After you’ve taken some time off to enjoy a lovely vacation or a relaxing holiday week, it can be hard to get motivated to dive back into your job search. In fact, you could have spent part of your time off distracted by crafting a plan to never actually find a job because you enjoyed your time off so much.
However, we can’t emphasize with you enough just how great the job market is, and how likely it is that you will find something that ends up being more than just the place you spend nine hours Monday through Friday.
So what can you do to rev up your motivation to dive back into your job search after a vacation or holiday?
Read these four tips that will help you get back to your job search and land the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
1. Consider Starting Over
If you feel like you’ve sent out 400 resumes only to get no response, consider where you’re applying, how you’re applying, and take a look at the resume(s) and cover letter(s) you’re using to submit your application for the job. Do one of the documents have a typo? Is your resume longer than a page? Are you explaining what you actually did in the role in comparison to the role you’re applying for? Yes, re-working your resume may sound like a lot of work, but doesn’t applying for another 400 open roles and hearing nothing back sound even more exhausting?
Also, consider what open roles you’re applying to. Are you applying to positions that are requiring professional experience that you don’t have? Are you applying to roles that have been posted for a while and may already be filled?
2. Reach out to your network
If you’ve primarily applied to open positions online, and you’ve neglected your network, it’s time to put your network to work for you. You might be saying, “I don’t know anyone in the field I want to work in,” or “I don’t think anyone wants to talk to me.” Both of these things might feel true at first, but with a little digging, you’ll be surprised. Start with your “inner circle,” meaning, your parents and closest friends. If you haven’t told them what you “want to be when you grow up,” or if you’re starting over in what you’re searching for, it’s time to get them all up to speed.
You’ll likely be surprised at how many suggestions they have for people they can connect you to that might be great resources. They may have a colleague who has a spouse who works in your desired field or dream company or remember a neighbor who left the block a few years ago that would likely do an informational interview with you. It might feel scary to ask for help, or like you’re opening yourself up for a lot of advice overload, but taking this small risk could yield a whole set of untapped resources that lead to landing you a great job!
3. Set a small goal
Tell yourself that you’re going to get an informational interview scheduled this week. Tell yourself that you’re going to apply for five jobs by Friday. Write down your goals for the week, and promise yourself a small reward when you achieve each one of your goals.
“Life satisfaction is 22 percent more likely for those with a steady stream of minor accomplishments than those who express interest only in major accomplishments.” – Orlick 1998
If you never give yourself a pat on the back for getting the little things right, you’ll spend a lot more of your job search frustrated and fixated on the stuff that’s going wrong. And no amount of time off will make you feel better if you go back to the same mindset of not celebrating until you achieve your big goal.
4. Reflect on your progress
When you have celebrated your wins, where did they come from?
“Comparing people who tend to give up easily with people who tend to carry on, even through difficult challenges, researchers find that persistent people spend twice as much time thinking, not about what has to be done, but about what they have already accomplished, the fact that the task is doable, and that they are capable of it.” – Sparrow 1998
A little reflection on the Pareto Principle. .. the idea that 80 percent of your results come from where you spend 20 percent of your time can guide you on where you should be spending your efforts. Knowing where your effort has paid off should motivate you to continue to spend your time on the things that have provided positive results. The trick is to analyze, reflect, and have the courage to focus on the 20 percent. If you end up spending even five percent more of your time in the “right” places, just imagine how many more great things will happen in your job search!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday. We know it can be painful to rejoin the real world after a delightful break, but we’d like to help you on your journey.
Connect with us so we can speed up your search process and match you with your next career opportunity!