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Stop Pulling Your Hair Out During Your Job Search

If you're currently a job seeker, then I'm sure you've heard the phrase "if you’re serious about looking for a job, then you need to make a job out of it!" There’s a bit truth in this but are we talking about a full-time job? part-time? overnight shift? Depending on your motivation for finding a new job, you can easily exhaust yourself and become discouraged. This is the wrong state of mind to have during this process as it can make you jaded and sloppy when completing applications. It is not the amount of time you spend but the quality of the time you spend in your job search that will make it effective. Check out these tips to approach your job search with clarity and less anxiety:

1. Know your ultimate goal

This is the most important part of your job search! If you’re not clear on what you need or where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Knowing your primary job search goal will allow you to utilize the best techniques to achieve what you’re looking for. The most common job search goals are:

  • Fill an unemployment gap (No longer be unemployed)

  • Make a specific salary

  • Make a supplemental income (make extra cash)

  • Work in a specific position or career field

2. Pick a target and shoot at it

Now that you are clear on your purpose for your job search, you need to determine a specific job titles to apply for. For example, if you want your primary tasks to be coordinating events, then you want to apply for “Event Coordinator” or “Conference Planner” jobs. Applying to “Office Coordinator” where you might be associated with an event is a waste of time. Perhaps the most unfruitful approach you can take is to apply to everything you see that you “might” qualify for or “sort-of” accomplish your goals. Doing this will guarantee you frustration and discouragement. Instead look at your job search like shooting darts. If you have 8 darts in your hand and you throw them all at the same time, you more than likely AREN’T going to hit ANYTHING much less hit your target. However, if you take one dart at a time and aim at your target, then you’re more than likely to it hit.

3. Create a list of non-negotiables

Just because you’re in a position of need doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have standards. You have a say so in your job search! Before you even start looking, create a list of things that you are not willing to compromise on. Therefore, when you're evaluating a job description and see that the job is 30 miles from your house when it’s really important for you to have a 20-minute commute, move on. Applying for jobs that have a quality on your non-negotiables list will only make you miserable after you’ve been hired.

Rule of thumb though for this one – There is no such thing as a perfect job! Therefore, having a list of 18 items will ensure you have a long drawn out job search because that company/position probably doesn't exist. It’s also important that you leave a little wiggle room. For example, if you are looking for a salary of $50k annually and you find a great job that pays $48k, it’s okay to compromise if all other aspects line up. Pick no more than three non-negotiables.

Here are my non-negotiables:

  • The company must focus on employee growth, training, and work/life balance

  • The commute should be an hour or less. If it’s an hour, there should be work from home opportunities

  • There should be an opportunity for me to lead projects and share my ideas

The job search process should be a motivating process since you are transitioning into something new. This is also an opportunity to assess your skills/attributes and be proud of the work you’ve done so far. Follow these tips to position yourself in the best position to connect with employers. Patience is the foundation that makes all of this work.

Not sure where to even start with your career? It may be time to invest in career coaching. Learn more about my career coaching package here.

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