As a career coach, I often hear that people have been job hunting for over a year and they are wondering if they should give up finding something they would love to do and instead, “suck it up” and try to love the jobs they currently have (even though they are miserable in them already).
The prospect of a long, arduous job search, or perhaps the actual experience of it, leads you to think it is not worth it to create a career you love. So you give up. Now what?
From time to time (or maybe every day), you may day dream about being excited to get out of bed and go to a job that excites you, but you have resigned yourself to the status quo. You feel like you need an IV that drips caffeine into your veins to keep up your energy. When someone asks how you are doing, you shrug your shoulders and say with zero enthusiasm “Fine.”
Life feels just…blah.
So I want to ask you, what is worse: a short-term job search or a long-term resignation to a career that no longer fulfills or serves you?
I can bet good money I know your answer, and it is time to shift your mindset away from the laborious slog to a more empowering perspective of ease and flow in the job hunt.
Bust the Myth of the Long Job Search
There are many experts and pundits out there that state how many hours that you should be job searching whether you are finishing up at school, unemployed or looking for a new career from your current position. College students should be job hunting 20 hours a week. The unemployed should make it their full-time job (yes 35+ hours a week!) to find a job. It seems like there are a whole lot of metrics out there about what career transitioners should be doing.
But wait a minute, do you remember your friend who was trucking along in her job one day and a former colleague reached out and offered her a new role in a different company with more responsibility, better benefits and a killer salary? What about that former classmate of yours who mentioned last month he was looking to make a career transition and you got a LinkedIn notification to congratulate him on his brand new position?
Such anecdotes serve as evidence that it is not a requirement to spend a certain number of hours each week on your job search.
And yet, you may tell yourself the great job you desire will not show up unless you pour blood, sweat and tears in first. You have to earn your happiness and success, right? Well, with that belief, you may be approaching burn out from working all day and then burning the midnight oil at night applying to jobs online for hours and hours.
There are simpler and more efficient ways to create a career you love that will get you there faster.
First, it is time to stop listening to anyone—experts, colleagues, your mother—who tells you your job search has to be hard or that you need to settle for a job you do not like or to “suck it up” with the job you have. It is simply not supporting you in getting where you want to go.
Second, start telling yourself DAILY: “My career transition is easy and fun.” See how your energy levels change when you keep reminding yourself of that.
Note that I am not saying your mindset will change overnight. It takes consistent practice to cultivate a success mindset. If you are having trouble buying into the previous statement, start by telling yourself daily “I am on my way to an easy and fun career transition.”
To ease and flow!