7 Ways To Stay Sane in Your Executive Job Search

by Meg Guiseppi on March 21, 2011

we feel fine No doubt about it, job search ranks right up there with divorce, having a baby and moving, as one of the most challenging life transitions you may have to cope with.

My friend Tim Tyrell-Smith, a career expert and life coach, offered spot-on advice in his post, How To Sleep Like A Baby During Job Search.

In particular, he spoke about overcoming those sleepless, tossing-and-turning nights – a typical problem for job seekers. I’ve added my thoughts to his 7-point framework. More than just a way to deal with sleeplessness, this is really a comprehensive action plan for whatever ails you in job search:

1. Set specific goals each day and accomplish them.

I would add that your daily goals should be realistic. Don’t set a goal like “I will land a job today”. Include several smaller goals in your day like, “I will spend 1-2 hours on LinkedIn looking for the hiring decision makers at my target companies that are on my list of people to connect with. I will see which LinkedIn Groups they belong to and join those Groups.”

2. Exercise and eat well everyday.

Important whether or not you’re job searching, exercising and healthy eating promote better productivity, thinking, and more restful sleep. Eating well will probably result in losing some weight, which can diminsh snoring, if you suffer from that sleep-depriving habit.

3. Find someone to talk with.

Don’t keep all your fears and stress inside. Family and friends can be very supportive and helpful in providing a different perspective, and to just unload to. You can’t keep all these things in and expect to sleep well and be prepared to tackle your job search to-do list the next day.

4. Take action.

If you’re floundering and getting nowhere each day, take the time to be introspective, determine what you may be doing wrong and how you can improve. If it’s been several weeks or several months, and nothing is happening in your job search – no interviews, no action, no nothing – you need to figure out how to fix it. If you’re completely stuck and don’t have a clue how to fix it, it may be time to turn to a professional.

5. Make new friends.

It’s probably asking too much of your family and current friends to be your only sounding boards. Repeatedly voicing your doubts and negativity can become overwhelming to them, especially since they’re probably not job searching themselves and aren’t going through the same things. Try turning outside your comfort zone to other job hunters. Look for job search support groups in your area in Job-Hunt.org’s Directory of Local Networking and Job Search Support Groups.

6. Create and maintain a family budget.

Creating a transition budget, so you’ll know just what you have and how long you can stretch it, can be extremely comforting. It may also be helpful to build plans around “what if” scenarios, like “How will we get by if I don’t land a job for X number of months?” and “Where can we, as a family, cut back right now?” Getting everyone involved and rallied around the common goal will make saying “no” that much easier.

7. Work to build confidence.

Let’s face it. The rejection and setbacks that go hand in hand with job search can be defeating and cause you to question your value. Tim wrote another excellent post to help you do the confidence-building work, 17 Ways To Build Confidence While Finding A Job, that includes things like:

  • Take a day off and help others.
  • Pay attention to your small wins.
  • Remember your past victories.
  • Re-write your elevator pitch.
  • Add some new skills.

Related posts:

How To Tap Into Hidden C-level Executive Jobs

16 Deadly Executive Job Search Mistakes

How to Build a Powerful Executive Network

Prepare to Ace & Brand Your C-level Executive Job Interview

photo by brains the head

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