Looking for a job can be one of the most overwhelming and frustrating real world experiences, especially if you’re currently not employed due to COVID-19. The good news? Anyone who is currently employed has experienced the job search, can totally relate, and hopefully wants to pay forward any lessons they’ve learned.
Whether you’re looking for your first job, or your fifth, it’s a draining process and one that be really lonely – here are a few tips from our team to help you stay motivated throughout the job search (and remember, there are SO many other people who know what you’re going through):
1. Shout it from the rooftops – This is where first-time job seekers or those who are currently unemployed have the advantage, no searching in secret. Tell anyone who will listen (or who you can tell) about the dream role you’re looking for, this even includes posting on LinkedIn (if appropriate). You never know who will come out of the woodwork with an amazing opening or networking opportunity!
2. Soul Search – Use this time to think about what you actually want! Journal, meditate, manifest, whatever method you choose – knowing what you’re looking for will only help you sell yourself as their perfect candidate, and make sure that the job you get is the one you’re excited about! It doesn’t have to be the dream job, as long as it’s the right one for right now.
3. Keep busy – Having a current project to speak to will only help you throughout the interview process. Pursuing a passion project counts (think, becoming a yoga instructor, learning about wine, helping out in the local community, or freelancing)! Plus, looking for and applying for jobs for 8 hours a day is a guaranteed path to burn out – add some “fun” work to your routine to stay fresh and focused.
4. Ask for advice, not a job – A wise man told me, “Ask for a job, and you get advice. Ask for advice, and you get a job.” It’s never proven me wrong. Ask a mentor, an industry-leader, or a hiring manager for a few minutes of their time, prepare for the conversation with tons of questions about their work, role, and team, and you may just find yourself presented with an opportunity. A HUGE percentage of jobs are never posted and are filled by someone the team already knows, so who knows you? Ask them for advice!
5. Trust the process – This is the hardest one by far. Que sera, sera. If a job is meant to be, it will be. You never know who else is in the running, what the company is really looking for, and how you measure up – all you can do is focus on yourself and your future. How to know it’s not meant to be? Red flags look like: 1. any form of making you uncomfortable (outside of normal interview nerves), 2. awkward questions about your personal life, background, or living situation, 3. things get weird when you ask about growth in the role, negotiation, or salary, 4. non-answer answers to questions about culture and the company’s leadership or future direction.
6. Stay afloat – Aside from staying busy and staying positive, it helps to stay organized! Keep an Airtable with each job title and description, any links to the company’s website, connections who work there, your application date, and links to your supplemental cover letter or application materials. Create a set of tags for each entry to correlate with each step of the process (applied, phone screen, first round, second round, project due, etc) and add in any feedback received along the way!
We’re here rooting for you every step of the way! For more guidance, check out our job search playbook at app.realworldplaybook.com.