The job search in and of itself is a job! It requires commitment in time and mental efforts: scheduling your calendar to reflect the job search, connecting with your network, writing emails, drafting your documents to send to possible employers, and the list continues. The time you spend to nourish yourself during your efforts to find and secure a job will only add to the process and provide perspective, reason and a positive space to help you remain committed until you land your dream job!
Taking care of yourself during the job search is about creating a positive space for the search. Your positive outlook and the time you create for self-care are synonymous. Not having an established self-care practice, you may learn to go without, causing mental or emotional burnout. Having a positive, growth mindset (the optimistic potential of ‘yet’) around the job search, you are open to continuous learning and growth. In this case, we’re talking about learning to give yourself attention outside of the job search to connect with YOU. To learn more about strengthening your mental game, ALV Co-Founder Katie Bennett shares the power of the Mind Diet here.
Let’s get started now with some ideas on how to kick your self-care into gear:
Define your self-care
Self-care looks and feels different for everyone. While the concept of self-care can be incorporated into every aspect of your daily routine, create time within your job search schedule to take mindful breaks that are considered “you time.” This may be a brief walk outside, surrounding yourself by nature, watching a Ted talk (I really love this one here!), or a one-hour break to read an inspirational book (or a combination of the two – go take your book outside!). This is your time to recharge and stay in a positive headspace during the job search. Additionally, what can you change about your job search routine? Instead of sinking hours and hours behind your computer screen, change your scene while keeping your network in mind: invite a friend to coffee or meet someone for an informational interview at one of your favorite lunch spots.
Seek the truth within and have support around
You are the most important part of your job search process. Staying true to yourself during this time will also allow you to stay committed to the job opportunities truly suited for you and your purpose. But you are not in this alone! Keep close to those who know your talents and strengths. Searching, applying, and interviewing for jobs can be long and disheartening at times. You may have moments where you question your self-worth and abilities. You might even forget what you have accomplished. Having people who know what you can do and how you add value will encourage you. They will remind you of all that you have to offer. In my past job searches, I have had a job-hunting accountability partner. This is someone you can turn to when the search is arduous and who also rightfully cheers you on to celebrate victories such as getting a call back from a company for an interview. Leaning on support during this time will keep you committed to your search and may, in fact, encourage you to recognize yourself even more, by focusing on your own strengths and taking ownership of the process.
Celebrate your wins: treat yourself
Celebrate your wins, whether big or small! The job search can be draining and at times defeating, so it is important to recognize little wins, whether it be a call back for an interview, or even just your effort and time commitment to the process. Have fun with this! Develop weekly and monthly job search goals and include rewards when reaching those goals. Maybe the weekly goal is to connect and meet with two individuals in your industry. My clients notice that when creating and reaching goals each week, they have increased motivation to stay committed to the process, while also shining a light on how they are showing up for themselves and doing the work, reward included!
Collect your thoughts and set intentions
Self-care really is about you! You are the witness to your mental, emotional and physical well-being. You know yourself best. Therefore, document your feelings and thoughts around the job search; what is working, what are the challenges and how are these challenges helping you and/or limiting you? Take these thoughts to a journal where you can then also reflect on “3 Good Things” that occurred in that day. This can be related to the job search (you tailored your resume to fit your dream job or you spent 1 hour every day this week researching companies). Remember that you are defining this process and it will look and feel how you want your job search to look. Ask yourself, “What is my intention today?” It may seem simple, but as you ask yourself this at the beginning of each day, it can help you create more space and compassion for yourself as you dig deeper in this process.
Visualize your outcome
Get clear on your wants and needs during and after this search. This will help support a positive mindset. I encourage you to visualize what you are looking for in a job and understand what excites you about the industry you are most interested in. It is important to get clear and have a vision-which aligns with the process of taking care of yourself! In order to help you visualize rocking the interview, securing the position, completing the work tasks, and walking into the office, look at these vision board ideas to get started. And while creating this vision, I recommend you listen to this great guided career meditation to imagine all that is possible for your career.
“You know yourself best”- my mantra to you as you explore and research job opportunities, network, interview and lean in to the entire process. Meet yourself wherever you are each day, continue to learn from yourself and those in your network, have fun and stay committed to this process – not only the job search process but having an established self-care practice. My intention is to support you in all ways with your job search, where we can explore how to create a positive space for your job search in the ALV Method Part 3 (Get That Job) program. If you are ready to align to your dream job and find methods that support your job search, schedule your free consult with me here.
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