Career Advice

4 Steps To Taming The Job Search Beast

From the time I was young to my current entrepreneurial endeavor, I have wrestled with worry.

I found that my greatest worries rarely materialize, and the time I spend fixated on the problems – versus working out solutions – is wasted. As such, over the years I have retrained myself to focus on action over agonizing. The same holds true for job seekers: invest your time, energy and angst on the solution, living IN the moment to achieve goals versus agonizing and hand-wringing.

Here are four steps to taming job search worries so you can build some positive momentum:

1. Find an Emotional Outlet:

Whether you face a job search following a termination, or you simply quit your current employer, you must promptly seek an outlet to express grief, anger, shock, fear or sadness.

Akin to the residue of death or divorce, job-loss emotions are palpable, and ignoring them will infect your search with negativity, repelling job opportunities. Vent to your spouse or best friend, join a job loss support group or seek out a career counselor or coach trained in managing the sentiments of job loss; you MUST not “go it alone.”

2. Claim Your Office:

No fudging, such as carrying your laptop over to the cushy sofa, blending job-search activities with munching chips, drinking soda and watching “The Morning Show.”

Instead, find a nook in the kitchen, a desk in a spare bedroom or a section of your finished basement – and then nest: design an office space in which you are committed to performing all job-search activities. Consider your job search “a job,” and establish a schedule and professional environment that mirrors activities, contributions and goals at your future company.

Create structure, including a combination of interactive and introspective activities. Close your office at an appropriate time to rest and rejuvenate. Arise, shower, dress and be at your desk by 8:30 a.m.

3. Strategize Your Career Message:

The resume often is considered the first practical step toward executing a job search, and I agree! However, misperceptions around the process abound.

A resume is a critical, strategic marketing document that relies upon reflection, introspection and vision to fuel it with meaningful, targeted and compelling content. Many job seekers rush through resume building thinking they will speed up their search. Instead, they actually LOSE valuable time by creating a lackluster and unfocused message that absolutely fails and is tossed into the hiring manager’s “NO” pile. In today’s highly competitive market, there is no room for bland, lifeless career messaging.

As such, what may initially feel like a protracted career development process will actually shorten the time – often by weeks or months — to the job-landing finish line.

4. Articulate and Execute Your Plan:

Construct a written plan for leveraging your career resume to fuel networking, interview and job-cinching conversations. Within this, include research that taps into LinkedIn, Twitter and other resources to locate and network with target companies. Investigate for information on salaries, company reviews, interviews, etc., to further ferret out best fit organizations and strategies to entry. Begin selectively sharing your career solutions message.

These practical and actionable steps stamp out stresses and worries inherent in a job search. Though some stress is needed to propel you to action and make good decisions, equipping yourself with tools and tactics helps funnel that stress toward your goals, creating forward movement, and ultimately, landing you that next great gig!