Job search self-care: How are YOU taking care of YOURSELF during job search?
Job seekers are experiencing a sharp increase in depression and anxiety, as we have all been embroiled in the effects of the pandemic for a full year now. People are wearing REAL thin with un/under-employment. I want to encourage you to consider placing a greater degree of emphasis on self-awareness and self-care. As a result, we can collectively endure this latest lockdown and the ensuing summer slow-down for job search more organically.
8 strategies to enable “self-care” and soften the harsh reality of being under-employed…
First, practice self-care daily: Don’t expect to be able to do a stellar job of job search, 7 days a week. Allow yourself to take a break from job search on those days when you just can’t muster the motivation or strength. Therefore, take a break to watch a movie or read an inspiring book — and enjoy it!
Next, re-examine and establish firm boundaries between your professional and personal lives. Remember that you cannot measurably do anything about revenue generation between 5PM and 8AM … Above all, close the desk down at the end of business each day (and on weekends). Put a hard focus on your physical and emotional health instead.
Moreover, learn to “check out” by taking balance breaks. Take one hour to yourself, each day, to unplug and rewind. Similarly, gift yourself with a full day each week where you completely unplug and ignore your desk. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the accumulated email and activity that results from ignoring your professional life for a day!
Take “checking out” a step further, and learn to say no on a more regular basis – especially for unpaid gigs! If you do entertain unpaid gigs, be selective and prioritize only those that will meet you out the greatest (reciprocal) marketing return!
Job search self-care requires that you fortify yourself with nutrition, extra sleep, oxygenation and daily exercise/movement — that doesn’t have to be a full hour workout! 20 minutes of grounding, walking, deep breathing and spending time in nature alone or with your pet are excellent for inner-strength building. If your mental health is suffering, reach out to a trusted friend, your family doctor or a therapist. Don’t force yourself to suffer in isolation – touch base w/ trusted friends/colleagues,and be sure to socialize for non-professional reasons.
Build your self-esteem: Challenge yourself to write up an “accomplishments list” – this is gold! Go all the way back to the year you left home, and write up as many accomplishments you can remember, for each year since. Average out your list by adding the number of accomplishments you have listed each year. Then, divide that by the number of years since you left home. You will be AMAZED at the results!
Build your resilience: For instance, force yourself to adopt a positive mindset: Write up a gratitude list, and challenge those negative thoughts! Work on affirmations that help you accept and adjust to the challenges of seeking work during a pandemic. Learn to nurture yourself with compassion, contemplation, meditation and acceptance. While you’re at it, start ghosting the naysayers in your life!
Maintain a consistent focus on your wants and needs: Treat yourself to an hour of your own undivided attention, and write up a new goals wish list. There’s a huge difference between being reactive and being proactive – so be proactive, and write up your latest, greatest goals!
Above all, learn to be your own BFF: For once in your life, put your own oxygen mask on first! On your day off, do something creative: Paint/draw. Play music. Dance. Garden. Journal. Sing. Connect meaningfully with trusted friends and colleagues. Help others.
There is SO much you can do to help yourself. It’s just a matter of taking better charge of your days in a meaningful and purposeful way. You owe it to your best self! Any of the above strategies will measurably improve your experience of this pandemic. Treat yourself kindly and generously. Be realistic about your expectations. Make self-care a daily practice.
Last, hang in..we’re almost there!
Do your career homework, and the rewards will be there!