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Embracing the Job Search

Job hunting stinks. There’s almost nothing fun about it. Yet to be most successful it must be endured – in fact, embraced with fervor! How do you rev yourself up for a task you don’t enjoy? Maybe some or even all of these strategies will work for you:

  • Visualize the end result. Every day, before you start your job search activities, imagine yourself in your new dream job – what you’ll be doing, how you’ll be feeling, how it will differ from your last job or your current unemployment. With your “eyes on the prize,” you’ll feel much more enthusiastic about what you need to go through to get there.
  • Make a to-do-list. For some people, there’s nothing more satisfying than checking off items accomplished. Start each day with an ambitious yet realistic list of activities, and check them off as you complete them. At the end of the day, you can bask in a feeling of accomplishment even if you didn’t (yet) land your new job.
  • Do the tough stuff first. What do you hate to do most? Call network contacts, write cover letters, research companies, refresh your resume, refine your elevator pitch? Whatever it is, get the elephant out of the way by doing that first. Everything else will seem much easier.
  • Vary your activities. Moving from one task to another rather than remaining rooted all day will give you fresh perspectives and change your energy level.
  • Reward yourself. Don’t be too easy on yourself, but when you’ve accomplished a certain number of tasks or persevered through a difficult assignment, give yourself a tangible reward. You’ve earned it! Try not to make it food too often, though, or you’ll have to double up your efforts on the next item.
  • Get some exercise. Regular exercise makes you feel healthier, stronger, happier, and more optimistic. Build gym time or outdoor activities into your life a least four to five times a week. It can be one of the most energizing and important parts of your day.
  • Build a support network. We all need to vent from time to time, and a sympathetic ear and supportive shoulder can make the world of difference. Your network ideally should include people who are savvy about your professional aspirations and the business world in which you operate. Not only can they give you genuine help and support, they can serve as a sounding board and sometimes a devil’s advocate. You should have complete trust in your inner circle.

Finally, recognize when/if you get stuck and have resources to help pull you out. While you can expect some emotional ups and downs, if you find you are seriously depressed or unable to make any progress, don’t wallow too long. A counselor or coach might be the perfect addition to your inner circle.

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