back in the right mindset by reminding me that I still have plenty to offer. I need to remember that as I continue to push forward.

Wherever I decide to put my efforts tomorrow or the next day or the next, the prioritizing is probably not the most important thing. What’s important is to DO SOMETHING because I know every little bit helps. So far this week, I got my resume down from three pages to two pages. I also found a few places on my resume where I could explain my accomplishments more clearly. Before I knew it, I had a whole new resume to send out. Today, I posted on LinkedIn and made some new connections. Tomorrow, I’m going to follow up on a few job applications I sent out last week and look into taking a few classes toward another certificate.

For now, I’m going to watch the Phillies and get a good night sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.



P.S. – If you would like to follow me on LinkedIn, here is the link to my profile. I’d love to connect with you.

4 comments on The Power of a Compliment

  1. kate
    October 5, 2023 at 8:32 am (2 months ago)

    Stay positive! Hope you find a great job soon. Go Phillies!

    • Elisa
      October 6, 2023 at 5:38 pm (2 months ago)

      Thank you!

  2. Paul Taubman
    October 4, 2023 at 10:51 pm (2 months ago)

    You did a great job writing this post and sharing your ideas! Thanks for that 🙂

    • Elisa
      October 5, 2023 at 7:37 am (2 months ago)

      Thanks, Paul!

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