The other day, I joined Instagram (SaraTheCareerCoach). I've been avoiding joining because I knew that it would be a more personal way to connect with people. My confidence (and my INFJness) was getting in my way. So I began this practice which has helped me so much! Join me over on the 'gram where I go more Behind the Scenes while also still sharing motivational content.
Our lives aren’t a straight line always going up. Instead, the line is super squiggly with lots of ups and lots of downs.
So why should our job search or career changes be any different? Things can’t always feel easy, go smoothly or be full of wins. There will be weeks where nothing seems to be going right, with little to no calls for interviews. Where you are stuck in a serious drought and feel like giving up.
This holds true for our careers as well. Weeks of being on top of the world followed by weeks of drudgery and mistakes.
All of this takes a serious toll on our confidence. And if we aren’t careful, our self-esteem can continue to plummet making it difficult to recreate those seemingly perfect weeks.
When a client is faced with this, I immediately get them to do some self-appreciation exercises.
This is a consistent practice of sitting with yourself every day and asking yourself a few questions. You can sit in reflection, jot notes in your phone or on a piece of paper.
The main goal of this practice is to remind yourself just how amazing you are and to shift any cynical feelings into ones more optimistic. By doing it daily we are giving your brain “good things” to say to yourself which also means when you say these things to others (in a resume, networking meeting or interview) they will resonate more deeply because YOU will believe them.
But it also acts as a kind of meditation since you are sitting in reflection. This will allow yourself to be more mindful of your thoughts so that you can catch yourself when you go down a negative “I suck” spiral.
Do you want to institute your own daily Self-Appreciation? Just ask yourself these questions:
What are you proud of yourself for?
What did you work hard to achieve? This could be today, this week or even this year. Think through what YOU did to accomplish this.
This reminds you about what you have been able to do and motivate you to be able to do it again.
It can be as simple as, I’m proud of this awesome cover letter I wrote or as complicated as I’m proud of that major event I pulled off.
What about yourself are you thankful for?
A simple question that feels impossible to answer some days. In the beginning stages of this practice it is common to need some help with this. I encourage you to look into your superpower through some assessments, check out some performance reviews, and/or ask a family member, friend or trusted colleague.
This reminds you the specifics of what makes you so incredible and amazing. I love this list because whenever you are feeling especially negative you can return to it and pump yourself back up!
What are you celebrating today?
List at least 1 thing that has gone well today. It can be anything, meaning it doesn’t have to be specific to your career, job or job search. Maybe your coffee was excellent or you are having an exceptionally great hair day.
I want you to remember that even if one area isn’t going great it doesn’t mean your whole life sucks. Try and take some of the positive from other areas of your life to keep you moving forward on achieving your goals.
What are you looking forward to?
What are some things that you are excited about? I want these to be specific to your career change or job search. List them down and be detailed – why are you looking forward to these things.
I want you to get excited about your future and remind yourself why this is important to you.
Do this practice every day during your transition or reinvention. Even when everything is going peachy because when things aren’t you can reference those great days and use it to help inspire you.
If your confidence is at a rock bottom and you need help climbing out, consider a coach a lot of the work we do is in this arena. To see if I'm a good fit for you, feel free to schedule a free call.
You are one of the 50% who hates their job and career. You want a new one, one that leaves you feeling happy, fulfilled and successful. But you also don’t have all that much time to devote to looking for something new. You want to try and attract your dream job, have it come find you instead of you finding it!
When I approach most things in the career space, I like to look at the mindset and the nitty gritty as I believe that both are VITAL in our ability to be successful, especially if you want to get your dream job coming to you.
1. Law of Attraction
If you hate your job right now then you are probably not in the best mindset. That hatred has seeped into your positive thinking. Like Attracts Like is a saying that is true and so if you want your dream job to find you then you need to be a state that is more positive. Try reading my article, on loving the job you hate to get you in that mindset.
2. Know What You Want
You need to be clear about what you want. Answers don’t just appear out of thin air. You must gain clarity by doing some introspection and self discovery exercises .
Do the work, gain clarity and define your focus.
3. Put It Out There
You know what you want, now the world needs to know. Let people know what your dream career is, create a vision board and set a goal. Perhaps doing some “Law of Attraction” meditations. Let the universe know.
Sounds weird, but I’ve seen it work!
THE NITTY GRITTY
1. Get Clear On What THEY Want
You know what you want, so it’s time to do some research to find out what they want. Take a look at some job postings and find people on LinkedIn in similar jobs.
