Are You Boring Yourself?

Notice anything different about my blog these days?

Well, sometimes, even the best of us get stuck in a rut and feel a tad uninspired.  So in a spontaneous burst of creativity last night, I decided to dive into the vast sea of WordPress blog designs and shift my blog over to a brand new template.  Just for the heck of it.

This new template, called Headlines, has a couple of neat things going for it.  Besides just giving my site a fresh look and feel, you’ll note that this blog format “summarizes” each post on the main page, versus displaying the full text, which I think will be a much more elegant way for people to peruse my articles, going forward.  Secondly, this new template style also displays the “comments” attached to each article in a more prominent way — which I think is critical, since the supplemental comments people submit often turn out to add so much value to the original posting itself!

So  I’m really digging this new layout, and while I’m not a trained graphic designer, I even took a crack at whipping up a new masthead for the blog, myself, since I was sick of looking at the old one.  I know, I know.  Anybody with even half an ounce of design background will probably look at my new banner and say “amateur hour.”  But hey, I like it, and I had fun doing it.  And most importantly, as silly as it sounds, this spontaneous creative project was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while and has given me a surge of motivation to blog more frequently.

What’s the takeaway of all this from a job hunting standpoint?  As much as looking for work these days demands a methodical focus and a measure of unavoidable routine, you still owe it to yourself to unleash your creativity every now and then.  If you find yourself going through the same old grind each day you’re going to quickly tire of the process — and this mental/spiritual fatigue is going to impact your overall odds of success.

Luckily, I believe everybody has a set of creative talents they can unleash, in some form or fashion, during a time of career transition.  You can either weave some creativity into the job search process itself or simply indulge your imagination via other outlets.  Ideas include:

•  Experiment with innovative, unorthodox job hunting tactics
•  Completely blow up your resume and rebuild it in a different way
•  Try using a free infographic resume tool to view your background in a new light
•  Start writing a blog, yourself, even if nobody reads it.  It’s easy and free.
•  Make music, if you’ve got the talent.  Or go listen to live music as much as possible.
•  Read poetry (when’s the last time you did?) or even try writing some, yourself
•  Take photographs and surround yourself with them
•  Remodel a room or do something fabulous with your yard/garden
•  Get a new professional photo taken to spice up your social media profiles

This all sounds pretty artsy-fartsy, I know, but there’s been an unusual recent run of the arts showing up in my life recently, so I’m starting to pay more attention to the role they can play in helping people cope with and conquer the unemployment challenge.  There’s just something special and unshakably “human” about the creative process that shouldn’t be overlooked.  We feel good when we create, build, and invent things.  Joy appears.  So if you feel you’ve allowed your work situation to stifle your imagination, don’t stand for it.  Stimulate it!


5 Responses to “Are You Boring Yourself?”

  1. Matt: Looks great and very clean. And a “makeover” every once in awhile can be invigorating as well as fun. But I must say I liked your old picture better 🙂

  2. Hi Matt,
    Nice to hear and coincided with my own revamping of Linkedin profile and resume. It wasn’t a complete blowup but a total simplification, and, because I just got a new computer and Windows 7 decided to do some imaging and pictures on the resume…just having fun. Don’t know if I’ll get a chance to use it but it’s ready and I still have the simple Word.doc/PDF as well. If you would like to see it I would be happy to send you a copy as another example of different thinking.
    Keep up the great work and Thanks.

  3. Like the new look and organization of the Career Horizons blog. Becoming “boring” is certainly an inherent danger of being employed in corporate America, so no need to experience this in your own entrepreneurial venture!

  4. Matt, the change is nice and a bonus to hear your excitement and re-charge. I like the masthead, too; not bad for an amateur.

  5. Laurie M. Jones February 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    How remarkable, Matt, to be reading this musing of yours while stopping for break here at the National Art Gallery in Washington D.C. where inspiration abounds, inside and out. The new notebook I had just gotten is inscribed thus, “I am still learning” Michelangelo
    Works for me.
    Thank you!

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