When we first begin to look for a new, better job, we are often filled with wide-eyed optimism for all of the unraveling possibilities. However, when the reality of actually finding a position that fits sets in, many times we are left discouraged, disheveled and lacking confidence. Ironically so, the job search is one moment in our lives when self-assurance is most crucial. How can you possibly land your dream job during a time and season that you may feel at your lowest?
Here are a few tips that will help you remain your best self, throughout your job search.
1. Create structure.
There are a few ways to do this. Firstly, make the hunt a part-time gig. Looking for a job should not take 40 hours a week. Set aside a fixed amount of time, each day. Put it on your calendar and work on your job search during that specified time window, as much as possible. If you are unemployed, an average of 2 to 3 hours per day should be more than enough to seek out, apply to and research positions. If you are working while looking to improve your job situation, make it a special time every few days, or once a week. Seek out a time and place where you can focus, uninterrupted, and afterward move into an activity that will bring your spirits up.
2. Maintain strategy.
Most opportunities that are meaningful and in order with your long-term goals are going to take a very intentional effort and patience to achieve. Do not fall into the trap of applying for every position that only needs a human with a pulse. Look at your background, current situation and long-term goals when you analyze whether a given opening is the right fit for you. You should be bringing your experience to the table in order to impress the employer and snag the job, but the position should also be enriching and take you into the logical next step in your career if you perform well. A ministry position, in particular, should always be more than a paycheck. You have the opportunity to fulfill your God-given purpose if you can find a career that falls in line with the calling the Lord has placed on you.
3. Make interview days special.
If you have an interview on a given day, drop the frantic last minute research and applying for other positions. Sure, you need to research the company, but do that ahead of time, not the day of the interview! Now is the time to relax, so that your experience, personality, and convincing conversation will all cause you to shine. Don’t drink too much coffee or do anything that causes you to appear frazzled or tired. Don’t fight with your spouse! Relax, take a deep breath, and be your best by being kind to yourself before the big meeting. Go for a walk or to the gym, listen to worship music… whatever activity that is going to help you be open and optimistic when you meet your potential future employer.
Plan something fun for after the interview too! This can be a solitary activity or time with a someone who you can talk about the process with. Whether you prefer a hike in the woods by yourself in order to process or afternoon coffee with a friend to talk about the interview, give yourself something to look forward to. If the interview went well, celebrate it! If it was difficult and you are left cringing, go easy on yourself. Allow it to be a learning experience, and even if you did not get this job, you can learn from it in order to get the job.
4. Approach the search as a marathon, not a sprint.
Give yourself a “day off” when you need it. This can be built into your weekly schedule. Self-nurture and seek out emotional support from people who know you well and believe in you.
5. Know when to ask for help.
Don’t try to do everything alone. You may have a friend who is great at projecting their own strengths – ask them to look at your resume! Or even better, trust a professional to critique or write your resume for you!
6. Trust God.
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Make your plans! But trust God. Know that He is faithful, cares about your day to day, has created you with a purpose in mind, and that He will lead you into His perfect will.