We have all given the audible sigh after telling someone we are on the job hunt. It is time-consuming and at times, a defeating process. That’s why I am sharing with you how to feel less overwhelmed when looking for a new career.
I wish I could share an easy button for everyone looking for a new career. But the truth is, we have to do the work to find something that will fit well.
I compare it to divorce as I can’t really think of anything closer. You see people get divorced. Next thing you know they are marrying someone else quicker than what seems right. And nine out of 10 times, they get divorced again. Why? Because they are taking with them everything that didn’t go well the first time. We want the quick band-aid fix.
1 – Do the Work and Research
If you want to feel less overwhelmed when looking for a new career, you need to spend some time digging in and researching the past. Why didn’t things go well at your last, or current, job? Why are you so miserable?
Perhaps you like to have a clear explanation of your job duties and your boss couldn’t articulate that no matter how many times you asked. Or do you like to work with a team and now you are expected to do the job solo?
Staying curious and taking the time to determine which components are must-haves for your next job and which ones you are okay giving up will help you narrow down the list of potential careers or fields that much quicker. Give yourself the role of a detective for your career and start searching for clues.
I created a Masterfile that helps my clients keep all of these findings organized. Writing items down and viewing them all in one place allows you to form potential ideas. And you start to see patterns.
2 – Build your Masterfile
I created the C4 Masterfile, also known as the Career Curiosity, Clues + Components Masterfile, for my clients’ use. This is part of the motivation phase in my Design Your Dream Career program. The focus here is to feel less overwhelmed when you are looking for a new career. By discovering and writing down all the components for your next job, you are forming an action plan with a master component list for your next career move.
The initial phase of the Design Your Dream Career program focuses your energy on looking inward. What careers match your vision, beliefs, or values? Compile a list of components you have gained from looking inward.
I have a list of over 150 questions that provoke my clients to dig even deeper and explore areas of a career that they may have never even considered. Does your philosophy match that of a potential company? Is the pace of work in alignment with your life vision? What would provide enough of a challenge for you?
3 – Keeping Staying Curious and Make Key Connections
Find the best clues for you. Work them with the goal of turning some into definite components. Learn about fields and career areas you are considering. Separate fact from fantasy by reading and talking to others in the field. What skillset do you need to have to achieve the dream position?
Don’t try and connect the job search with this part. They might both have the same end goal but when you can separate the two and have conversations with others around being curious, it will lead to more clarity and less confusion. When you seek out these potential powerful connections, let them know you are simply doing research, you are not looking to be hired. It will help the conversation feel productive and not like you are selling yourself to be hired by them.
Ask powerful questions. This step is hard for those of us who are sensitive to rejection. We don’t want to hear the word no, so we go quiet and step back. But talking to a lot of different people AND asking the right powerful questions will make a big difference. To help alleviate this negative feeling, determine ahead of time what you want to know. Cultivate your list of questions that you can practice with friends or family ahead of time if needed.
4 – Resist the urge of trying to prove what you want to believe
Nearly everyone does the opposite of what you should be doing initially. You want to feel less overwhelmed when looking for a new career, yet you gravitate to your comfort spot. It is your happy place and what you know. But how has that worked for you thus far? Try to not avoid the scary and outside your comfort zone parts of the job hunt.
Your hopes, dream, and pre-existing beliefs will be working hard during this time. Consciously make the choice to give them a rest. You might want to steer in a direction that tends to have evidence that is stacked in your favor. But does that match your reality? Avoiding this trap will pay off in the long run.
My client last week was so surprised by what her co-workers gave her for feedback on her skill set. The feedback was an energy and confidence boost. It caused her to pause a bit and realize that there might be other areas she is not accounting for as well. It opened her eyes and now she is allowing other ideas and possibilities to be added to her components list in her Masterfile. Had she not been given that feedback, it would have been totally missed.
5 – Moving Forward
Any change you want to put into place needs to start with awareness. These steps all accomplish that. Shifting your energy from a place of anger or apathy will allow movement forward. Staying complacent in those spots causes one’s mind to spiral back and forth. We have to consciously step out of that zone and into one of curiosity and neutrality.
Allow yourself time to work through these new components. Sit with them for a while. Ask mentors and confidants for feedback on what they think. Talk to everyone and stay curious with an open mind. Judging your feelings or what others say causes you to head back down into the anger and apathy place.
If you read this and want more information on my Masterfile process, let’s hop on a call and chat. It is important to have a plan and stay organized during this process. By doing so, you will automatically feel less overwhelmed when looking for a new career.