The Recruitment Underground Blog

Career Skills, Training and Transitions

No Job Search Traction? Three Ways To Keep Up Your Momentum

Posted by jamesseetoo on October 8, 2009

Now that I look back on it, it’s been four months since I left my corporate recruiting job. Hard to believe it since this is the first time that I haven’t been “working” (had a steady job) since I was thirteen. And there’s one thing that’s been lurking there like a shadow just outside of peripheral vision – you know it’s there but when you turn around to look at it you can’t find it. So I decided to really think this one through and I’ve decided that the one thing that really discourages a person on a job search is a lack of traction. There doesn’t seem to be movement – especially when you hear more and more dismal news about the economy.

And discouragement leads to depression and – well let’s not go there since I do have a solution to the problem. It’s easy when you’re first starting a job search to network and look at ads and apply for jobs. But what happens when there’s no movement? Like anyone who’s been on a bicycle riding down a hill, when you have to go up the next one you find out really quickly that momentum will only take you so far.

So let me ask you this, what’s the single thing that most people don’t do when they’re on vacation or otherwise not working? Well, the first thing that comes to mind for me is you don’t have to get up to go to work! Or in more general terms, you don’t have the type of schedule that forced you to do things at a certain time (like get up, shower, shave, put on fresh underwear – for most people that is) and get your butt to work. Or you can be a shut-in watching Jerry Springer all day.

Here are threes suggestion:

1) Set up a schedule for yourself – yes, that’s right you have all the time in the world to do your job search but hey, you never got to watch The View when you were at work so indulge. No! Don’t do it. Don’t turn on the TV! You’ve got a job working for the best boss you could have, yourself. Now does that mean that you have to search the web all day? Of course not but you should make sure that you set goals for yourself and grade yourself every week.

2) Make sure as part of your schedule that you’re keeping an eye on industry news for industries you want to be part of. If like me, you have an interest in biotech then make sure you know what’s going on in biotech. After all, when you get an interview, having that kind of knowledge will help you stand out.

3) Make it part of your mission to improve one skill set. Can it be more than one? Sure but make sure you’re really getting better in at least one area.

I know it’s hard to keep your momentum and your spirits up but really, setting up this kind of schedule for yourself will have a real impact on your search both in skills and attitude.

Remember, your skills are your job security.

James Seetoo

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One Response to “No Job Search Traction? Three Ways To Keep Up Your Momentum”

  1. Marco said

    This is so true. Much of the initial job search is set up, lining up a pipeline of opportunities. And really the heavy activity doesn’t happen until much later toward the end of your job search (which might be obvious). As anyone who has been in or around sales knows, however, you do need to put in the time and effort to build that pipeline, knowing that not every attempt will bear fruit.

    I will say that it is okay to take some time to yourself. You are in charge of your own time. Set realistic goals with a scorecard (3 contacts a day, 3 emails to network a day, etc.) but allow yourself some leisure time. You may never have this down time again, so get up early, do your job search but after doing the time, maybe catch a movie in the afternoon. It is a rare opportunity. When I got let go two years ago, I was on the beach for three months. That’s three months I was able to spend with my wife and kids. There was anxiety, sure, but I was lucky enough to have a wife who understood that I would be off to work soon enough, we should spend the time together while we can.

    Thanks for the great post, James. It is valuable information.

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