By admin 4 February 2021
5 Actionable ways to make job searching less crappy
Let’s face it, looking for a new job is a crappy experience at the best of times. Trying to do it through a pandemic lockdown is even more challenging. Having to home-school kids at the same time makes it even worse. It also doesn’t help when it’s raining all the bloody time.
It’s no surprise that mental health charities and organisations are reporting record numbers of people needing their services. We can all absorb some pressure for a short time, but everyone cracks eventually. It doesn’t matter who you are or how strong you think you are, we all reach that point.
Do you know what? It’s ok to crack. It’s a normal reaction to an extreme situation. Also, the permanent stream of bad news we get from social media amplifies the problem. If all we read is negative, we will feel negative. Our human evolution happened to protect us from danger from predators. It hasn’t had time to catch up with the constant barrage of news and (dis)information we get from Maureen on Facebook, who thinks everything is a conspiracy.
So that’s our first bit of advice:
Limit your social media use
While there are many positives to social media, such as connecting with friends and family, there are an increasing amount of negatives.
Most of us use our phones as alarm clocks, so it’s the first thing we reach for in a morning as soon as we wake up. The next thing we inevitably do is start scrolling through our various social media feeds. And it’s never good news. Our days begin with rising infection rates, increasing death rates, and massive unemployment rates. It’s no surprise we feel beaten before we’ve even got out of bed.
Turn your phone notifications off
But that’s only the start. Throughout the day our phones are continually notifying us about things it thinks we need to know. Messages, emails, breaking news, bombard us all day. Not only is it distracting, but it can also reinforce the negative feelings you already have.
If you’re working on your CV or writing a cover letter, you need to concentrate. Yes, the latest row between the UK and Brussels is important. But you don’t need to know about it in real-time. Unless you’re caught up in some kind of life-threatening disaster, getting live news isn’t vital. So turn it off.
All smartphones let you control the notifications you receive. Annoyingly, they usually default to being on, but they’re easy to turn off. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how much your concentration will improve and how much better you’ll feel.
Celebrate the wins
Applying for jobs and not hearing anything back is demoralising. Attending interviews and not landing the job is soul-destroying. Unfortunately, that’s part of the process. Nobody in the history of job searching has applied for only one job that they’ve then landed. It simply doesn’t work like that. The most successful people in every company in the world have been rejected at some point.
Acknowledge that point. Embrace it, even. Change your perspective on the whole process. Applying for a job is a positive action because it moves you a step closer to your next one. Being invited for an interview is a fantastic result because someone saw you may have the skills they need.
Remember, you will need to apply for several jobs and attend many interviews before finding that next role. It may be that you need to go for 50 interviews, in which case, the sooner you get the other 49 out of the way, the sooner you hit that successful outcome.
Treat getting a job as your current job
It might sound like a bit of a cliché but finding a new job is a job in itself. So, treat it as a job. Set a start time and be ready to start work at that time every day. Having a routine is healthy. It helps to plan your day and build in small milestones. For example:
Task 1 – Review and respond to emails
Task 2 – Run your searches on the job boards you use
Task 3 – Connect with potential employers on LinkedIn
There’s something about ticking off tasks on a to-do list that feels good. They may only be small wins, but they add up.
Also, keep a record of everything you’ve done. A simple spreadsheet will help you track all your applications and outcomes. As well as helping you monitor your progress, it’s good to look back and see all the things you’ve done.
LinkedIn – The social media platform you can use
Although we said to limit your social media use, there is one platform you should be active on – LinkedIn. It’s the largest business networking platform out there but don’t think of it as a social media platform. Look at it as a massive job search tool. Your next employer is on LinkedIn somewhere.
So, get your profile looking good and create a connections plan. Think about the last company you worked for and which others relate to that business. For example, they could be competitors, customers, or suppliers. List all those companies out then start going through LinkedIn to find their key people, such as Directors, Line Managers, HR Managers, and Recruitment Managers. Send them all a connection request then, when they connect back, drop them a short note. Explain you used to work at “ABC Company” and would love the opportunity to work for them if the opportunity arises. Again, keep a list of all those people.
Next, get social. Like their posts. Ideally, comment on them. Get on their radar. In the same way we buy from people we know, like, and trust, we’re also more likely to employ someone we feel we know. So, make yourself visible. Create posts that explain elements of your job to show off your knowledge. Those new connections will see those posts. They may even like or comment, in which case, they become your core targets.
Hopefully, these tips will help to make your job search less crappy. But if you’re struggling with your mental health, if it’s all getting on top of you, and if you can’t see the end, please don’t suffer in silence.
If you’d like help with your CV, LinkedIn profile, or any other job searching advice, contact any of our team. If you need support with your mental health, get in touch with our partner charity, Lancashire Women who help men and women in the Lancashire region.