It is important to focus on your career goals during your job search because goals will help you stay on track to reach your desired results.
As circumstances change, you may have to adjust your goals. For instance, getting laid off from your job may dictate that you pivot to a job that can help you pay your bills, although your long-term goal is to lead a Fortune 500 company.
You may have nagging thoughts and fears about your future. You may feel like a failure.
Don’t beat yourself up — It’s normal to have these types of feelings.
Acknowledge those feelings by seeing them for what they are, but don’t allow your emotions to paralyze you – resolve to stay focused on your goals.
“Life doesn’t always work out the way that we’d like it to.”*
That may mean finding a job may not be fast. But staying consistent and treating your job search like a job will help you get that much closer. You may have to become creative. For example, maybe you could do freelance work or consult for small companies.
Right now you’re going through a rough patch, but like everything else, this too shall pass. They key is focusing on getting through.
So what’s the next right thing for you to do?
Only you can decide.
For many, the current goal my be to find any work to provide for your family. Or, you may not have lost your job, so your current goal may be to save money for a rainy day.
Does that mean you have to settle for any job?
It depends on your priorities and your non-negotiables.
If your priority is making money to meet your family’s needs, you may not have any non-negotiables at this point. You may only focus on producing income.
Here is food for thought to help you make the best decisions for you and your family:
Do It Now:
To help you nail your goal and what success looks like to you during this crisis, let’s break it down:
I. What is the purpose of your job search?
This acts as your motivation. Always stay focused on your purpose, when you may feel like throwing in the towel.
II. Figure the pay you’re seeking:
1.) What is the least you need to make to meet your family’s basic needs (food, water, utilities, shelter, phone, internet)?
2.) How much do you need to make for your family’s basic and other needs (cable, streaming videos, credit card, other bills, etc.)?
3.) How much income do you need to help you get to normal (before the stay home order)?
Your answers become your pay range.
III. What are your skills and abilities?
What are you good at doing? Don’t be shy. Write everything that comes to mind. Ask others what they think you’re good at doing. You’ll be able to refer to your list when applying to jobs or freelance work.
IV. What are those things you are not willing/or able to negotiate?
Hours you can work? Pay range? Location of work (If required, are you willing to leave home?). What are your travel limits (How many miles are you willing to travel from home?)
V. Are you prepared for the job?
For example, with remote work, have you set up an area in your home just for work only, free from noise and disruption (as much as possible)? The company may require a certain type of phone (landline) or internet (no wireless). If not, find creative ways to make it work if the company does not provide the equipment (some do).
VI. Keep a Job journal.
Keep records of the jobs you’ve applied, companies, date you applied, Follow-up notes, etc. A notebook or spreadsheet may suffice. A job journal will help you keep track of following-up and looking for trends during your search. Are you only applying at companies within your comfort zone? A specific industry?
VII. Take care of yourself
Keeping your mind and body balanced is essential. Prayer, meditation, journaling, exercise and getting enough sleep will do wonders for your physical, emotional and mental health.
VIII. Manage your feelings
There will be times you may feel frustrated, afraid, and/or alone. Be prepared to explore ways to address those feelings.
Affirmations and music may help. For instance, when I feel fearful, I recite the scripture, “Jesus did not give me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” When I feel defeated, I recite, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Also, I recite my power statement daily and play my favorite songs to minister to me.
You may need to have someone to listen as you sort out your feelings. There is help available if you need to talk to someone:
The National Institute of Health has a number of mental health resources.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a number of mental health resources as well. Their helpline is 800-950-NAMI. If you are experiencing an emotional crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.
Great articles regarding mental health care:
Gina Roberts-Grey wrote an informative article on resources for mental health services when you do not have insurance.
Cory Stieg’s article on free mental health resources for stress and anxiety is also a gem.
Trials will come and go. Stay true to who you are and focus on your goals – we’ll get through this.