4 Ways To Keep Your Sanity During a Job Search

Niya Allen-Vatel Certified Resume Writer

Whether you’re employed, unemployed, or underemployed, searching for a new career path can be frustrating, exhausting, and run on for months at a time. While manicures, massages, and bubble baths are great for self-care to manage emotions and stress, they won’t do anything to speed up your job search or make your career journey more successful so that you can avoid repeating the cycle months from now.

As a career transition and business coach, I’ve seen countless job seekers, side hustlers, and entrepreneurs stressed to the brink of insanity by their job dissatisfaction, without an outlet or a light at the end of the tunnel.

I hear, “Niya, how can you expect me not to worry? I have a mortgage and kids to take care of!” I get it. You want both stability and satisfaction, but you can’t just quit. For most of us, no job equals no money. This is the time to roll up your sleeves and get serious.

Despite what’s being thrown at you, don’t lose your head. Great ideas and opportunities aren’t born out of chaos, negative self-talk, or stress. You’ve got to stay sane so that you can move the needle in the right direction. Here are some tips for bringing order to the process.

CREATE A SUCCESS LIST

I’ve lived my life by to-do lists. They’re a great tool, but they seem to just get longer and longer. I would get excited by crossing things off the list, but found myself spending the entire day doing busy work and not accomplishing much. I have since switched over to daily success lists.

Inspired by Gary Keller’s book, “The One Thing,” I’ve learned that instead of creating a long to-do list of busy work, it’s better to write down 1-3 impactful things to accomplish in order to move your big-picture goals forward.

So, for example, if your goal is to revamp your résumé, do company research, or network virtually, you work on eliminating the distractions getting in the way of doing so. This will allow you to strategically move forward toward your goals without feeling overwhelmed.

REPEAT POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

When I hear people say, “No one is hiring…the job market is so bad right now,” I say, “STOP!” Words are powerful and will affect your actions. If you keep saying to yourself that no one is hiring, you’ll find yourself making excuses rather than following through with the actions on your success list. You have the power to create your environment and set your mind on success, not failure. These are some of my favorite affirmations: 

I am ready for my interviews. I am confident in my interviews. I am successful in my interviews. 

Career change is an opportunity to have the career I want. This time, I will choose a great career for myself! 

I committed to my happiness in this job search, and my determination will pay off! 

My résumé gets me interviews, and I show up to seal the deal!

WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER

It’s detrimental to your well-being and positive mindset to see a career search as a full-time job. Yes, you should have a routine and work on it every day, but be efficient. You can accomplish more, in less time, by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, having clarity about what you’re looking for, and completing strategic assignments that get you closer to achieving your dreams.

ACCOMPLISH A NON-WORK GOAL

You are more than a job and a salary. A career search is a great time to think about what you want to accomplish next. It could be anything from starting a new workout routine, to learning to knit, to taking a class, to writing that book you haven’t had the time to write. Do the things that will enhance you as a person, not just a job seeker.

Not only will having a non-work goal keep you busy, but it will fill you with a sense of fulfillment and enhance your brand. How? Employers want to hire well-rounded people who can contribute and impact the company’s culture. When asked in an interview to talk about yourself and what you do outside of work, you’ll be able to give an enticing answer.

SEEK HELP (BEYOND THE INTERNET)

If you’ve been going it alone and not getting the right results, you might be missing something, especially if you’ve been out of the job market for a number of years. Google can only do so much. Not every article you read is accurate or written by someone who is a certified professional.

If investing in a professional career advice isn’t in your budget, there are other ways to seek help. Visit your local career center, the library, or any association you may be a member of. Many certified coaches and résumé writers offer free workshops and support.

A feeling of desperation will cause you to make decisions that are detrimental to what you’re trying to accomplish. Keep your head in the game with these tips to accelerate your career fulfillment.

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