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10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

10 Practical Tips for Your Long-Distance Job Hunt

Statistically, someone is likely being raped or killed behind one of these windows…

In the last year alone, I’ve applied for over 4000 jobs all over the world. I only got about 14 of them, but the other way to start this piece is by saying I have over a dozen jobs. Have you ever seen that episode of King of the Hill where Boomhauer shows Bobby the secret to picking up women? The more times you apply, the more hits you come up with.

In order to accomplish this, I had to make job searching as efficient as possible. Here are some practical tips for your long-distance job hunt that will help you land that next paying gig:

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1. The Internet Is a Valuable Resource

If you don’t already know the internet is the first place to look for information about a new place, why are you on the internet? Did you hear about it on the TV? Pft…that’s the most unreliable medium on the planet.  The internet, however, is where most employers search for employees.  Between Craigslist, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, you can get a clear picture of what employment opportunities are available anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.

2. Smarten Your Search Result

Although you’re looking for a job in a new city, you’re still the same person; it’s not like you’re moving and picking up an Accounting degree at the same time; you’re relocating, nothing else. Don’t bother with jobs you’re not qualified for – you’ll never make it past their resume filters. It’s not necessary to only search your current job title either; searching by related keywords is a great way to widen your net.

3. When in Rome…

Not everyone uses the internet the same way you do – research companies geographically on Yelp and Google to get a feel for what’s around you. It’s also a good idea to look into places to live. Factor the commute into your decision, but don’t let it be the only deciding factor. Also registering with their local government websites, you’ll have access to search for local municipal employment.

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4. Build Your Social Network

A lot of job opportunities you’ll get are through social media. Friends who respect you will be happy to recommend you for employment. Don’t just stick to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter though – access your entire social network by telling friends, family, and coworkers you’re planning to relocate. People will let you know if they know someone in that area and you may get an introduction or two. These people can help answer any questions you may have about the area.

5. Get a Local Number

It’s always a good idea to have a local number – some employees only hire locally or, at the very least, give preference to local candidates. With services like Google Voice, you can easily obtain a phone number with any area code, so get one with a local number. You’ll get a lot more calls this way. If you can negotiate a job through email, even better.

6. Leave Out Your Address

Don’t include your address on your resume or cover letter. This sounds counter-intuitive, because you want people to know how to contact you. The problem is the same as mentioned above – you want to look local. You can explain all your issues later, but you need to make a good first impression. Once you’ve sold them on you, then you can explain the geographic and scheduling problems.

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7. #Protip FTW

Don’t be afraid or too proud to seek professional help. Temp agencies, employment agencies, and universities have great job search options available. Their people are trained to find jobs and they have resources and contacts to do this much more efficiently than you. It only takes a couple minutes to register with these agencies and you’ll get valuable assistance.

8. Perms Never Looked Good

Temporary work, gigging, contracting, and freelancing are great ways to work. I prefer freelance work because I don’t have a boss, set my own hours and have creative freedom. Even if the lifestyle isn’t for you long-term, it’ll provide some temporary income while you look for another job. Working as a contractor or freelancer means you’ll have to market yourself – be prepared for the extra work.

9. Quit Your Day Job

The reason you’re moving may be for a legitimate reason, but if you’re looking for something different, you may be better off staying put and changing directions. Pursue ways to get paid doing things you love, such as hobbies, or that dream career in entertainment or the media you always wanted. No matter what it is, take a shot at it. The only way you’ll fail is by not trying.

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10. Manage Expectations

I’ve had days where I applied for 10 jobs and got five responses and I’ve had weeks on end where I applied for 100 jobs a day before finally receiving one reply.  Don’t let the numbers trip you; focus on your goals, and don’t be overly cynical.  Whether you sit around waiting or apply for a dozen more jobs won’t change whether or not someone calls you back. Stop putting all your eggs in one basket.

As you can see, applying for work takes work, especially when looking in other places. If you take proper precautions and act like you belong at the table however, you’ll see results sooner rather than later. Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged; every great accomplishment takes suffering,

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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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