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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Energy management - a new spin on time

Updated: Jun 7

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Energy Management

Before I share this awesome tool, let's set the scene. We all want more time. In fact, if we were playing Family Feud, one of the top obstacles to starting a job search and why people stop their efforts would be (survey says) lack of time. Also; let's keep it real, in the limited free time we have, few of us want to spend it on a job search. I get it. Oh and by the way, there's a little thing we're all living through called a pandemic. We're being pulled in myriad directions while many of us are being overworked and navigating a weird job market, relationships, dating, childcare, eldercare, lack of IRL connection, and feeling a little (read: very) fatigued from the whole thing.

This is why I'm such a fan of Energy Management.

It sets aside timing logistics and takes a fresh look at YOU and your own unique style and performance greatness. I define energy management as following your natural rhythms to do your best work. This is a good skill anytime and it works wonders in a job search.

It makes me think of kettlebells, which blend concentration with fitness. Also, kettlebells are designed to evenly distribute weight; with the right technique, you can lift more than you think.

Intrigued? Let's get to it!

1) Observe when you feel your best.

Are you a morning person, daytime dazzler, or night owl? When do you currently have free time, and how much? Do you prefer to work in short bursts or longer stretches of time?

What is your tolerance for interruptions, and how often do you need breaks?

These are just a handful of questions to get you started. When it comes to finding a job, let's do everything we can to create the best possible environment to succeed. If you're not a morning person and it's a miracle that you get dressed and manage to eat breakfast, you don't need to work on your job search before work. Remove that pressure; it won’t be good fit for your natural tendencies. By contrast, if you get a second wind around 7pm, that might be a natural time to dive into a job search activity. If the work week is too busy, then devoting a portion of your weekend may be just the ticket. Follow the reality of your actual life.

2) Favor quality over quantity.

This is a hallmark of my approach. Yes, a certain volume is ideal for things to take off. However, you may be struggling to get started, burned out, of have legitimate time challenges. If so, then I'd rather see you spend a shorter amount of time per week on your search to have it be as effective as possible - and, easiest on you. Be kind to yourself.

I love the short-burst approach. This could mean 30-minutes a few days a week or a solid 60- to 90-minute job search activity session during the weekend. This tactic will allow you to complete a task with accuracy, thoughtfulness, and more energy because you know the time is (thankfully) limited - the pain will end. It's easier to concentrate and motivate yourself, and the sense of accomplishment propels you further. Then, as you're ready and able, you can gradually add more time for additional applications and to prep for interview callbacks.

3) Refresh your job search.

Energy takes a nose dive when we're not having fun or doing anything novel. It's also hard on the soul when we don't see the type (or amount) of job opportunities that we'd like. Not hearing back compounds things. It's up to us to reignite things for the ultimate goal of getting hired.

Keep your job vision top of mind while you find new ways to jumpstart your search.

  • Reach out to mentors or work with a job search coach for encouragement and new things to try.

  • Revisit your goals. Have they evolved? Also, could your vision be expanded or narrowed in a way that is beneficial? It is strategic to adjust things every so often.

  • Job search in a new way: use different job boards, network a bit, update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Try something new to get a different result.

  • Learn a new skill that you're interested in and to distinguish you from candidates.

4) Do things outside your job search.

I take a holistic approach to job searching. When I collaborate with clients, we come up with a solid job search strategy and an equally fulfilling self-care plan. This includes time for relationships, hobbies, non-job search activities, and fun ways to refuel energy that my clients choose. Consistently, those who seek balance have a much easier time with job searching and usually find work faster.

As a bonus, you're more likely to interview better and have a clear mind to evaluate opportunities and offers, have effective salary conversations, and bring your best self when meeting your potential boss and coworkers.

5) Stay connected to people.

A job search is too often a solitary activity. Gain support and understanding from those around you. This means keeping up friendships, family ties, and regular contact with anyone who makes you smile. Aim for real people not just those you follow on social media for an enriching, two-way, connection.

If you're living with someone/people including little ones, it's also helpful to communicate and brainstorm energy management during this time. Not everyone automatically knows what it takes to job search (especially if they haven't personally done it in a while or work in a different industry). Consider what will be most helpful and engage in an open conversation (e.g., emotional support, Saturday mornings free to work on your search, help with shared life responsibilities, etc.).

Good energy and good vibes

You will find a job.

You also deserve to feel calm, content, and optimistic during the process.

Embrace your energetic style and soar.

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