It feels like everything is raining down upon you all at once, and the deluge is both awesome and without end! The flood is filled with job postings, cold-calls, rumours, truths, moments of doubt, moments of excitement, sadness, resume revisions, cover letters, wrong addresses, right address but for the wrong resume, and of course Resume Critiques– critiques from friends, from family, your beloved ES, your sharply dressed ESC, and your terminally unemployed Cousin Larry, who knows everything.
One of the most commonly unknown barriers to employment is the way one presents themselves as the result of anxiety caused by not organising their job search schedule. If you are in any way frustrated by all of the many tasks associated with job search, then it stands to reason that if you get an interview or any kind of potentially useful networking activity, you stand to lose that opportunity by not presenting yourself well- looking woefully unsure, negative, and wracked by tension. This stress is caused by all of the tasks you need to do- cluttered in an uneven pile floating above your subconscious like a menacing raincloud about to burst.
It’s really not surprising to feel anxious if you are job searching the way you are supposed to. A proper and complete job search includes, but is not limited to, constant resume revision, labour market research, company research, networking, cold-calls, drop-ins, social media dalliance, the constant composition of cover letters, employer pitches, 30 Second Commercials, applications to positions you want and don’t really want, and attendance at every potential employer related function possible. And last, but certainly not least- targeted resumes for every employer you connect with- which should amount from anywhere between 5 and 10 per day as a minimum. With all this, job seeking is a full-time job and to extend that well-worn cliché even further, every job brings with it a certain amount of stress.
The good news is that the answer to this grief is simple and easy! The best technique to removing the ambiguity of so many looming duties is to organise your week. That’s right- Monday to Saturday- each of those days broken into three sections; morning, afternoon, and evening. This allows you to set tangible goals so that you know what needs to be done, what has been done, and what needs to be followed up. This allows you at the end of the week to relish in what you have accomplished, even if you are not yet employed. It allows you a clearer focus- “I don’t cold call well in the afternoons…” – perhaps that’s why you do that activity Tuesday and Thursday mornings. By setting up fully-filled days based upon your energy levels and other personal responsibilities, it also permits you good reason to reward yourself. Compartmentalization allows you to remove the burden caused by an ambiguous plan that in a single glance is over-whelming. Smaller, shorter tasks seem less daunting- and they are. Best of all, if you aren’t doing anything, you will quickly see that and hopefully modify your job search efforts; avoiding your Employment Specialist’s need to call you in for a “small chat”.
Organising your storm clouds is easy, and once the clouds are put into different skies, the sunlight begins to find its way through. Lastly, because job search by its nature is consistently filled with rejection, rewards are a definite given if you complete the tasks you have assigned yourself. You need to stay positive so keep your rewards healthy! Exercise and walk, ride swings at the park, see a HAMILTON TICATS GAME, fill water balloons with Goji berries, or watch a favourite movie; these are all worthy rewards if you have filled your days with a job search that was given clear focus and a 110% effort.
Need a movie idea? Ask your Cousin Larry, his favourite movie is THE NOTEBOOK– he knows everything. And he always has…
Written by Jason Douglas Smith