When things don’t go your way and at your expected speed, it is natural to feel dejected and frustrated. However, that will only slow down your progress as the negativity will eat into your spirits. Difficult as it may seem, there are ways to stay focused on the goal and keep going steady until you win the prize – your desired job.
Let’s break it down into habits that are easy to form.
Job search can be a very lonely process. There are taboos around not being employed and you may close yourself up in a shell. That’s exactly what you shouldn’t do.
There will be other people within your network looking for work. Buddy up with someone you are comfortable sharing with. Keep an eye for opportunities for each other. See how you can leverage each other’s network. Meet up, exchange tips or just hangout together. It is a different feeling when you spend time with someone who is in the same boat. You tend to cut yourself some slack and find the energy to keep going.
When you are on job hunt, you may not have a routine like reporting to work. That may put you in hyper-search mode with job applications day in and day out. Or it will put you in the exact opposite mode – slow and not rushed. Neither of them are healthy. It will fatigue you or slow you down.
See job search as one task within your day and set a time for it. Get up, work out, network, send out applications, upskill, hangout with friends, read book and sleep. Well, of course – that is only a template we imagined. Customize to your habits. The point is to make it a routine and have some discipline around it.
Balance is the key. Not too much; not too little.
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You want to be able to see the good things. Reflect upon your career so far and list the achievements – big and small. Remember the day you got team appreciation, best employee card, new comer of the year award and so on.
Make a gratitude jar and keep filling it up with these little things. The day you feel low, look at them and pep yourself up. You deserve the job of your dreams. It is a reminder.
This exercise will also help you modify your resume. Resume writing is never a one-time activity. You keep refining until you see more interview line ups.
Sometimes it helps to turn the monotony of job applications and interviews into a number game. Set goals – network with 2 people every day, send 5 applications every day and so on. Also list down the replies you get to your applications, the number of interviews lined up and so on.
Take a look at the numbers and play around. See what happens when you increase input by 20%.
You can also list down the companies you want to work for and keep track of their stories, their leadership team, their webinars and build your digital scrapbook. These little things help take your mind off the repetitive tasks.
It is not about jobs. It is about people in the end. Keep networking and keep talking to people. It does not have to be about jobs. You can talk about industry trends, give your point of view on their posts, send out your own personal branding content and so on. It is your chance to make an impression without officially landing an opportunity. Show up everyday on social media. You never know who is watching.
The more you talk to people, more opportunities will open up. They may not have something immediately but they will keep you in mind for future.
Unpaid opportunities are easy to find. Consider spending a couple of hours everyday helping an NGO with your skill set. It may not bring money but it will bring plenty of other things – a routine to look forward to, an achievement on your resume, a way to fill the timeline gap, a networking opportunity.
You can also look for short term contract opportunities which pay by hour and are valued highly. Stay open to job types.
What counts as a win? A job alone? Not really. A win is anything positive during the job search. You reached out to someone and he/she responded – even if negative or neutral. You applied for a job and you got an interview scheduled. You sent out a post on social media and got responses from your network.