Looking for a job is a job itself, such an irony, right? Whoever feels tired of investing dozens of hours in writing Cover Letters and adapting their CVs with not even a call for an interview… raise your hand, here we are! (Yes, exactly, you are not alone!). And my dear friends, if I’d have the secret formula on how to get a job (without working for it), trust me, I’d be SO RICH that I’d build a pyramid scheme company so you can be rich as well.
In the past weeks, I’ve got to ask myself many questions like: Does having a job really matters? Does a job mean you have a career? Is your “Career growth” influenced by what kind of jobs you have?
Discussing with many people in the same situation I’ve found myself saying ” I’m going to do this after I get a job…” so many times that I even got bored of it. Does it sound familiar? Waiting for the “perfect” job to feel fulfilled is like waiting for the perfect person to make you happy or for the perfect dress to feel beautiful. Unrealistic and kinda impossible. You can’t depend on that.
But if there is something that 2020 has taught us (hopefully!) is that there is no certainty. Life is not certain, and this is its beauty. Can you imagine how boring it would be if you’d know how every single day of your life would look like from now on? Your life does not stop just because you are looking for a job. Our career and jobs are an important part of our lives, they bring us joy, passion and income, however, life goes on, with you being present in it or not.
There are two things that you can do. Firstly, continue to hustle – apply for jobs, connect with people and just make the dirty work. Secondly, and this is the one that I believe makes all the difference, learn how to live in the present knowing only one thing: that you don’t know what will happen in the future.
So here are a few things I’ve learned. They might be basic, but you’ll be surprised how many times we need to hear these things from someone else just to confirm to ourselves that yes, this is what we need to be doing.
1. Think about the bigger picture of your life
Zoom out a little bit and think about the kind of life you want to have. What kind of experiences do you want to have? What other aspects of your life do you want to enjoy? You don’t need to have your life purpose defined or anything, but imagining the bigger picture of your life can bring some faith and hope to you! You’ll get to see that a job is not all your life.
2. What are your intentions for this job search?
Besides “getting a job”, what kind of place would you like to work for and what kind of experiences do you want to have? A senior leader in the company I’m currently working at once told me: “Never work for a company that does not focus on the development of their people”. He suggested me to be curious and ask questions that can confirm or not if that is the right place for me.
Write down your intention and put it somewhere where it is very visible and you can repeat it to yourself on a daily basis. Besides a job, what else are you looking for in this new experience?
3. Be strategic & have clear goals
Please, please, stop using all your free minutes to apply to infinite “Easy Apply” jobs on LinkedIn. Not that it’s bad! But if it’s done with only the intention to feel better about your “Jobseeker” performance, better not doing it, no? I encourage you to think about the time you’ll need to apply for the jobs that REALLY excite you. Make a list, track your jobs, set reminders to follow-up with recruiters, change the status when you get rejected etc. Manage your job search the same way you manage a work project, set your daily priorities and keep track of your progress! Small steps bring big changes.
4. Embed your job search within your routine
I said “embed” it, not “make it your routine”. If “I’m applying to jobs” is the main way you reply to your friends, we have a problem, my friend! Make sure that you choose specific times in your calendar when you’ll be making applications, when you’ll reply to messages, work on self-education etc. I usually split my “creative” time with the more boring one accordingly to my energy levels. In the evenings when I’m tired I prefer to organise the list of jobs I’ll be applying, update the status or just learn a new skill, while in the morning I feel more energetic and inspired, so I use that time to draft cover letters or connect with people! Make sure you don’t have any distraction during this time and when the time is done, you are done as well!
5. Do every day one thing for yourself
Meditate, do yoga, exercise, read, eat. Just do something for yourself. Stick to one. For me sometimes it feels like reading and other times it feels like listening to music while I cook. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Time spent doing other things besides applying for a job can bring you a boost of energy and motivation to keep going.
6. Take advantage of this period of time
Imagine that this time opens new opportunities for learning. Even if you are financially pressured – what other options do you have that can bring you some incomes? Part-time jobs, working in a supermarket etc. There is one thing my parents taught me and that is: every single job is valuable. As long as you do not do anything immoral or illegal, there is nothing to be “ashamed” of. How can you take advantage of this period of time to experience other things? Jobs/Travelling/New hobbies?
7. Motivate yourself (your way)
Write down some affirmations, draw the best version of yourself, put inspiring quotes on all your walls or simply tell to yourself in the morning how amazing you are. Use this period of time as a self-development experience where you can learn how to behave differently with yourself. I know it’s hard to hear it so directly, but you are the only responsible for your happiness. We definitely cannot succeed in life without others, but it is up to us to get up in the morning and create the right environment to be at our best.
So start your day with this question: what are the opportunities I can create today for myself? In between today and the time you’ll get a job there are thousands of minutes and opportunities. Opportunities to meet new people, to learn new things, to experience life!
People who are flexible are the ones who are more willing to succeed, no matter the circumstances. And even though thinking about the future is important, the way you live the present is mainly how you’ll influence your future. Period.
Trust the universe! What really keeps me going is the deep belief that things will align in the best way for me. And so they will for you too. Trust that.
What would you add to the list? How are you enjoy life while looking for your next carer opportunity? I’d like to hear your stories!
Guest post courtesy of Andra Enache 🙏