What are the things that they are looking for, what are the backgrounds of the people in those jobs?
2. Show Them What They Want
Start highlighting some keywords, what are the words and phrases that you see used over and over again in those postings and profiles. Get them in your resume. But more important, update your LinkedIn so that you can try to attract them to your profile.
3. Be Top of Mind
LinkedIn has a new algorithm, similar to Facebook. Which means lots of things, but for the sake of attracting people to you, it means that it favours you when you are more active on their platform.
So the first thing to do is simply log in every day. Then scroll your feed and post content/status updates, share articles, comment, and like relevant content. Begin engaging with your network.
The great thing is that not only does this help with your visibility on LinkedIn but it also makes sure that the people in your network are seeing your engagement. Recency Bias is a thing, by keeping yourself top of mind you are increasing the likelihood of that dream job finding you.
4. Engage Advocates
Find your people in your network that can help you and reach out to them. My favourite is personalized emails, let them know what you are doing and suggest a meeting. In that meeting ask for advice, networking contacts, and job opportunities. After that meeting, they will be out their advocating for you on your behalf.
7 things. That’s it. Get started today and let me know how your dream job finds you!
The weather is perfect. Sun’s out, there's a light breeze with not a single cloud in sight. A perfect day to spend outside, maybe at the beach or on a patio. Definitely not indoors in our cubicles. But alas, that is exactly where we find ourselves. And it sucks.
It is really hard to motivate ourselves when the only thing we want to do is shut up shop and head outdoors to enjoy the summer weather. Especially when winter seems to last FOREVER, am I right? We don’t come in excited, the daily drudgery of our work has us feeling low and our creative juices have dried up.
But, if we ARE going to be stuck inside, we may as well do something with this time instead of wasting the hours away until quitting. Let’s ignite that spark and make a difference using one (or more) of these ways to make that happen.
1. Create a BIG Goal
Now is not the time to be too realistic, now is the time to go big since going home isn’t an option.
What would you LOVE to do in your job – what would make you excited, leave you feeling super proud and make a difference all at the same time?
Let’s break that goal down to some smaller steps so that you can actually make it happen. A great place to start is to create a rough plan of the who, what, how and why of the goal.
Who you need to talk to and engage.
What needs to get done.
How you are going to do it.
Why this needs to be done.
2. Learn Something New
Some workplaces get slow in the summer, making the days seem even longer. If there is no big goal on your mind, maybe use that time to learn a skill that will benefit you. You don’t have to enroll in any big course or anything. Check out conferences or webinars. If there is no money for it, check out some free options such as Lynda (free through your library) or EdX. You could also ask about the potential of job shadowing others within your company.
3. Do Something Fun
Schedule a fun event during work hours – like a fun lunch out, drinks after work (on that patio!) or a picnic in the park. Enjoy the weather when you can by getting out during lunch or walking outside to grab a cup of coffee.
4. Ask for Constructive Criticism
It isn’t always fun hearing constructive criticism but one thing is for certain – it usually motivates us to improve and do better! Schedule a meeting with your manager and ask for their feedback and direction. Tell them your frustrations, your goals and ask for their advice on how you can do and be better. Then make plans to tackle the problem head on.
5. Schedule What You Loathe
Every job has aspects to it that we absolutely hate. And during the summer that hatred seems to grow like crazy. Get it over with. Schedule it in, ideally first thing in the morning. Get it done so that you can stop dreading it and enjoy the rest of your day.
6. Celebrate Yourself
Reward yourself for sticking it out, for accomplishing things and for showing up. It can be as simple as bragging to a friend or coworker, enjoying an ice cream cone during lunch or updating your summer work wardrobe with some of the latest fashion trends.
7. Find a Mentor or Mentee
A sure way to boost your morale AND your career is by finding someone who can help you or finding someone that you can help. Set up regular meetings with someone to discuss your career, getting or giving actionable advice, and figuring out the right next step.
8. Leave on Time
We all have to work late sometimes, that’s life. But we can try and make it a priority during the summer to leave right at 5pm so that we can enjoy those last few hours of sunlight. And fill up your evenings and weekends with your favourite summer activities, that way you don’t feel like you are missing out on all the fun while at work. If work is quite busy, consider going in early!
9. Take some time to Reflect
Is summer to blame for your lack of motivation? Be honest with yourself. If not, then maybe it is time for something new – a new career, a new job, a new industry.
Consider working with a Career Coach to gain some clarity on your future. Schedule a call to see if come September, you should be starting to get serious about your next move.
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
Dream Career Planner
Click HERE to download