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9 Things Effective Job Seekers Don’t Do In Their Job Searches

9 Things Effective Job Seekers Don’t Do In Their Job Searches

Are you interested in making your job search more effective moving forward? If so, then it doesn’t hurt to observe what others avoid to boost their effectiveness.

Here are 9 things effective job seekers don’t do in their job searches. Carefully read them. Upon reading them, you’ll know what habits you should avoid or remove for a smarter job hunt.

1. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underrate The Impact of Their Attitudes.

Effective job seekers don’t proceed without attitude reflection daily. Why? Because they know their attitudes matter in their job search processes.

“Maintaining a positive attitude,” says Harry Urschel, Job Search Coach and Writer, in one of his post, “is one of the most difficult yet most important things you can do for a successful job search. It affects every other aspect of your search and will have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived by potential employers.”

So, one of the best things you can do is step back and reflect on your attitude. Are you pushing through positively or negatively? Are you allowing the frustration, associated with looking for a job, get you down?

Please know your decision influences the way you manage your job search. And, if you want to get through this process with your sanity, then you must foster a positive attitude. A few ways to stay positive in a challenging job hunt include: keeping hope alive, moving onward after rejections, and building your skills through activity.

2. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Sacrifice their Health and Well-Being.

Effective job seekers don’t sacrifice their well-being for long hours of job searching. These job seekers know they must take care of themselves, if they want to get through their job hunts effectively.

Without taking care of yourself, you’ll reach the point of exhaustion. And, you’ll stretch yourself too thin.

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Several healthy ways to take care of yourself are:

  • Feeding Your Body.
  • Quenching Your Thirst.
  • Getting the Sleep You Need Every Night.
  • Staying Physically Active.
  • Taking Breaks When Necessary.
  • Engaging in a Hobby.

There’s an urgency to land a job, but you must still take care of yourself.

3. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Focus on Full-Time Hours.

You might’ve heard the saying: “looking for a job is a full-time job.” Right? Well, effective job seekers know this isn’t solid advice.

They don’t focus on meeting so many hours a week. They know a full-time (40 hours/week) job search affects your well-being and effectiveness. There’s no way to keep going, in this way, without experiencing burnout, frustration, and inefficiency.

When you don’t set limits in your job hunt, it consumes you. It takes up your full day, if you allow it. This isn’t healthy for someone out of work and already dealing with unemployment.

What you should do instead is: put in a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours. Designate time, your mornings or your evenings, for example, to job search activities. And, put forth your best efforts throughout this time.

Also, shut your job search down when it’s time. Set and keep time boundaries in place. Hallie Crawford, Career Seekers Coach, says:

“Establishing boundaries with your time can be another way to maintain balance during your {career} transition.”

4. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Break Time.

You might think setting aside a break time is a counterproductive activity. But, effective job seekers know it isn’t.

Nothing’s wrong with taking a break from your job search activities to rest, when you need it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests five minute breaks every hour.

You can do several things doing your break: read inspirational material, take a walk or stretch, recount the good things of the day, or get out of the house for a while.

Breaking is a good way to prevent burnout, stress, and overwhelm in your job search. But, you must be intentional about this time to avoid procrastination.

5. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Blindly Apply and Interview.

Effective job seekers don’t blindly apply and interview for jobs. They don’t walk around thinking:

“I’ll apply to (and interview for) as many jobs as I can to increase my chances of getting a job offer.”

They know better. They know you must be realistic in your job search. They also know time is too precious for wasting on mass job application submissions.

Instead of blindly applying and interviewing, you should bring intentionality into your search. Target your job search. According to Eli Amdur of Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, a targeted job search includes:

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  • Identifying the Business or Occupation You’re Interested In.
  • Researching the Leading Companies by Culture, Leadership, Products, and Market Positions.
  • Determining Whether You Can Grow Within Company.
  • Figuring Out Logistical Issues, such as the Commute, Working Hours, and Extra Taxes.
  • Rating Your Potential Happiness at the Targeted Company.

You prepare your application materials based on what you learn through research. You’ll also know everything you need to know before your interview.

6. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Submit “One Size Fits All” Resumes and Cover Letters.

This relates to number 4 above, but I must emphasize it here.

Effective job seekers know quality matters in their job searches. They don’t submit a “one size fits all” resume because they know you must speak directly to the needs of the job.

If you don’t tailor your materials for every job, then you don’t show your ability to perform the job.

Instead, consider the targeted job search approach already discussed. And, prepare your resumes and cover letters accordingly.

7. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Let Employment Rejections Halt their Efforts.

The longer your job search, the more rejections you receive. And, while others tell you not to take these rejections personally, I won’t. I can’t. Why? Because I’ve taken them personally in my job search.

There’s no way you can’t, when you’re putting forth your best efforts. However, you shouldn’t let these employment rejections halt your efforts.

Employers reject you, and this rejection stings. But, bounce back from these rejections and move forward. And, when you bounce back, remember the words of Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO of Human Workplace, in her Forbes article:

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“You can’t squander it {i.e., your mojo} worrying about whether you’re acceptable to other people, or not. You learned something on each of your interviews and each of your recruiter calls. That’s magnificent. How else would you learn?”

8. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Stop Maturing Mentally.

Effective job seekers don’t stop learning. They use time outside of job search activities to enrich their minds.

They know this is a great investment and do so in many ways: reading books, journals, and (valuable) blogs. Listening to audios and podcasts. Volunteering or freelancing. Taking a class or two.

And, they build skill(s) while job searching. They know these skill(s) are beneficial, professionally and personally.

So to you: how will you keep enriching your mind? What skill(s) are you interested in learning? How will learn?

You make room for learning and skill-building, when you remove those extra hours of job searching. You have time to commit to a project of interest, learn, and apply what you’ve learned.

9. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Forget to Reevaluate Their Strategies Regularly.

Effective job seekers don’t embark on their job searches, without evaluating their strategies regularly. They know they must make improvements when things aren’t working out and do so.

They honestly evaluate their strategies and whether they’re getting any results. Reevaluating your job search approach involves: reviewing your goals, resumes, and activities. And, an effective job search strategy consists of many things discussed here:

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  • Targeting Your Job Search Approach.
  • Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter for Every Job.
  • Putting Forth a Full-time Effort vs. Full-Time Hours.

Conclusion

Looking for a job takes time and energy, so effective job searching is vital. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what you should avoid while looking for a job. And, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate your job search and make eliminations, where necessary.

Featured photo credit: Rachael Crowe via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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