ZEN AND THE ART OF JOB HUNTING

Interviewing is not for the faint of heart. It’s easy to see why some people stay in jobs that they hate for so long. After all, the process of finding a new one, if you’re being strategic and mindful about it, is beyond challenging. I envy anyone with the sheer willpower to just let go and have no attachment around the outcome, but I haven’t met that person yet!

I’m in a strange new city, looking for a job in weird time of year. The good news, there is a ton of opportunity. The bad news, it can take awhile to unearth from the thousands of job boards and networking conversations; some companies move quickly, others do not. I’m past the point of taking any job offered simply because the economy sucks and I have no experience, and that is an awesome feeling! I have some amazing experience under my belt now thanks to the companies I worked with in NYC and I want to find the right fit, something that I can stick with for the long run, that helps me grow and that I can positively contribute to the growth of. Sounds like a cover letter, don’t get me started…

That being said, it’s still a rough process and I’ve done a ton of research and want to share a few recommendations to hopefully keep you from totally freaking out and losing your cool. Afterall, I know best of all that if you’re a person that attempts to stay balanced this can be a rough time.

Let’s talk for a minute about energy.  Energy is the output of your efforts, and while you job hunt there is a lot of energy expended, both mentally and physically. I remember when I used to be an actor and right before the curtain rose, no matter how tired I was, suddenly I had the energy of a 3-year old and I could do anything. After the show I was still buzzing and then eventually crashed. Interviewing is much like this. It takes a ton of focus and endurance to research, then go to an interview and convince strangers that you are a good fit. When you’re done the high kind of wears off and it’s back to the drawing board.  My advice? Attempt to keep energy from flying out of control, avoiding huge swings when possible. When the body senses this stress and anticipation it can be very draining to the central nervous and endocrine system. Check out this graphic from Healthline for full scope of stress on the body.

Try: Meditate and or exercise daily. Make the time for breathe and movement for at least 15 minutes, starting your body in neutral, rather than immediately jumping in, answering emails and scheduling the day will give you a jump on the stress.

Don’t take it personally– It can be so hard to disconnect the opportunity from yourself. My husband  gave me this advice, he’s the king of not taking it personally. He can brush stuff off like no one I’ve ever met, and as a result, he creates great opportunities and moves on from those that don’t happen, even if he’s put a lot of energy in.

Try: We often have no control of what’s happening on the other end with potential employers, things can change in a second, resources are cut, roles shift, etc. While you can’t control everything that happens in the process, J of JobJenny.com, recommends writing down what you can control. Maybe you can reach out to someone at your dream company through another friend or contact, learn more ways to use Linkedin to help in the job search or take a Udemy course to gain a skill that you may not currently have.

Continue to live– Don’t drive yourself crazy with 24 hour stress around the job hunt. I have days that are amazing and I’m inspired and days that I concede that I will never find the perfect job (lol, really??). Sending 30 resumes a day is not conducive to good work or sanity. Keep it in perspective, enjoy weekends and take breaks. Just think, this may be the only time off you get for awhile, might as well enjoy it!

Try: I read somewhere (sorry person who said this) that it’s best to take 3 days off for every 30 days of job hunting it’s best to take time off to reset and allow the body, mind and job boards to reset so you’ll be ready to get back to work when you return.

Learn something– Take this time to dive in deeper to something that you are passionate about or feel would aid you in getting your dream role.

Try: Check out Udemy for a ton of awesome online courses. I’ve been working on an awesome Copywriting course and a yoga course with Sadie Nardini, so much fun!

Be clear on what you want– This may be the hardest one, especially for the mindful among us. We want to help the World, we want to make an impact, but we’d also like to make enough money to eat organic food. Be clear on what your minimum is and let it go if that isn’t met. Ladies, I’m talking to you especially, I’m not a feminist, but my work experience thus far makes me think that the income disparity between sexes is a real thing and it’s important that we ask for what we want. Don’t know what you want yet? That’s ok, no one fully does, but don’t get to far afield from the skills and passion that you possess.

Try: Research and ask others in the same field what there experiences have been, what their salary range is and what skills you may need to add.

Don’t be afraid to reach out- Ok, I’ll admit I’m pretty ballsy when it comes to communicating. I’m not afraid to ask for favors and even cold call on Linkedin, and it’s proving to work in my favor. Think of it this way, what is the worse thing that can happen? Someone may say no, or not reply? Oh well, move on! No one will find you if they don’t know you’re out there!

Try: This tip also relates to reaching out to people you know and trust to give advice and possible talk you off the ledge. I’ve worked with amazing career and life coaches who can really be an excellent support system and are totally worth the investment! I highly recommend my coach Jeanne, check her out!

Don’t compare! Oh the dreaded comparison game. Just don’t do it! You are you and they are not you, so why bother comparing. Take your path and stick with it, don’t look side to side.

One final note, The Muse has been an amazing resource for me! They provide a ton of content for job seekers and beyond in a really well curated format. Seriously so good, check it out!

That’s all for now. Hang in there job hunting friends and try to stay sane, stay positive, drink water, and get outside! Find the job of your dreams and never settle!

P.S. Can I please share how excited I am that its January and I’m in a sleeveless top hiking through amazing forests (see photo above for proof)??!!

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