Your Job-Hunting Routine: Set Yourself up for Your Perfect Position
There’s no way to sugar coat this: for most of us, job-hunting is a marathon, a sprint. We need to draw upon our reserves of motivation, resilience and optimism. Building a job-hunting routine so that it becomes a natural part of your day or week is one way to make it easier for yourself. Focus on the process and not just the end goal.
This article is all about that: planning your job-hunting routine so that it is integrated in your life (and that of those around you, which can be just as important) until you need it no longer, and can move onto your next adventure.
We are going to asking ourselves a number of questions. Don’t worry about getting the correct answer. The correct answer is the one that is right for you. Be honest with yourself, and if there are any areas that you haven’t considered, give them some thought.
Finding Your Why
If you know why you are doing something, and that reason is important enough, then you are more likely to finish it. Your “why” helps build motivation. You may have moments or even days when you feel demoralised or just not in the mood, but our “why” will help us pick up that laptop and take action.
Of course, your why is to land yourself another job, but it goes further than that. Your why is why you want that job. It could be security for you and your family. Perhaps it’s a new start after years of doing something that left you feel a bit, well, meh. It could be that you believe you are already to step up the ladder and this has been the kick in the proverbial that you’ve needed to do just that.
A job is not just a job. A job can mean freedom, international travel (well, at some point) a new car, a new home, friends, and something to keep you interesting and feeling fulfilled.
Deciding on Your “When”
You might also want to consider when you will be working on your job-hunting When suits you? Is it getting up early in the morning so that the house is quiet? Or maybe you’re not really working at full speed until the afternoon and will schedule it in then. We all have times when we are at our most alert and energised. We tend to fall into something called chronotypes. Once upon a time we used to refer to night owls and morning arks, but now we know a lot more about our natural rhythms there are bears, dolphins and wolves too. You can find which chronotype you fit at https://amerisleep.com/blog/what-is-your-chronotype/ and this can help guide when you will feel you most alert.
Sometimes, however, you have no choice. Peace and quiet is another factor. When might you have a quiet time when you won’t be disturbed? If you’ll be juggling this with a job, home schooling or a course, you may even need to make yourself a good old-fashioned time-table.
Setting Your “How”
This is where you think about how you work best. If you’re now at home and used to being in an office, this may be a process of trial and error. Do you work best at a desk somewhere quiet? Or maybe you are able to get on with it in the thick of it all. How long are you going to spend each working session? It’s good to have a break every 90 minutes or you’ll find fatigue setting in and your output won’t be quite as sharp and polished.
How often? Perhaps a little every day suits you, or maybe you would rather set aside large chunks of time a few times each week, or ever Saturday if you are working. What would work best for you? What fits in with the people around you too?
Gathering Your “What”
What will you need around you when you work? Snacks, water, tea or coffee, and another layer in case you get chilly, all make sense, and stop you getting distracted when you get up.
I concentrate better if my phone on silent and put it somewhere I can’t see notifications. You can set an alarm and check it every 40 minutes or so if this makes you uncomfortable, or have responsibilities and need to be reachable.
A clever little trick is to build a little ritual that helps you get in the mood. Famous writers have their ow quirky rituals like sharpening their pencils or using a special pen to remind them that now is writing time. Anyone who has seen Rafael Nadal play tennis will know that he has a number of rituals to get him in the game, including drinking water and eating his energy gel in a certain order. Rituals get you in the right headspace for work. I tend to play film scores on Spotify to help quickly get me into the zone.
Choosing Your “Where”
Where you work is just as important as all the above. Of course, sometimes we don’t have a choice, but working in the same place every day – and keeping that separate – will once again help us get into the zone much quicker.
Finally, an important part of any project is thinking about what could go wrong. Do a risk assessment. What could distract you or interfere with your plans? It could be your Wi-Fi going down, your part time job asking you to work more hours…the list can go on and on.
You don’t have to get anxious or start making lists of anything and everything that could go wrong, but if there are one or two things that have happened in the past that could cause an issue, think now about how you can prepare for them and have a Plan B.
While the end goal is no doubt a fulfilling and well-paying job, we will feel much more motivated if we can reward ourselves, or at least celebrate, every time we hit a milestone. Treat yourself somehow (a walk, a cup of tea and a biscuit) when you’ve pressed submit rather than quickly move onto the next application. Acknowledge how much work and effort has gone into that application.
The life coaching culture encourages us to think on our big goals, and that’s good, but our lives our made up of small mundane moments – that steaming cup of earl grey in the morning before everyone is up, the chat with one of your neighbours while you are walking the dog, the naughty but nice bar of chocolate you allow yourself as a treat. If we ignore these moments and let them pass us by in pursuit of our end goals then we are missing out on so much. Remember to savour as you go.