Job searching can be a drag: 5 tips to make it more interesting and successful
Is looking for a job getting boring? Going through job descriptions that ask for everything under the sun, adjusting your resume so you are everything an employer is asking for, always writing a new and ‘exciting’ cover letter – after a couple of weeks the job search can feel monotonous, especially if you have yet to receive a call back.
I know this feeling well. Out of job searching frustration, I was once going to start a blog called 80 Resumes. Just for kicks, I thought I’d post the jobs I’d applied to, and chronicle what seemed like a long and arduous process.
Before publicly detailing my woes in the 80 Resumes blog, I decided to try a new approach to searching. . My new approach was to create a plan with achievable goals. This was a highly productive decision, and I found that what once seemed monotonous and discouraging, was no longer so boring. It was/is possible to turn it all around and feel like you’re progressing in your search even on the days you may think to yourself ‘this is never going to end’.
Job searching is a job. Like at any job, doing some of the same tasks day in, day out can get a bit dry. Recently I re-read an older post on the New York Times website called ‘One Role, With 10,00 Variations’. The article, written by an actress who had been in the same off-broadway play for 25 years, discussed how anyone doing a repetitive job can always make it more interesting.
It’s true; the mundane – with a little twist – can be amazing (and hopefully land you a job).
It is all a matter of perspective – and switching things up a bit. Changing your perspective can change your mood about the search, and it always seems like when you change your approach things start falling into place.
Just before starting what might have been a very ranty blog I created a my new plan and outlined goals. The plan didn’t have concrete deadlines like: get a new job by this date. I refrained from those types of requirements in case that date came and went without a new job offer. I didn’t want my new plan to set me up for failure. The point of this was to approach the search with a new and positive perspective.
So my plan included goals like:
- Contact a certain number of people a week or every other week.
- Set up a certain number of information interviews per month.
- Collect more contacts from people you’ve met.
- Apply to a certain number of posting a week or every other week, if you do in fact fit the bill.
- Write cover letters that you’d like to read, while highlighting your appropriate qualifications.
Once it was mapped out I was able track my progress, and it actually became fun. It also helped to give my search some direction, and I could look back on what I’d accomplished the previous week, and tweak my approach to keep things a little more interesting.
One job search, five new steps, and the mundane was transformed into (almost) amazing.