Searching for a new job can be overwhelming, especially if an ideal opportunity takes time to materialize. There is a lot of great advice on how to keep your chin up and stay positive, but sometimes you have to go beyond just an optimistic outlook and take action to keep feeling hopeful.
That action can take many forms, but most people feel happier and more fulfilled when they are learning, growing and contributing to something outside of themselves.
Novelist Alice Hoffman tells a story of how her protagonist in “Faithful” survived and thrived after a tragedy that changed the trajectory of her life. A secret admirer helped her find her way on a path to a new existence and career by sending her simple, two-word notes of encouragement, such as “Be Something” and “Do Something.” Those words of inspiration required action, and that action resulted in improved feelings and well-being.
As it turns out, two-word action steps can be good guidance for anyone facing a job search and waiting for the right position and interviews to emerge. Here are a few other action steps that can help keep you feeling great about yourself and what you are doing in the present when it seems like nothing is happening on the job front:
Read about anything. Read to learn or read for pleasure. You always expand your view and knowledge in some way when you read.
Learn anything. Learn a new skill, a foreign language, how to play a musical instrument. It doesn’t matter. Learn about whatever is of interest to you. Learning requires intense focus and keeps us grounded in the here and now.
Notice more about your environment, wherever you are, or make a deliberate effort to visit some place new to see new things. Seeing, really seeing, helps us appreciate all that is.
Explore new ideas, new people or new places. If we are curious and always exploring, we feel more alive.
Most people think of creating something as an artistic endeavor. It’s not. Create something right where you are. Create a more orderly home or office, create an evening with friends, create an event to help a cause. Live to create and make things happen. When you are deeply involved in the creative process, almost magically more creativity flows in your life.
Give anything: your time, a helping hand, advice, clothes to charity, a cup of coffee to a friend, love, kindness or even a simple smile. Give.
Focusing 100% on landing a new position can really drag you down. And you don’t have to. Concentrating so much on your search is really fixing your attention on yourself. Direct your attention to activities that can really make a difference in your life.
A job search can be time-intensive, though, so how do you find room in your schedule for the activities that can be so much more life-affirming? If you are using Fridayd to manage your job search, you’ll have the time to focus more on what matters most and all of the activities that make you feel better about yourself!