A job search can feel difficult under the best of circumstances and has the potential to seem even more isolating given the social distancing of the COVID-19 pandemic. It helps to be even more intentional and focused on what you are looking for in your job search in this era. Here are ways to stay positive and motivated while continuing a job search.
Cultivate a support system
When you are expanding your network, think beyond simply recruiters, managers or those who could help you find a role in a company. Networking also means joining with others who can help with the load of job-seeking. This may mean finding Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups or creating your own regular Zoom check-ins with friends, family or others who can help both with their own experiences and tips, but especially with mental and emotional support.
Set boundaries to fight burnout
The human body and mind needs downtime and regular rest periods. Pushing yourself for long periods of time means you won’t be at your best when the opportunity comes around to interview or accept a job offer. Instead, intersperse periods of intense focus with downtime and recovery. The rhythms of hard work and rest need to balance over time. Set time with boundaries to unplug with peace of mind and come back more energized.
Work on professional development
The big picture is important, too. Beyond applying for jobs and writing cover letters, make sure to focus on your own personal progress and goals. Take time on professional development by watching videos, listening to podcasts or reading books. Or even better, contribute to others by volunteering for a local charity. In addition to being a feel-good opportunity and a worthwhile investment into your community, volunteering can provide opportunities to develop professional skills and to network with other local professionals.
Again, remember to take time for balance and self-care while you are searching for jobs. Take a lunch break in your day, walk around your neighborhood and get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep to help make sure you’re on the top of your game. The job search will still be there when you return, more rested, motivated and focused to keep moving forward.