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6 Tips to Escape Job Search Paralysis

The concept of being “snowed under” feels very real to me this week, as we in Boston are looking at nearly 6 feet of snow in the past few weeks! As evidenced by the photo of my back deck, the snow keeps piling up and movement becomes impossible.

You may feel that way about your job search: There’s so much you should be doing, where do you start? And when you get bogged down, how do you re-start that forward motion? The following tips will help.

Start with a goal and a plan: a path toward your goal. Of course, your goal might change and a path may be a dead end. But begin with a clear destination in mind and you’ll find it easier to chart out the steps to reach it. And be specific about it. “A new job” is not specific. “A new VP of Sales job” is a tiny bit better, but think how much easier it is to figure out your path when you aim for “VP of Sales at a consumer goods company that wants to expand to new international markets.” Immediately you can start making lists of potential companies and looking for contacts there.

Create a manageable to-do list. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t “get a new job” if that’s the only thing on your list of daily action items! “Call Chris about industry trends” or “research XYZ Company” or “send updated resume to recruiter contact” – you can do all of those things quite easily.

Do something every day. Even if it’s a tiny thing, make some progress on a task or toward a goal. It’s immensely satisfying to have accomplished something, and even if it’s small, it still needs to be done. And often you’ll find that completing one task leads you to another and your tally of daily achievements grows. So … start!

Talk to a friendly contact. It can feel intimidating to reach out to people you don’t know, so start first with someone you do know – someone you like and respect, someone who wants the best for you and is inclined to help. Do follow rules of good networking (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/news-flash-your-network-wants-help-louise-kursmark?trk=prof-post) and make the conversation worthwhile – for you and for your contact.

Write a resume that makes you look like a perfect candidate for your dream job. Your resume is the foundation for all of your job search communications, so start with a well-written, sharply focused document that positions you for exactly where you want to go. (Of course I recommend that you work with a professional resume writer!)

Have a blizzard party. Every now and then, throw all the good advice to the winds and do something crazy, fun, or unpredictable. As long as you don’t overdo it, you should feel refreshed and energized when you get back on track the next day.

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