One of the most challenging periods in anybody’s career or life is when you find yourself between jobs and searching for a new role. It’s a stressful time and you may feel like it’s an uphill battle as the nature of applying to roles often means you are hearing negative news more frequently than positive news. It’s key to be able to stay as positive as possible and realise that it’s not necessarily you, but many other factors that successfully culminate to companies finding the right person for a role. I’ve shared a list of key focus points below to help you get through this challenging time.
Personal profile and CV:
One of the first things you should do when job searching is to take a good look at how your professional profile is on display to prospective employers. Seek advice from friends, family and professionals such as recruiters to get the most from your LinkedIn and CV. When applying to multiple jobs you need to stand out from the other applicants by putting a voice to your profile as much as possible. Firstly, as a recruiter I would highly recommend refreshing your LinkedIn page. This is often the first step to getting noticed in a competitive job market and it’s really important you get that piece right. Make sure you have a professional head shot and fill out all of the sections as best you can. Think of it as your digital CV, so make some bullet points with your key responsibilities and key achievements for each of your past roles. Also, ensure you select “Open to Opportunities” and specify job titles you’re open to. Here’s a fantastic video to help you out: Mastering you LinkedIn profile.
Next up, you need to give your CV a cleanup. Don’t overdo it, you will only need three to four pages max and if you haven’t been in the role for the last 10 years, there’s no need to have more than the job title, time period and company. Personally, I like reviewing simple CVs that state the job title, company and period of time as a header, followed by a subtitle of your key responsibilities and another subtitle below with three to five bullet pointed key achievements. You can give a brief personal statement to begin the CV and add any relevant education before you start the job section as well.
Maintain a good routine, eat healthy and exercise
Another simple, controllable way of keeping motivated is to stick to a routine. Wake up at the same time every day, get dressed for “work” and get into it. Give yourself two to four hours everyday to work on your applications. Anything more than that can lead to fatigue and end up demotivating you. You could structure your day to have two productive hours in the morning and another two in the afternoon. That gives you time for a healthy lunch and plenty of time to get out for a walk, run or gym session to stop that mental fatigue and give you a healthy release of endorphins.
Control your goals
Writing goals for the week and each day are important and help you to feel as though you’re achieving results and getting things done. Writing your goals improves your chances of accomplishing them. Getting a job offer this week sounds great however, it’s not a motivating goal. Why doesn’t it qualify? You have no control over whether a company will offer you a position. Even if you perform well on an interview during the week, you can’t control whether the hiring manager decides to hire you or not.
Motivating goals are measurable goals that depend on you and no one but you. For example, here are three goals that you can control: attend one networking event per month or create a list of 10 target companies by the end of the day. Setting goals like these and achieving them, will give you the sense of forward movement that is essential to stay motivated during a job hunt.
Surround yourself with positive people who aren’t taking an overly pessimistic view on things. It’s inevitable you will find a job at some point and it’s important to remember that. Other ways to keep that positive energy up are to take up new activities or hobbies like volunteering, sports and classes. Anything that can lead to a sense of empowerment or achievement is well worth getting involved in.
Don’t let the progress of your job search run you into the ground. Your ideal job could be just around the corner. While you continue to look for a suitable role, maintain high spirits by implementing these four tips. If you do, you’ll remember your period of unemployment with more fondness than you thought possible.