It is possible to maintain your sanity during your job search if you keep your eye on the ball. There are so many distractions vying for your attention, you have to be diligent not to get sucked in to other activities, time wasters and OPP (other people’s problems). So here is my job search list to help you be intentional during your job search, which will in turn help you maintain your sanity and take your control back:
- Have a job search plan – Make a plan for networking, contacts to be contacted, companies to target etc. You don’t have to wait for an opportunity to show up – you can take the initial action!
- Schedule your activities each day – Taking control back of your daily schedule will give you a sense of direction and purpose. It’s OK to schedule in non-job search related activities, like exercise and reading, but keep TV watching, shopping and all non-productive activities outside of your business hours.
- Improve your strengths / update your skills – Explore professional development opportunities like seminars, workshops and conferences that will enhance your resume. Especially focus on updating technology skills as they are the fastest to be outdated and they are required in almost every role.
- Build your brand – Focus on your skills, strengths and experience that differentiate you from your competition and then get your brand out there via social media, blogging, tweeting and your LinkedIn profile. It’s about positioning yourself as the subject matter expert you are.
- Keep your pipeline full – It’s natural to get excited about an opportunity and put all of your focus on that one prospect. But remember, we’re talking here about maintaining your sanity and there’s nothing more spirit breaking than putting all your eggs in 1 basket and having that basket crash to the ground with nothing else to focus on. So make sure you have opportunities at every stage: networking, applying, interviewing and negotiating.
- Get a “right now job” – If you’re in the position of losing your sanity because you don’t know how you’re going to pay next month’s rent/mortgage, then forget all the advice you hear about following your bliss and finding the perfect fit. The perfect fit for you is simply one that will put a paycheck in your hands ASAP. Period, end of discussion.
Finally, because I’m a mental health professional, I leave you with one last thought: Abundance Thinking vs. Scarcity Thinking. If you tell yourself there’s not enough jobs out there and too much competition, so why try, you’re engaged in scarcity thinking. Turn that around and tell yourself daily : “I am just as good if not better than my competition, I deserve to be fully employed…there are plenty of opportunities out there” and see where those thoughts take you. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, including your sanity!