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Entropy and Job Search

In the final throes of building a new home, my husband and I are beset by countless things to do, remember, follow up on, buy, return, decide, etc. This often results in one of us waking in the middle of the night as another “thing to do” pops to the surface of our befuddled minds. Of course, this drives the sleeping spouse crazy! Last night I commented on my husband’s energy level… and he, the engineer, corrected me. “It’s not energy,” he said, “it’s entropy.”

For those of you not up on the laws of thermodynamics, entropy is “energy that is not available for work” – in other words, wasted energy… exemplified by lying awake worrying about stuff you can’t control!

Is your job search “entropied” rather than “energized”? Do you spend a lot of time on nonproductive activities, expending energy without achieving results? The answer is “yes” if the following makes up the bulk of your activities:

  • Reviewing countless online job ads and replying to any and every one that is remotely a fit
  • Netsurfing for hours on end without a specific purpose and without gathering much useful information
  • Attending countless networking events without a clear plan, goal, and follow-up strategy
  • Talking to everyone you know about your job search without giving them a clear idea of how they can help you

If this describes you, it’s time to get energized! Establish a clear goal and map out the steps to achieve it. Have a purpose for each activity. Don’t do just “anything,” do something productive, and be sure you do the necessary prep work so you are getting the most out of every action.

Career transition is never easy, and it can be anxiety-provoking. With a purposeful, energetic approach, you’ll not only make faster progress, you’ll keep the anxiety under control. You might even get a good night’s sleep.

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