Phew! Another hot day in Kansas City - when will this heat wave end? It's exhausting, boring, and keeps me from doing the outdoor activities that I enjoy in the summer, like going to Starlight Theatre in the park.
Perhaps you're feeling the same way right now about your job search? Depending upon how long you've been looking for that next opportunity, you could be approaching burnout similar to what an employee feels when he's overworked and under-appreciated. But now is not the time to give up! Instead, challenge yourself to stay motivated by using new and different ways to conduct your search. In other words, make it fun!
Here are five tips to help:
1) Got a buddy? Job search can be a lonely, thankless activity. If you can share it with a buddy, you'll find the process less tedious. Schedule a regular weekly time to connect with your friend. Listen and encourage him as he recounts his successes or drags his feet on completing his self-made commitments. You'll find that when he returns this favor for you, you'll perk up and feel renewed in your own commitment. Maybe a few email check-ins between you during the week can further your progress.
2) Got a smartphone? Add your job search activities to your I-phone. Besides accessing your email, you can do your online networking with the device. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook - all have download-able apps for your phone. Now you can join your friends at the beach, go on a hike, or take your kids to the zoo. Stay in touch with the online piece of your job search while not missing out on all the summer fun!
3) Got a clear career goal? After awhile, job goals can get fuzzy. When discouraged, you may begin to doubt your own intentions. Stop it! Just because you're not landing on your feet as quickly as you'd anticipated or planned, it doesn't mean that you were wrong in choosing your original goal. It does take longer these days to get a new job. Circumstances abound as to why. Maybe it's you, but more likely, it's the tough bottom-line mentality that companies adhere to due to the economic climate that we all live in. Do a little soul searching to confirm your reasons for choosing this goal. Chances are you will still come up with the same thing.
4) Got a job search plan? I know, it doesn't sound too sexy, but it's mandatory for tracking all your job search activities. Be thorough in recording the who, what, when, and where of networking contacts, job interviews and job inquiries. Then you'll be able to know when it's OK to check back with someone without becoming a pest. Maybe this is not as easy to make fun as other ideas, but consider it critical to staying on course with your job search process. Try to turn it into a game.
5) Got a career coach? Besides being a professional cheerleader for you, a coach will gently push you forward to meet your goals in a timely fashion. She serves as your careers resource, your brainstorming partner, your co-designer of job search action steps - always there to support you, give you insight, and help you stay accountable to yourself for doing what you say you want to do. Your career coach works with you to paint a vision of what you can become and accomplish. She will always be on YOUR side, no matter how the world tries to treat you. And, a career coach shares your pain, your tears, and your laughs. She really cares!
Now, get up off that couch, turn off the television, and find that job search buddy! Get your job search organized with a clear goal, an action plan, and a way to track your progress. Finally, hire a career coach! Make this process easier for YOU so you can become successful and find the next best thing for your career.
Wishing you career success in 2011!
SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Please follow our hash-tag on Twitter - #careercollective - as well as follow each expert's individual tweet on this month's topic of "Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup." You'll be amazed at all the free career advice and knowledge that is available to you from these professionals in the careers field!
4 Summer Strategies to Step Up Your Job Search, @DebraWheatman, #CareerCollective
Putting Your Job Search Up On The Rack For Inspection, @dawnrasmussen, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: Are you wasting your time? @GayleHoward, #CareerCollective
What is your unique value proposition? @keppie_careers, #CareerCollective
It is Time for Your Check-up Ms/Mr Jobseeker, @careersherpa, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Career Checkup: Are You "On Your Game?" @KatCareerGal, #CareerCollective
How to Perform a Mid-Year Job Search Checkup, @heatherhuhman, #CareerCollective
Reposition your job search for success, @LaurieBerenson, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: What's working and What's not? @erinkennedycprw, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Job Search Check-Up: Getting Un-Stuck, @JobHuntOrg, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Check Up: The Full 360, @WalterAkana, #CareerCollective
5 Tips for Fighting Summer Job Search Blues, @KCCareerCoach, #CareerCollective
Are you positive about your job search? @DawnBugni, #CareerCollective
Where Are The Jobs? @MartinBuckland, @EliteResumes, #CareerCollective
Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords, #CareerCollective
When Was Your Last Career & Job Search Check Up? @expatcoachmegan, #CareerCollective
Is Summer A Job Search Momentum Killer? @TimsStrategy, #CareerCollective
Is It Time for Your Resume Checkup? @barbarasafani, #CareerCollective