4 Steps To Making Your Job Search A Habit
In the last few weeks I have met two people who have been at a job they hate for 10 years! Imagine what that does to your spirit, never mind your health. Both of them claimed, “it was supposed to be temporary”. In this current economy it is very easy to let your job search motivation lag. A job keeps you extremely busy and distracted, and can even make you sick and depressed. It can take an inordinate amount of energy and motivation to lift yourself up to do something about it. I realize that it’s no consolation to those who have been unemployed for a prolonged period of time, but the unhappy, long-term employed professional is equally stuck.
Throughout January, I met daily with job seekers who finally reached out for help, after trying unsuccessfully in 2013 to land a new position. Being a counselor,(as well as a coach) I tend to pick up quickly on the pain and discontentment my clients are experiencing. I wear my psychotherapy hat more than you would think. Many people come to me when they have reached a point of pain and frustration that they can no longer tolerate. When it comes to managing a job search, the stress and complex emotions that ensue can be paralyzing when one doesn’t have a clear and tangible plan for moving forward. Without realizing it, days, turn into weeks and weeks turn into months of endless search, or an unsatisfying or stressful job without an end in sight. Noticing that so many people fall into this unrelenting cycle of losing time, I feel compelled to help job seekers address this overwhelming sense of stuckness, a topic that isn’t terribly easy to talk about. I’m reminded of this Super Bowl Ad from 2009, where you don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the situations.
Whether you are employed or not, there are so many distractions (legitimate and otherwise) so how do you carve that time out for yourself to turn stagnancy into action?
I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s writing on Habits, and I am reminded that the job search process is a habit that more people need to embrace. Like any other, it requires focus, and discipline and consistency and probably more than anything, a clear and precise action steps.
Gretchen Rubin suggests, as do many other writers, that it takes just 21 days to establish a new habit. Easier said than done. I know. Well, I’d like to start to help you cultivate the job search habit, and will leave you with 4 simple steps to start out with today.
1. Create an action plan checklist: (or download one here ). One of the most common mistakes I see with job seekers is that they don’t have a plan, and that is the fastest way to getting nowhere!
2. Set realistic milestones: Recognize that if you are working, your time is very limited, so be realistic about when and how often you will establish goals and milestones for yourself.
3. Be kind to yourself: There is nothing more counter-productive than getting down on yourself for not achieving your goals. Identify what got you stuck, acknowledge the mistake and move on. Don’t get stuck on being stuck. You need all the TLC you can get, but a little bit of gentle butt-kicking is necessary, and if you can’t do it for yourself, find others who will.
4. Find a support or accountability group or partner: Research has shown that job seekers who seek out the support of others are more successful than those that go it alone. I’m very excited to be launching my new Job Search Accountability club designed especially to provide the extra support and information most job seekers need. It’s so easy to let the days become weeks, and the weeks become months and a job search, or unfullfilling job can become a never ending, and debilitating experience. Don’t let it happen to you.
What is your next step to get your job search off the ground? Tell us below about the milestones and goals you plan to set up in your job search.