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  • Writer's pictureSteph

Getting started – hello, possibilities

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

This is your time

Picture yourself starting a job: how good it feels to be somewhere new, doing something really cool in a work culture that suits you and supports your preferred lifestyle. Ahhhh hold onto that awesome feeling!

You have unique gifts to share and no matter how challenging the job market may seem (thanks, COVID-19) talent is always valuable. People are still getting hired and it may as well be you.

Here are some ways to build a solid foundation for your search. Athletes stretch, condition and strategize before they compete; similarly, you can set yourself up for success in mindset, self-care and preparation.

1. Believe that what you want, is possible.

In sports, we talk about the will to win. This is more about a fighting spirit than the scoreboard; it is the decision to persevere, knowing that your biggest goals are worthwhile.

Your dreams and preferences matter, whether it’s a particular role you desire or a work environment that has... [fill-in what has been on your mind].

Capture your ideas & anchor your upcoming search, with these tips:

  • Write down and post your goal where you can see it, daily

  • Visualize your preferred reality once a day (even if only for 30-seconds)

  • Create a vision board with relevant images and words (poster board, Pinterest, etc.)

  • Record an inspiring message to yourself that you keep in your smartphone

  • Journal for 10-minutes on why you deserve your career goal (or, if easier, why it would be such a positive thing for your life)

Most of all, the purpose of this first step is to strengthen the muscle of believing in yourself. When you think you can do something, and know that you are worth it, it is easier to take necessary action to get there.

2. Fuel optimism with self-care.

I view self-care as a gift you give yourself, something to look forward to, and as a non-negotiable, energy restoring part of your day. Even if you devote 5-minutes to quiet meditation, a walk outside or dancing to music, I highly encourage starting your job search with a commitment to exploring self-care activities that replenish your mind, body and soul.

We can all agree job searching requires complex thinking and tremendous patience. Remember a time when you were sleep-deprived, frustrated and irritated. Now, imagine yourself trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle, calculate long division or assemble a piece of IKEA furniture.

Picture attempting these same tasks after a restful night’s sleep, nourishing meal or with the endorphins flowing after a relaxing walk/jog/yoga session.

You’re not alone if you have experienced the emotional strain of a job search. The key is to refuel your energy reserves –and keep them continuously high – with ongoing self-care.

Here are some easy self-care ideas to try:

  • Listen to relaxing music

  • Take a walk or jog outside for any length of time

  • Spend time with your pet

  • Try yoga, Tai Chi or Qi Gong

  • Learn about meditation (One of my favorite apps is Insight Timer.)

  • Prepare and enjoy a delicious, energy-boosting meal

  • Connect with a friend for support and laughter

  • Do something creative like painting, drawing or sculpting

  • Give your mind a break putting together a puzzle, knitting or assembling Legos

  • Garden or just sit outdoors

Experiment to see what works best, is fun and easy to incorporate into your life. The good thing about self-care is we have total control on what we do and the results are immediate: you’ll feel better, more centered and ready to tackle what comes your way.

3. Visualize some new options.

Now that you’re feeling more at ease, let's daydream a little and envision your preferred future. Even if your search is time sensitive and financially motivated, it can be therapeutic, highly productive and calming to reflect. Start with what you like.

If your mind only comes up with what you don’t want to do, it’s not a problem; simply, identify its opposite. For example, instead of, ‘I never want to work with data again,’ jot down the reverse, such as, ‘I would prefer to use more creativity in my next role.’

The objective is to allow your mind to relax, before handling logistics like resume writing and LinkedIn profiles. Take a breather to reconnect with the skills, experiences and values that are meaningful to you. Again, if time is an issue, remember that efficiency comes from having a clear and rested mind.

If you get stuck, here are a few brainstorming questions:

  • Who: Who do I want to work with and/or who is my work helping?

  • What: Do I enjoy working with people, places and/or things?

  • When: How many hours do I want/need to work per week? What is my preferred balanced of structure and flexibility?

  • Where: Are there organizations and industries that could be fun to explore, or where my skills & experience naturally fit? Is geography a factor and/or how am I feeling about aspects of work-from-home?

  • Why: Meaningful work to me would include...

All of this is just to get warmed up, seeing your career path in a way that is fulfilling, prosperous, and satisfies what you need at this particular point in time. You can adjust, tweak and fine-tune this vision as you search.

Putting it all together

If you were an athlete, like me, remember what it felt like to walk onto the field, with the breeze at your back and the smell of freshly cut grass? Anything was possible.

If you were a theater kid, how did it feel walking onstage before anyone else arrived, looking out into the imaginary audience? If you love to cook, think about how energizing it is to see all of your delicious ingredients laid out waiting to be transformed into something amazing.

This is the sense of calm, hope and determination that I want for you: to tap into your heart, just for a moment, knowing you have the strength to accomplish your goals and enrich your life. If you have not had a good 'why' up to this point, it’s okay: now is your wonderful chance to create one.

And, just like that, Operation Getting Started has officially begun.

© 2020 WORK DOT DOT. All rights reserved.


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