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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Amp it up with a high-intensity job search workout

Updated: Nov 16, 2020


Track athlete. Photo by nappy from Pexels.


When you want to fast track it

Welcome to your advanced level workout.

This is dedicated to anyone who has been looking for a while. Whether you’re ready to break out of your comfort zone or feeling frustrated, get ready to rumble. I want you to channel that energy and emotion into new and different approaches.

When advancing fitness goals, you might safely add more weight, increase your distance or try a new exercise class. You may be sore afterwards – but, it’s the good kind of sore, knowing you pushed yourself. If it’s challenging, then you know it’s working.

In this high-intensity workout, be adventurous and go at your own pace to see what fits your situation best.

Note: Things during the pandemic are slow. Your efforts may be fine. Please be kind to yourself. The dual benefit in this workout is increasing your presence in the job market, while taking strategic action to feel confident you are doing everything you can.

Let’s get moving.

Ask a trusted mentor for a reality check.

Begin with an outside perspective, ideally a few people from your job search dream team. Explain you’re looking for positive encouragement, strategic brainstorming and possibly a new approach. Share your progress and challenges, the wins and the pain points. Discuss what makes sense to continue and do differently.

These should be individuals who are good listeners and can offer insight in a kind way. Be open to their point of view. While you don’t have to take all (or any) of their advice, if you start to hear themes or common observations, there may be something to incorporate. Sometimes when we’re ‘in it’ we’re too close to the situation; having someone we trust catch something we didn’t see in our blind spot, turns the tide.

Do a gut check.

I like the idea of reaching out for support and encouragement, first. After that, take a moment to write down your own assessment of strengths and areas of opportunity. You can do this part on your own or with the help of a coach or counselor.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I most proud of, regarding my job search right now?

  • What is most concerning to me?

  • Have I overcome similar things in the past? When do I feel strongest?

  • Are there any fears, mental blocks or nagging worries? How likely are they to happen? What can I do to address them?

  • Is there one small, new thing I can incorporate into my job search this week?

  • Could I try one self-care activity to help regain my perspective and optimism?

The blend of external perspective plus self-reflection, combined with positive action, is reinvigorating.

Experiment.

If you’re not getting bites, experiment with a new resume, cover letter and/or LinkedIn profile. Collaborate with a mentor, coach or people in your field of interest to obtain feedback; you can also check out online webinars, resume templates and tips to make each piece of your application portfolio strong and impactful. Be coachable and willing to do different things, to get a new result.

Increase the volume of your relevant application submissions.

My philosophy remains: apply to closely matching opportunities. However, if you are not receiving callbacks, there is a chance that you are not applying to enough open positions to gain critical mass. This is not to say you should send out hundreds; just that, if you increase your output, you raise your chances of hearing back. In fitness terms, find a way to increase your reps while maintaining good form.

Assess your job search activities.

A job search is a busy time, plus you have life responsibilities. I don’t want anyone burning out. Yet, any worthy goal requires a certain investment of time and ongoing assessment. For example, I often find job seekers think so frequently about their job search (in the form of worrying) they misperceive (underestimate) the amount of time spent taking action. Consider logging your time this week, without judgement, and see if the amount feels like too little, about right, or too much. The good news, job search anxiety is more likely to subside when you reach the sweet spot of taking steady, quality action because you’ll know things are being taken care of. Balance is key. Just like athletic conditioning, you are aiming for a level that makes an impact and does not cause injury.

Be consistent.

There is an energy startup cost each time you sit down to work on your job search, in remembering where you last left off and next steps. Consistency is one way to reduce this exertion. Try working on your job search for shorter amounts of time, more frequently. Use the momentum to your advantage. Many find a routine helpful; for example, you could treat your job search time as if it were a regularly scheduled class or a standing business meeting that cannot be moved. Share and/or develop your plan with those you live with, so everyone is on the same page.

Restore.

It takes energy to job search. We know this, intellectually, yet we are all guilty of neglecting this area, at times. Prevent and address burnout by increasing self-care activities and parts of your life that are enjoyable. Meditation, exercise, connecting with friends, creative pastimes, humorous TV shows and movies to remember the lighter side of life, or even just taking your coffee/tea outside for some sunshine and to catch your breath – all of these and more will make the job search process easier on you.

You’re doing great

I’m sure you are working really hard at your search. Sometimes, all it takes is being open to a new approach, getting an outside perspective, and implementing different tactics to change your luck.

Good things will happen.



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