If you live anywhere in the Midwest, you’ll know that it snowed this past weekend.
16 inches. It’s mid-April. I know.
There’s not a thing to be done about badly-behaving weather. But winter really overstayed its welcome this year with an epic saga of snow-then-warm-then-snow-then-warm.
The weather had me feeling so stuck. And I’m a glass-half full gal.
How do you deal with stuck?
Me: swear. A LOT. And Sunday I was browsing online property listings in Texas and Arizona.
Have you ever been doing everything right in a job search and things slowed to a crawl? Don’t act all surprised. You knew I’d bring this around to something related to professional branding.
Let’s say you kicked off your search. Got your resume & LinkedIn profile all spiffed up, discreetly let a few friends and former co-workers know you were looking. You found a few jobs & applied. Maybe you even had an interview or two. Things were moving.
And then, ghosted.
I’ve talked to people whose search was humming along nicely and then ALL the lines went dead. It’s freaky sometimes. Waiting is The Worst.
They want to know what they did wrong. Did the market change and now their job’s being done by robots?
Naturally, they want to DO something. You know, shake things loose.
This probably won’t surprise you, but job hunting is a lot like DATING. Not that I’m an expert or anything.
- Don’t take it personally. Stuck happens. Sometimes it has zero to do with you. Hiring is important, but when a company has an ‘all hands on deck’, interviews are the first thing to get pushed back. So maybe it’s not you, it’s them.
- Walk away for a bit. Cosmically, detaching makes you mysterious and alluring. Oh, wait, that’s dating. Well, it’s also true for job-hunting: something magical happens when you stop pushing.
- Date around. Give your mission a little time off (you’ll know when you’re ready to get back to it, because your curiosity and enthusiasm will return).
- Once you’re not feeling even the slightest bit pissed off or stuck, take a tiny step forward. Do something silly, like applying for a job you’d never consider: zookeeper or barista or dog park attendant.
See, you have to show yourself it’s not all that heavy and serious. Like “Tag, you’re it”, then you let it go. Forget about it. A playful touch is super important. Like in dating, “I’m interested, but I don’t NEED you.”
- Repeat. And keep having fun, staying curious, not being in a rush.
- Remind yourself you have valuable skills and that things always work out: yup, even when there seems to be no movement.
Because you do, and they do.
Those are arugula sprouts, by the way. I love arugula. You know what else? Seeds take time to germinate. Just like the efforts you’re putting into your search (or dating).
We get tons of social cues to push on (damn Puritan work ethic). So it’s not your fault for wanting to muscle through.
But for god’s sake, when you’re stuck, take a break, will you? PS. you’re not really stopping, you’re just pausing. You’re resting a bit to let things unfold in the best possible way.
Does your professional brand need some love? Here’s a link to my calendar for a free 15-minute intro conversation.