Energize Your Job Search: Work should cultivate your energy,
not drain your energy
Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced the Sunday Scaries? You know, that feeling deep in the pit of your stomach, that starts early Sunday and basically ruins your weekend. And why? The anxiety + dread of starting a new workweek in a job you just don’t love doing.
Try this exercise. Think about your current or most recent job. Picture it in detail. Got it? Ok, now, take note of how you feel at the beginning of each day? How do you feel at the end of each day? When you’re in a job that is a good fit for you, you should feel like the day has flown by.
Imagine feeling light and free as you navigate your workday, losing track of time because you LOVE the work you’re doing.
Now stop and visualize yourself sleeping so deeply that you no longer need an alarm to wake up, and feeling totally rejuvenated and refreshed when you do...
Let’s face it, it’s an old saying and quite possibly a cliché, but there’s truth to it: Love it (your job) or leave it. But what’s the best, smartest way for you to make that move?
Most likely when we’re searching for a new job OR thinking of making a career change, we’re reactive in our approach. What do I mean by that? If you spend time job searching by scrolling the big job boards to review what is available, you’re being reactive. Likewise, if you don’t put much thought into figuring out exactly what YOU want in a job, that’s being reactive.
Instead, consider an energizing approach where you’re asking yourself what kinds of jobs would generate energy each day.
Let me invite you to read through these five proven ways to energize your job search, reset boundaries, avoid pitfalls, and ignite action to land your next best role.
BE THE EXCEPTION
It’s easy to get caught up in excuses, “the economy is bad right now”; “no one is hiring in my community”; “there are too many others looking for jobs”; “I’ll never get noticed.”
Science tells us our view of the world is fixated or biased towards a negative slant and to see the good, we have to work harder. But it’s doable. Carol Dweck is a researcher at Stanford University and well known for her work on the fixed mindset vs. the growth mindset:
“In a fixed mindset, students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that's that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset, students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don't necessarily think everyone's the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.”
—Carol Dweck, Stanford University
In my work with hundreds of job seekers, it’s notable how many people employ a fixed mindset even before beginning their job search. Sometimes — without even knowing it — you are sabotaging your possibilities, not to mention harming your overall health and happiness.
What are some ways you can train your mind toward the growth mindset? In his TEDx Talk, The Power of Belief, Eduardo Briceno specifically shares with us one way to train your mind: listen to what you’re thinking. If you’re hearing a fixed mindset, talk back to yourself with a growth mindset. For example, if you hear, “I can’t do it”, simply add the word YET. “I can’t do it… yet.” This trains your mind to think on the positive side which in turn gives off positive energy to whatever you’re doing.
I challenge you to be the exception—take risks, ask questions, be future-driven, and generate positive energy. Challenge yourself to be the exception.
Time and time again I work with clients who want to jump directly into updating their resume… but don’t know what they want to do next.
OR they feel as though they have to keep doing something they don’t like because they’re good at it. If you’re good at it, great, but if you don’t LOVE it, what’s the point?
Others feel as though they must keep doing what they’ve always done because they’ve always done it. What is that famous Einstein quote? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Coming from someone who has successfully made 10+ career changes, trust me, you do NOT have to keep doing the same old thing. Life’s too short to not do work you love each day.
One of my favorite ways to evaluate work that generated energy is to conduct an energy audit. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, simply review each of your jobs and as you bring yourself back to each experience, take note of what ignited your energy. What were you doing on the days you woke up excited about your workday?
Once you have a list, identify themes, and begin to research … learn about jobs related to work that generated that fire in your belly.
START WITH A SERVICE MENTALITY
Approach your job search and networking strategy with a service mentality. Think about how you add value.
One of the main elements that job seekers crave when searching for a new role, is meaningful work—to be purposeful. Begin by learning what a hiring manager or a company needs before you apply. Knowing their needs ahead of time allows you to showcase your unique talents to help solve their problems. And frankly, that’s why they’re hiring you, right?!
Approaching conversations with a service mindset gives off energy that you’re ready to support, versus energy of desperation and/or willingness to accept any job that comes your way.
Splash in a bit of enthusiasm on their behalf, and they will fall into the palm of your hand. It will give your future employer confirmation that they made the right decision.
DISRUPT YOUR ROUTINE
For many of us, work provides structure and stabilization. When you’re not working or if you’re ready to initiate a job search, it’s important to create a system and framework to keep you on track. Here are some ideas to help you:
- Create habits such as an energizing morning routine. One of the things that starts my day on the right foot is getting outside every.single.morning regardless of the weather. The below zero temps during a long Buffalo winter can make this a bit more difficult, although I always feel energized and prepped for the day.
- Dedicate time to your job search. And I’m not talking about all day, every day. It’s not about exhausting yourself day in and day out. If you’re a night owl, spend a few hours on your search each weeknight. Think about quality over quantity. Spend quality time on valuable activities when you’re at your best. Select your top three most impactful job search tactics for that evening and complete them with an alert mind.
- START—STOP—CONTINUE is an excellent format to focus on activities in your job search that are working (continue), things that are not working (stop), and things that you could start doing (start) to make the most of your time. It’s also a fantastic way to evaluate your daily and weekly calendar to make time for your job search.
Do something good for YOURSELF for 5 minutes every day— body, mind, spirit. The healthier and more well-rounded you are, the stronger you’ll come across to contacts and potential employers.
Momentum is a physics term that refers to the quantity of motion that an object has. If an object is in motion (on the move) then it has momentum. Once you ignite the spark to spend five minutes on yourself, the momentum has opened and you’re on your way!
I do this with exercise. Every morning I trick myself into spending just 5 minutes on that stationary bike… before I know it 20 minutes has gone by and I’ve completed a decent workout.
Spending just 5 minutes a day on yourself can make a huge difference!
- Write down 5 things you’re grateful for
- What happened today that was exceptionally GREAT?
- Get outside in nature—spend 5 minutes splashing sunshine on your face
- What are you most looking forward to this week?
- Where do you want to be 1 year from now?
- Click HERE for twenty simple ways to nourish your body, mind, and spirit in 5 minutes or less
Imagine your sheer momentum as you project yourself into the land of endless possibilities.
It’s attainable. I know. I’m living it.
And so can you!
Jenn gets what companies are looking for when hiring top talent, it’s what she does. As a former talent acquisition and HR leader whose experience spans more than 15 years across multiple industries – including Fortune 200 companies – she has recruited, coached, and hired hundreds of early-career professionals into positions ranging from human resources, finance, and engineering, to IT, sales, and operations.
Jenn is a career crusader on a mission to support early and mid-career professionals navigate the new world of work by resetting boundaries and igniting action to live their happiest, healthiest lives. You can find out more about Jenn at Flourish Careers.
How to Energize Your Job Search
July 30, 2020