How to Keep Your Sanity During a Job Search

For those searching for a new job, it can be a daunting and thankless process. From writing those cover letters to networking in a way that doesn't feel icky; there's a lot that goes on. In my own job searches, I found ways that have made it less frustrating and dare I say even a little enjoyable. Here are some tools you can implement to keep your sanity while you find your next role.

Intention Setting - Intention setting may be more common in spiritual practices, but it's also been helpful in the professional realm for me. Within the context of the job search, you can think in terms of what you want in your new job such as having a specific salary range, certain companies you want to work for, new skills you want or need to learn and so on. A good place to start is to reflect on some questions and see where they take you. For instance, what makes you come alive? What helps you find resilience every day? What do you not want in your next job? These questions helped me create a clearer vision of what I wanted in a future role. Before setting my intentions, I love to meditate and do some yoga to clear my head and focus on the task ahead.

Inner Work - I believe doing inner work about what you truly want in your career in aligning with the opportunities you resonate with. Start with these questions: Do you have non-negotiable deal breakers? What activities do you enjoy that don't feel like “work”? Do you prefer autonomy, collaboration, or a mix of both? Are you more analytical or creative? What kind of manager do you work well with? With our new normal, do you like working remotely or miss the office? You can check out Teal’s Work Styles & 360 to help you get more clear on who you are. I also like NYU's Career Tracks exercise to help you understand how to brainstorm, analyze, and synthesize information to help you get clear on potential job options.

Join A Career Minded Community - When I first got laid off from my job last March, there were two things I did immediately: filed for unemployed and joined Ladies Get Paid. Communities focusing specifically on career development are a great way to meet and network with people, learn new things, and overall become more confident in the hunt for a new role. Attending Teal’s Career Growth Summit last year on top of doing the various career challenges offered by Teal made it easier for me to be motivated in finding a better role more aligned with who I am. Plus, having the Teal Community was another avenue to find open jobs, which was great! I’m forever grateful for Teal not only because I feel connected with people in a like-minded community, but for all the growth I’ve made in my personal and professional life through attending many of their community and career events.

Ask - Asking for what you need, whether it be a referral, a temporary position, or something else, helps speed up the process exponentially. There is a lot of power in claiming and owning what you want. In the past, I was worried that asking for what I needed would come off as unfavorable on my behalf. I realize people appreciate the initiative and want to help out. An example of this is when I recently reached out to a recruiter in regards to temporary work and it just so happened that they needed more people.

Cognitive Reframing - This therapeutic technique encourages us to pay attention to our thoughts and the situations we’re in and helps us create positive cognitive shifts by challenging them. This might be asking yourself questions like how can I look at this differently? What is this teaching me?  The goal is not denial of the situation, and it may not always be the right tool for the moment, but it’s a tool to keep in your back pocket.

Networking/Referrals - Before asking for referrals, I used to pray to the employment gods while applying and just hope for the best. Now, I'm focusing my energy on cultivating genuine relationships with people who are doing the work I want to do or work at a company I want to work at. I’ve mainly been networking through communities like Teal and getting to know new people and building relationships for the long term.

Celebrate The Wins - With something as stressful as looking for a job, I think it’s crucial for us to take a step back and celebrate the wins, big and small. Treat yourself with what feels right for you. There is a LOT of hard work involved in this process, which makes any step forward a victory well worth reveling in (even if it’s minuscule). Plus, nothing beats the glass of bubbly when you finally get the job offer!

Surrender the Outcome – Another key practice that has been an integral part of my job is surrendering the outcome. Knowing I’m doing my best, reaching out, learning, networking and having faith that the right opportunity will arrive, has kept me both grounded, positive and realistic.  While unemployed for seven months, I relied heavily on this belief while searching for a new gig. The next thing I knew, I was blessed with a contract job, and then I found myself working two or three jobs. For those who may have a tendency to obsess and want control over situations like myself, this reframe will help in providing release. You might be asking yourself questions like how can I look at this differently? What is this teaching me? The goal is not denial of the situation, and it may not always be the right tool for the moment, but it’s a tool to keep in your back pocket.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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