How to Organize Your Job Search to Rid Yourself of Stress
With around 1 million job vacancies in Canada right now, you are probably being told (a lot) that it’s a great time to be job seeking – and it is! But that means it is more important than ever to organize your job search in a way that quells your stresses so you can focus on finding your dream gig. We can help with that!
Looking for a new job is a walk in the park – said no one ever! Most of us have been in a position where we have had to look for a new role, and although a change of pastures is exciting, we all know how stressful and overwhelming searching for a job can get.
Anxiety from job hunting can have adverse effects on your mental and physical health and can even effect how you perform in interviews with potential employers, which is not ideal! Let us help you map out your job search so you can stay organized and on-the-ball without getting swamped by stress.
1. Break Down Your Job Search
We’ve all been in situations where the task at hand seems so daunting that all you want to do is climb into bed and do nothing at all. The best way to manage this is to break down your job search into smaller goals and objectives.
Using the SMART framework for setting goals is a great method to make sure you get bitesize wins that keep you motivated and keep your job search moving forward.
The big picture objective is to find a new job, but to achieve that you should set yourself more specific goals. Some examples of these may be ‘I will update my resume today’ or ‘I will register with a recruitment agency’ – which in our unbiased opinion (okay, it’s a little biased) is great idea that we have devoted a whole segment of this blog to.
Set concrete measurements for your goals as a clear way of determining success. This could be something like ‘I will apply for at least 2 jobs per day’ or ‘I will make 5 new network connections on LinkedIn this week’.
The average job search can span over several months, so don’t rush yourself in trying to achieve everything in your first week of job hunting. Don’t make your goals too easy, but also don’t stretch yourself too thin. The little wins are what will keep you motivated, so ensure your goals are realistic.
Quite simply, make sure all your small goals contribute to the big picture objective of securing a shiny new role (but also feel free to apply SMART framework to other areas of your life, it’s a real game changer!).
Having deadlines for your goals will give your job search more structure and will keep you focused. Specific time frames will create more of a sense of urgency and are a great way to help you measure your accomplishments.
Setting and sticking to these SMART goals will give your job search direction and intention and will keep you motivated while you work towards securing your dream role!
2. Have a Sustainable Schedule
‘Treat your job search like a full-time job’ is #1. Archaic advice #2. Not something everyone can commit to and, #3. Not something anyone WANTS to commit to. While you don’t need to devote 8 hours a day to your job hunt, a sustainable schedule is important and it will help you to manage and map out your job search without getting burnt out.
Once you have an idea of what your SMART objectives are, you can start working those into a sustainable routine – and in turn, having a schedule will also help you to define your SMART goals.
The building blocks of your schedule should include:
- Researching and developing a list of companies you would like to target
- Searching company websites and social media pages, job boards and LinkedIn for job postings
- Customizing your resume and cover letters and applying for your chosen jobs
- Scheduling some networking and upskilling opportunities
- Preparing for interviews and following up on your applications
Take your time working these elements into a regular and workable routine. Although some days you may be more productive than others – which is completely normal – try your best to commit to it, and make sure to savor the small wins along the way for your sanity’s sake!
3. Stay Organized
You will be communicating with a lot of different employers, you will hopefully have multiple interviews lined up, and you are sure to have almost too many versions of your resume that are all suspiciously similar – all of this can be overwhelming. So, whether you like to keep it old-school with a binder and a notebook or if you are one of those people who loves having a spreadsheet for everything, make sure you track your applications.
You will want to keep a log of the following:
- Companies you’ve applied to
- Job titles
- Contact details
- Date you applied
- Interview schedules
- Whether you need to follow up
- Status of your application
Having all this information in one place is much more efficient than sifting through odd sticky notes, emails and the infamously unreliable mental note. Plus, when an interviewer asks you what your strengths are, you can proudly and confidently proclaim ‘organization’ as being one of them.
4. Use a Recruiter
We promise that this whole blog hasn’t been about promoting our agency…
Searching for a job can sometimes feel like a lonely and relentless journey, much like the passage from The Shire to Mordor, but with far less danger to life and (sadly) no wizards. But there are many benefits to enlisting the help of a recruiter on your quest to find the one job to rule them all.
Access to more opportunities
Working with a recruitment agency is your golden ticket to the Hidden Job Market. This is a magical place full of opportunities that you won’t find anywhere else. In other words, a lot of companies choose to work exclusively with recruitment agencies meaning the only way you can apply for their roles is through recruiters.
We all love some internet sleuthing but sometimes doing the necessary detective work into hiring companies, their work cultures and important information beyond the job advert can be difficult when the organization has a limited online presence. So, who better to turn to than recruiters who have spent a lot of time speaking with their clients and learning exactly what they are looking for from a candidate.
Saves you time
While it is very much encouraged to continue your own job search when working with recruiters, they will be able to save you some valuable time – especially if you are squeezing your job hunt in around your regular 9-5. Recruiters can put you into contact with employers almost instantly and those pesky cover letters you have been agonizing over? Good riddance! Your recruiter is your cover letter personified and they will do all the introductions with the employer on your behalf.
We are routing for you
While we can’t deny that making placements keeps us in business, finding you your dream role is truly at the heart of what we do. Recruiters will advocate for your strengths and skills and will ensure that you have the best shot at landing your perfect position. They will give you helpful labour market insight, resume tips, interview coaching, and they will even assist with compensation negotiations. Recruiters are your allies and they will have your back until the hopefully not so bitter end.
We can say with confidence that the advantages of working with an agency on your job search far outweigh the disadvantages – because there are no disadvantages. Depending on the type of jobs you are looking for, you should research industry-specific recruiting agencies as well as general agencies (like us) and register with as many of them as you can. Let recruiters be the Sam to your Frodo!
5. Stay Positive
This is a short, sweet and very important reminder to be kind to yourself.
Like most advice regarding regulating your emotions (such as ‘calm down’ or ‘don’t stress’), remaining positive on your job hunt is easier said than done. But try to remember that your self-worth is not tied to your career.
Searching for a job can be all-consuming and increasingly demoralizing the longer it goes on, which is why it is so essential that you invest time in other activities that interest you, like a new hobby or a skill – could it finally be time to expand your French vocabulary beyond ‘Je ne parle pas français’? Spend time with friends and family but also focus on yourself. Your job search will come to an end eventually – we promise!
It’s completely normal to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed while job hunting but if you define your goals, stay organized, ask for help when you need it (from family, friends and recruiters) and practice a little self-compassion then you should be able to keep your job search on track and any anxieties in check. The advantages of this will be plentiful and will benefit you both at a personal and professional level.
You’ve got this!
- Create a winning resume that will pass applicant tracking systems and showcase your value as a future employee using our resume tips.
- Put your best foot forward with potential employers using our handy interview advice.
- Is your job search journey just beginning? Start your search using our extensive job board or send us a general application here.
- Stumbled across this blog and not entirely sure how you got here? Welcome to our website!