In the last year, I have succeeded in securing a new job twice. Both within three months, and miraculously, without direct experience in either. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m an expert, but I have been lucky enough to land on my feet twice and as a fellow keyboard-job-hunting-warrior, I know how exhausting the endless job search can be so I thought I’d share some of the key steps I took to find my new roles in the hopes they might help you too.
Step 1: Give yourself a break
Whether you are currently in a role (and hate it), or you’re unemployed (and broke), take it easy on yourself. In the moment, life can often feel weighted against us, but it’s really not. The perfect role will come your way when the time is right so try not to let stress get the better of you in the meantime. Be grateful for what you do have right now and the potential to create better in the future.
Step 2: Reflect
If I’ve learnt one thing in job hunting, it’s that being really, super-duper, crystal clear on what you are looking for, is essential. You might feel inclined to jump right on in there and start applying for everything and anything that feels remotely right but don’t. Taking a moment to reflect on where you have been to date and where you want to go in the future will reap huge dividends in the long run. In the worst instance, not doing this could result in you getting a new job, only to realise you hate that one too and the whole process starts again. You really don’t want to do that. Here are a few questions I ask myself:
What do I like most about my current/previous role?
What do I dislike most about my current/previous role?
What is most important to me in the new role?
What sort of culture am I looking for? (i.e. disruptive and fast-paced, places a high value on work-life balance)
What benefits are most important to me? (i.e. staff discount, work from home, extra holidays, etc)
Be sure to write this down somewhere safe so you can look back on it throughout the process.
Step 3: Set your intention
Reading books like Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod
and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
has really stressed to the importance and power of intention, and after employing this to secure my latest role, I’m definitely a believer. The key principle here is to decide you are going to get a new job and define the timeline for achieving it. The timeline is important as it prompts your mind to act and gives it a deadline to work towards. There are two methods I used to help me with intention:
- Best Self Journal – You could use any journal, but for me, Best Self worked best. At the very beginning, you are asked to write down your goal and the actions to achieving it. Then, there is a daily and weekly section to help keep your goal front of mind when planning your day and allow you to reflect on your progress every evening.
- Morning Affirmation – As I’ve already mentioned, looking for a new job can be mentally draining, and sometimes even push you to lose faith in your own abilities – don’t let these mental ghosts get you down! Write an affirmation which reminds you of who you are, why you’re awesome and what you want to achieve then repeat it in the mirror daily. Something as simple as “you are enough” does the trick, although you can write longer and more personal versions too – whatever works!
Step 4: Put yourself out there!
This can be tough. I’m an introvert and networking is definitely not among my favourite things to do, but it can be useful. Take a leaf out of Susan Cain’s book Quiet
, and don’t feel the need to partake in every networking event available to you. Instead, pick two you feel most comfortable with and just see what happens – you never know who you will meet.
*Note to all introverts – the hardest thing you have to do is say hi! Get past that and the rest happens naturally.
Step 5: Don’t stop!
The thing with job searching today is that there are literally a million jobs out there, and for every job, there plenty more applicants just like you, also applying. It’s really easy to get lost in the digital sea, and being truthfully honest, I haven’t really figured out the best way to combat this yet (tips welcome) either. What I can tell you is don’t stop. Don’t get bummed out when you don’t hear back from your dream company or receive a rejection just an hour after you applied. It’s highly likely that they didn’t see your application, or they were already on third-round interviews by the time you sent it. Just keep going, keep applying for new jobs, and if you really, really do like that one job, phone, email and message everyone and anyone you can at that company. You just need one link and you’re in!
Well, that’s my five steps. Good luck fellow job hunters, and please share your own tips with me too at @b.flawsome
– I’d love to hear them.