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Body & Mind

Updated 06/04/2016

Accept it.  Job search is stressful.  You are either unhappy in your current job and looking for a way out or you are unemployed and in a big crunch to get cash flow going and benefits available.  Stress can create the opportunity for careless errors, create mental and/or physical problems all of which could have been avoided.  It happens so don't believe you are the only one experiencing this.

Maintain a Schedule

A job search can consume your life with countless hours before a computer and telephone with the belief if you cover more faster the sooner you land.  Yes, under pressure we think differently but not always correctly.  Maintain your normal work schedule that you did before.  Allow moring time for LinkedIn and Social Media to see if anything is happening you can leverage.  Do you searching for opportunities in the morning and respond to opportunities in the afternoon after some research.  Face it, everyone who is hiring is not going to meet the culture, location, work conditions, benefits coverage and salary range you need.

When you start getting tired, take a lunch break.  No engine can run full throttle for long periods of time and not run out of fuel or break down.   Make contacts you need in the afternoon, make plans for the next day, and move towards shutting things down for some rest and think time.  Being able to spend time with others helps prevent isolation and the opportunity to bounce ideas off others.  Keep things as normal as possible to allow your head and body time to get creative and feel confident in what you are doing so you are are set for the next day.  A job search is not your normal state but it is important to do well.  It is important but it should not consume your life.

Some who attend religious services may push these aside to get more search time in.  The many resources that a house of worship has internally or through external resources can help take some of the pressure your shoulders.  Always keep the faith; do not surrender it over a career transition. 

Take a Break

There are going to be points during the job search when you feel you have applied to every job and have made every possible call you can make yet still have no results to show for it. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed is normal and more likely than not, inevitable.  If you allow yourself to become a bundle of nerves, you might lash out or go overboard in your follow-up emails or calls, hurting your job prospects in the process. To succeed in your job search, you are going to have to learn that sometimes you need to take a break.  Put the laptop into Sleep mode.  Go outside and get some fresh air.  Hit the gym and relieve stress.  Watch a movie or old shows on TV.  Read a book.  Play a video game you loved.  Revisit times and activities you enjoyed to rejuvinate yourself and get your mind and body ready for the challenges ahead  Whatever you can do to get out of your funk will benefit you over the long haul as you deal with the boredom and repetitive nature of the job search. 

Be Good To Yourself

You can always blow a bundle of cash on something.  You can also find needed diversion and pleasure doing things that are rather reasonable, done in moderation, on a periodic basis.  You are on a roller coaster called Career Transition so expect some incredible highs and debilitating lows that may last seconds or weeks.  Managing your strength and emotions are essential as getting burned out or going into clinical depression is not good.  Get some food you like but have not had in some time.  Visit a place you have never been to that is local.  Consider going a half-day Sick Day and sleep in late.  Finding your "happy place" that you can revisit and keep you recharged physically and mentally is a key to crossing the finish line sooner.  Remember, you are your only employee and they need to help find you a job so keep them fit, healthy and in good mental and emotional health. 

Go Out with Friends

Sometimes you may feel embarrased about going out with friends being unemployed and not being able to eat at the fancy places you enjoyed for lunch.
One big thing to remember: Your friends often know your abilities best and can be a great team of cheerleaders, coaches and networking resources.  Friends are not a distraction, they are an asset willing to help you.

So what could they do to help me?

  1.  Help keep your social skills and energy high from period or regular
     contact.  Nothing like going to an interview after prepping with your

  2.  They can leverage their contacts to see what may be available and help
     promote you.

  3.  Contacts with them keep you from developing "computer eyes" with
     strange look.

  4.  They can remind you of skills and accomplishments you have for your
     Resume and social media presence including LinkedIn.

  5.  They can help pick you up after rejections or not hearing about the dream
     job you sought.

Is this fair to dump on your friends?  If they are good friends they will be happy to help.  And, of course, there is the "flip side" of this.  One day they will be where you are having the same concerns, worries, fears, uncertainty, self
doubt.  They will be hoping their friends can help them out in those time. Paying it forward is a marvelous thing. 

Whatever happens and however it happens, a career transition remains a difficult and emotioally trying part of your daily life and it may happen every 3.7 years.  Things happen for a reason and often people look back and realize the separation did them a big favor.  Learn to embrace the learning opportunities before you.  Save your work papers, contacts, resources and other work products you create.  These can shorten your time in career transition later and potentially help a good friend in the interim.  That is part of building true friendships, creating loyalty and paying it forward.