Job-hunting is a real pain in the ass. It’s frustrating. It causes sleepless nights and anxiety. It’s inconsistent, as one day brings tons of results and communication, while other days are completely silent. But, unfortunately, we’ve all either had to (or will have to) go through the process at some point in our careers.
Since it’s important to maintain a level of calmness and balance when job-hunting, here’s how to take the stress out of it so you can focus on getting the best results, rather than just throwing a bunch of darts at the wall in hopes that something sticks. After all, you want a job you actually enjoy, not just something that’ll give you a paycheck and lead you down a dead end road.
Have Laser Focus While Job-Hunting
Instead of going to every job site under the sun, narrow your focus so you can concentrate on the best way to utilize your time. Remember, you can only control so much. This means sitting down and actually plotting out the job titles and companies you want to work for the most, giving yourself an opportunity to land the gig you’re really after.
Once you identify these job titles and companies, make sure you keep track of things by emailing notes to yourself every few days or at the end of the week to keep things organized. In fact, don’t be ashamed to put together a spreadsheet while job-hunting that can be your bible for where things stand, who you’ve talked with or emailed and what follow-up steps you should know. Be on top of your shit and you’ll get what you’re looking for.
Lean On Your Relationships
There was a time when I was embarrassed to always be reaching out to mentors and former colleagues, seemingly asking about jobs or help finding a job every year or so. I quickly got over that and realized that people are there to help — and actually want to — so don’t go in blind by job-hunting solo.
This means hitting up contacts on LinkedIn, letting people know that you’re looking for something new and are willing to pick their brains about different opportunities. Advertise yourself the right way by starting a conversation with people who trust you, have worked with you or know you best, because there’s a good chance they’ll be the ones who help you snag your next gig.
Ask Yourself What You Really Want
Job-hunting means reflection. You’re not going to get everything you want, of course, but you need to figure out how to blend your passions with your skills and experience to get a job that you won’t want to leave in a few months.
This is going to take some work on your part, writing down a few different jobs out there that might not be the highest-paying, but are most satisfying. Once you determine what it is you’re actually after, you can set up things like alerts on various job sites that only fit the description you’re looking for, which notify you of when an opportunity is available. That mean you’ll have more time to do a few other things, rather than get lost in the deep dark web searching nonstop.
Don’t Bother With The Generic Applications, Dig Deeper
If you see a job on a company’s website, before applying, dig a little bit deeper to see if you can actually stand out. This means seeing if there’s a name of the job poster attached to the position, then blindly searching LinkedIn for that HR person at the specific company to connect with and message.
Hate to say it, but job-hunting’s a lot like online dating, where you’ve got to go a step further in order to get what you want. Be creative. Be unique. Sell yourself. ‘Cause if you’re doing the same shit everyone else is, you’re not doing enough.
Be Kind AF To Yourself While Job-Hunting
We all know the impact that job-hunting can have on a person’s psyche. It can cause depression. It can make a person feel worthless. It can be exhausting when there’s absolute silence after spending hours applying. For this reason, it’s important to be kind to yourself, understanding that, while it’s important to have a routine while looking for a job, you need to treat yourself to avoid absolute insanity.
Stick to a routine each day, starting your day as you would if you were going into an office each day. Job search and apply till lunchtime, then take a couple hours to go workout or spend some time doing a hobby to pass the time and give your brain a break. More importantly, avoid checking email while you’re “off,” because this is your time to enjoy being unemployed a little bit.
Once you’re back from your little siesta, get back to work by tracking your progress, following-up with people through email or on LinkedIn, and spending some time after hours opening new tabs of jobs you’re interested in applying to the following day. Sure, you’re stressed AF about getting some income, but worrying about money shouldn’t absolutely consume you — so take some time for yourself.