The Emotional Rollercoaster of Job Searching
Looking for a job today in this volatile economy can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. There are days where things seem to go right and then there are those days where you just want to crawl back in bed. In the workshops that I have conducted this behavior is very apparent and is usually driven by the fact that the job seeker has no plan on how to attack each day. With no plan you can’t have a sense of accomplishment. Over time this type of behavior wears you down and affects your motivation. Let’s take the phrase “job search” and what does that mean. Well you’re looking for a job; to me this mindset is all wrong. You can’t land your next job and expect to get it just by looking for it, submitting your resume, and hoping you get the call. This formula does not work and causes a lot of stress.
You need to have a PLAN! Those who “Fail to Plan” “Plan to Fail.” First, I want to change your mindset on how you look for work. We are no longer going to call it ” a job search” but “Employment Warfare.” That’s right it’s Warfare! If you are going to get that dream job, you’re going to have to “One Up” the next guy and hold nothing back. You have to have a plan. Having a plan allows you to set short-term and long-term goals. As you hit each short-term goal (lets call this a win) it gives you a sense that you are making progress toward landing that position. This mindset is the fuel that keeps your motivation high.
Understand this; you must stay motivated throughout your day. Job seeking is full of rejections; people forgetting to call you back, and you will definitely have dead ends, but you have to remain focused and true to your plan. Having a plan helps you avoid the rollercoaster of emotions. A plan can be modified if needed; however, those who stick to their plan will definitely out perform those who try to “wing it” each day.
In designing a job search (attack plan) you must include setting specific and attainable goals, daily and weekly. Give yourself action steps to take each and every day and a method to track your progress. Having an action plan will provide you motivation as you complete steps that will get your closer to that dream job.
Here is an example on how you should structure your plan so you can avoid the pitfalls of not feeling that you did not accomplish anything today.
- I always tell people to get dressed. Wear business casual as if you were going to work, because this is a job and you need to put in the same effort as you if you were going to work. This will help put you in the right mindset and help keep you focused.
- Start your day with a good breakfast to energize the brain.
- Spend only 20% of your day looking at job boards; (that equates to about 2 hours every day) the other 80% will be spent on networking, working on your resume, cover letters, research, your LinkedIn profile and your digital footprint.
- Once you found a position, now it’s time to build your portfolio for that position: (Having a portfolio will help you stand out from your peers (your competition)
- Resume (targeted for each position you apply for)
- Cover letter (should be sent with every resume and addressed to an individual)
- LinkedIn profile (100% Complete )
- Your digital footprint (What does your digital footprint say about you?)
- Any other websites that you have a presence on.
- Research information on the company (products, services, mission statement, who is their competition)
- Informational interview (no more than 30 minutes for a meeting)
- Networking (who can I connect with to get more information)
- Now it’s time to develop your roadmap to success. Take the time and prioritize what your attack plan looks like each day. By following this thought process you will accomplish more each day, in turn it will fuel your motivation to keep you moving forward and help you overcome those feelings of despair.
If you have any additional comments, feel free to leave those for others to share.