Who said your job search and career choices would be easy? It’s not that you are trying to make it more difficult each time you think you are taking one step forward only to take ten steps back. Figuring out your next move is as much a part of the process as actually looking for a job. The goal here is not to lose your mind figuring out your next move, but to learn how to manage the stress and choosing what options you have along the way.
It’s easy to lose your mind over the little things in life without making your career or job search one of them. Whether it’s the car breaking down, the dog getting sick, or your weekend vacation plans falling apart, you can choose how to react to just about any situation life throws at you. Finding a job or changing a job is one of the most stressful situations you can thrust yourself in whether it’s your choice or someone else’s. You don’t deliberately go out of your way to make your life more difficult but some days it just feels like it.
Your job search or career choice can and should be a fun life altering experience. Like falling in love, getting married or having a your first child, finding a new job experience should fill you with joyful anticipation not dread and fear. You can worry yourself sick over whether you should stay or leave your current job, whether your boss has your back or not and whether you’ll ever get that promotion you’ve been working so hard for over the past year. Losing your mind is an easy thing to do when you allow chaos and crises to rule your every thought.
When you know what you want, losing your mind becomes less of an option. Sure you can continue to become distracted over small issues making the bigger decisions seem overwhelming or, you can prioritize and make a list of the items you need to address in a way that makes your next career move more productive and predictable.
Like a “To-Do” list of errands you may need to run, creating a process where you can clearly and accurately map out your career strategy the way you would attack any other project that needs completion, helps you stay on time and on budget no matter how long your job search takes. It may sound simplistic and pedestrian but focusing on one action item at a time may just help take the edge off your need to jump out of a window at the thought of looking for your next job. Here area a few simple steps to help you get started:
- Look at your LinkedIn Profile, resume, bio or website to make sure the information is up to date or create one if you don’t have any of the following;
- Make sure you have up-to-date contact information on key networking contacts;
- Make an inventory of your accomplishments at work with key revenue and cost savings, if you don’t have that information, start getting the research done;
- Think about who your references should be and get a list together and reach out and make sure they still remember you;
- Lastly, spend time really understanding what you like and don’t like about your current job BEFORE you make the move to leave or start your job search.
Taking your worries with you about your current situation will not help you remain clear and focused when it comes to making sure your next career choice is the best one for you.
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