What’s in Your Toolbox?
As with most plans of action, from building a home to following a recipe, you have a set of tools that you can use to help you accomplish your goals. Looking for a job is no different. Let’s review some tools that successful job seekers include to assist in their search:
1. Find/Hire/Engage a job search partner, like ECP, to help you. You don’t have to search on your own, and having someone to partner with also gives you someone to be accountable to with your action steps.
2. Schedule time every day to work on finding a job. Divvy up your job search activities from searching job boards for positions to reaching out to recruiters and connections into blocks of time. Sometimes scheduling those actions that are harder for you, such as sending a LinkedIn connection request to someone you don’t know, as your first action steps help you to get them off your plate and accomplished.
3. Strategize, investigate, and organize your action steps for your job search process. For example, your typical day could look like this:
- Create a quiet space for your job search; if you cannot do that in your home, explore your public library and other spaces where you can.
- Touch base with your accountability partner, whether in a zoom meeting, phone call, or a confirmation email about your goals for the day.
- Schedule your actions on a digital and paper calendar from set blocks of time for reaching out to people for connections to search on job boards and companies you want to work for.
- Update your resume, whether by a professional writer or with a tool such as Jobscan, to ensure that your resume gets through a client’s tracking system.
- Take breaks. Fifteen minutes before noon, then 30 minutes for lunch, and 15 minutes between noon and 5 pm.
- Set your goals for job search steps every day and carry them out as if you were being paid for your efforts because, eventually, you will be!
- Make your bed, brush your teeth, wash your face, and get ready the same way you would if you were going into the office.
4. Drink water. Hydration is crucial to your overall mental and physical health and will ensure that you think more clearly.
5. Exercise. Even if all you do is walk out your door for 10 minutes, turn around, and walk back, that’s 20 minutes of physical activity that will reset your mental attitude while helping you physically.
6. Schedule times for bed, turning off the light, and sleeping. If possible, do what you can to ensure a comfortable place to rest and replenish. Some of us have found that we need four pillows configured in various ways around our bodies to relax fully.
7. Educate your mind, body, and soul by finding books, groups, or organizations that expand your understanding of life beyond your job search. Remember that you are a fantastic human being here on Earth who happens to be searching for a job. This job search time is not about who you are but a journey you find yourself on.
8. Do something that gives to someone else. That sounds counterintuitive. But when you think about how serious and focused, we can be about ourselves when we’re looking for our next career move, doing something that brings light to another human in our path can help us find our balance. Smiling, opening the door for someone, and thanking the UPS driver are examples you can take to help yourself not sink into the job search abyss.
9. Be gentle with yourself and others. Stressful times, such as looking for a job, can propel the voices in our heads to be incredibly frantic, angry, judgmental, and fearful. Pay attention to your self-talk in the background, and when you can catch a predominantly negative rant, ask yourself if it is valid, helpful, or if you need it now. If you don’t or it isn’t, put it on an imaginative shelf for later. You may pick it off the shelf later, but it’s not helpful.
10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. That’s easier said than done but taking the time to decide what is essential while looking for a job can help alleviate added anxiety and hardship. Do you need to take everything out of the pantry and reorganize it? Could you have a potluck gathering rather than cooking a multi-course dinner? Do you need to talk to that acquaintance who never has anything positive to say? There is no better time to clear out the detritus than now.
When you think about it, searching for a job can feel like you’re continuously in your eighth month of pregnancy, and the longer your search, the more you’re ready for that new job! Suffering is an option to the inevitable feeling of job search agony. Choosing to pack a toolbox enables you to take control of your process to navigate the job search path.
Whether it takes you two weeks or many months, at some point, you will find your next job or position, and hopefully, it will be a job that you can’t wait for your feet to hit the ground in the morning and get on with your day!
Written By: Lynn Kindler, Senior Career Strategist
Lynn Kindler is one of our dedicated Career Strategists. She has been in the career transition industry for 15 years and she believes this work is what she was born to do!
She loves how this job connects her to new industries and what people are doing in the world. She encourages others that behind titles, jobs, and companies are what matter most…the PEOPLE!
What really fills her up is when a client gets enthusiastic about their process and gets after finding jobs they’d be interested in.