One of the things we often talk about when explaining Connor’s Outplacement support to new customers is that, for us, it’s personal. This means that as well as offering practical experience and tips to help you secure your next role faster, we recognise the emotional impact of job searching and know it is just as important to support people through that as well. Right now, that means helping people stay positive in a tough job market, so here are our top tips for boosting your emotional resilience during your job search.
1. Resist the urge to spend all your time on your job search
The more time you spend on your job search the quicker you’ll find something, right? Well, not necessarily. It’s about spending quality time on your tasks, not all of your time. It’s unlikely you would be productive for every minute of your working day, so why would your job search be any different? Rather than sitting at your laptop for hours on end getting frustrated with yourself for being easily distracted and feeling like you aren’t making progress, give yourself regular breaks or days off and then make sure the time you do spend is truly productive.
2. Have a realistic plan for your week
By committing a plan to paper you are more likely to complete the actions you set out. Work out when you work best and plan your activity around this. Not really a morning person? Maybe 9am on a Monday isn’t the best time to begin a major re-write of your CV. By setting yourself realistic expectations and playing to your strengths you are more likely to succeed, and find it less frustrating along the way.
3. Give yourself a regular end of week appraisal
Reviewing our progress or performance is a healthy way to evaluate what has worked well, what might not have gone so well, and how you might want to change your plan going forward. The same approach can be applied to your job search. Each week review your progress against your plan and make sure you give as much focus to what went well or progress you made as what didn’t go so well.
4. Celebrate the small wins
You probably have one clear goal at the moment – to secure another role. Try to break down your end goal down into smaller steps and celebrate these achievements as well. Have you updated and improved your CV this week? Well done! Celebrate it. Have you tackled a particularly daunting conversation with a network contact? Well done! Treat yourself. By creating smaller milestones to measure your progress you not only break your task down into more manageable chunks, you also get a buzz along the way and feel like you have earned your rewards as you progress, whether that’s watching an episode of your favourite TV show or having an impromptu Thursday night takeaway.
5. Do something else productive with your time
Is there a new hobby you have always wanted to take up, or a project around the house you have been wanting to complete for ages? Now might be the time to do it. Feelings of achievement and accomplishment don’t just have to come from your job search activity, and if your job search is taking longer than you anticipated this can really help with staying positive. It also gives you something else to talk about in your interviews when asked, “what have you been doing since you left your last role?”
6. Replicate the social interaction of work
Job searching can be a lonely task. If you’re someone that thrives off interaction with others, make sure this is considered in your weekly plan. Schedule a phone call with a friend, or if there is someone else working in your house plan a coffee break together. As well as enjoying the social interaction, it’s good to be reminded of the wider world at a time when your introspective job search activities might feel all-consuming.
7. Acknowledge your feelings and give them the space they need
It’s ok to have an off day. You may be mourning the loss of your old job, or feeling frustrated by not hearing back from your dream job application. Ignoring these feelings won’t make them go away; try writing them down to help you identify and explore them. It’s only through doing this that you will be able to move through that emotional state and get back to productivity and optimism.
8. Ask for help when you need it
Sometimes we just get stuck and need some outside help. That might be in the form of a friend reminding you what they value about you, or a former colleague telling you what you are good at. You might feel that your CV just isn’t hitting the mark and you don’t know what to do about it. Or you might find that you can’t shift the dark cloud above your head and need to speak to someone about it. Wherever you are on your journey, remember it is always okay to ask for help.
Connor’s personal approach to outplacement means we are there every step of the way during your job search, for as long as it takes. To find out more about how Connor can support you and your organisation, click here.