Searching for a job can feel like a full-time job. It requires quite a bit of time and energy, which can feel exhausting even when you have ample amounts of time to dedicate to it. When you may be already overwhelmed by the demands of your current job and other life-related tasks, carving out the time to hunt for a new job can feel almost impossible. But it does not have to be that way for you. Keep reading to learn how to effectively work a job search into your busy schedule, so that you can continue to grow and evolve.
When you are job hunting, it is important to remember that not everything is urgent, even if it may feel that way. While some tasks are time-sensitive, like meeting application deadlines or scheduling interviews, other tasks can be worked into your schedule however you can fit them in. Prioritizing your tasks and remaining organized will help you free your mind and keep your schedule under control.
If you are quite serious about finding a new job, you must pursue it actively. Casually browsing jobs or merely entertaining the idea of applying for a new job is rarely fruitful. Passive job searching is not as productive or efficient as an active search. Your determination here will be a great indicator of how strongly you feel about finding a new job.
Taking a more active approach to your job search can benefit you in two ways. First, it will help you feel more in control of the process. And second, it will help you figure out how serious you are. If you find that your heart is not in it, maybe take a break from the search and work on determining some personal goals, instead. This will make it easier for you to figure out where your path goes from here, and how to start drawing that map. But by giving your job search structure, you can avoid feeling as if the work you are putting in is aimless or fruitless. Using a planner to make a timeline for yourself or creating to-do lists will help keep you on track and will also help you to observe your progress.
It is imperative, regardless of what you are doing, to take breaks and time for yourself. Sure, you feel busier than you ever have, but you should never try to power through each day with minimal breaks. This will lead you to burnout and is not sustainable long-term. Although it might not seem like you have any room left in your schedule, finding time to take breaks is essential to your well-being. Build breaks into your schedule and spend them doing things that re-energize you, whether it is exercising, cooking, or talking to a loved one. No matter what you do, make sure that you are taking time for yourself. Doing so will drastically improve not only your job search stamina but your overall mental health.
Take the Pressure Off
You are only one human being. You only have a certain capacity, and a job search can take a great deal of it. Consider the work you are putting in at your current job; are you going above and beyond? If so, you may have room to dial it back a little. If you are serious about finding a new job, it is time to cut yourself some slack at your current job.
This is not to say that you should shirk your responsibilities and risk bad references or strained relationships with your colleagues and managers. But it is a suitable time to reconsider your boundaries at work, maybe don’t answer work emails after hours, or avoid taking on that extra project. Maintaining appropriate boundaries at work is important regardless of whether you are looking for a new job or not. Dedicate some of your valuable time to setting boundaries to protect your valuable time.
Use your PTO
If you are having trouble balancing your job search with your daily life/work schedule, and you have paid time off available, consider using it. Taking advantage of your PTO is a perfect way to gain the time you need to really focus on looking for a job. If you have longer application tasks, like interviews, taking a day off work will help you to clear your mind of work responsibilities, and really put all your energy into your application process.
Do Not Settle
A job search can feel exhausting, especially when you are also managing the demands of your current job and life, so when you receive an offer, it can be very tempting to take it. But it is crucial that the job you take is really the right choice for you and your life; otherwise, all your time and efforts have been for not. The job hunt takes time, and you will feel fatigued at points. Be kind to yourself and use those moments to check in with your commitment to this process – taking breaks when you need them. You are the decider and the only one who truly knows what is good for you. Do your best not to sell yourself short, the future “you” will thank you.
A job search feels incredibly daunting, but if you stick with it and are true to who you are, eventually, all your arduous work will pay off. You will find the company or path that is right for you – fostering your superpowers and discovering your people. Hang in there! And if you ever need help – we are standing by.