Job searching: not for the faint of heart

This face pretty much sums up how most people feel about job searching.

Job searching is not fun. I mean, I work in career development. It’s my job to help other people find jobs, and I don’t think it’s fun. It’s tough to put yourself out there day after day, to keep trying as you send applications out into the void and hear nothing back. And then to keep a positive attitude on top of it all.

So, in a job search, how do you keep up your morale?

First, have a schedule each week, and plan slightly different activities each day. Your job search shouldn’t just be limited to checking job boards and sending online applications. In fact, that should be the smallest part of your job search strategy. The biggest part of your strategy should be networking.

Your week might look something like this:

  • Monday – reconnect with 5 professional contacts and plan meetings with them in the near future
  • Tuesday – find and reach out to 5 new contacts through LinkedIn (or other means)
  • Wednesday – search job postings at organizations of interest (job boards, or though referrals)
  • Thursday – prepare applications for jobs of interest
  • Friday – work on learning a new skill or practicing an existing one

Obviously your weeks will change as you have to fit in networking meetings and job interviews. The idea here is to be mindful about how you spend your time. To be strategic instead of sending out resumes by the hour – it’s inefficient and ineffective to do that.

Bonus secret

Don’t spend all your time job searching. I know, I know. You’ve probably heard the “when you’re looking for a job, that is your job. Work eight hours a day” thing. That’s actually kind of terrible advice. Why? Because first off, if you’re following the steps above, you’re working smarter, not harder.

Second, no matter how long the time period is, unemployment is temporary for anyone who is actively seeking work. Eventually, the day is going to come when you’re back in the swing of things, your calendar is chock full, and you’ll hear yourself say, “I don’t have any time to work out/spend time with my kids/learn a few new recipes/learn the guitar/write a book/etc.!!”

You have time now. Do those things now. Then they’ll already be a part of your routine when you’re back in the career saddle. You’ll figure out how to keep them in your life.

Do you need some help defining your job search strategy? Book a 15-minute consultation call to find out!

Happy job hunting!

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