I recently posed this very question to LinkedIn as I was doing a freelance research project and what I came back with was five things you need to do and remember while you are in your job search.
The first thing is the biggest and the most obvious: network! It’s the “it” word lately and for a lot of people, we really don’t know how to do it effectively. Networking is all about relationships. As you meet people at events, work to find something in common. Sports, reading, interest in social media, movies, a company, whatever it takes, find a connection. As you do, either remember it, or write it down on their card. Now you will be able to reference that and have something quick to talk about when you re-connect with this person. A part of networking is staying in touch with friends and previous bosses and co-workers. In addition, you need to get involved with groups and associations in your community that are in the field you either work in or would like to work in. Many of these groups let you attend as guests and you’ll immediately be with the key people in that industry. The most important part about networking is to not only build a relationship with the person you are networking with, but don’t first focus on, “What can this person do for me?” but instead focus on, “What can I offer this person?” When you do that, you’ll get more back in return most of the time.
Next, you need to focus on your health. Even more so that you are out of a job, your health is more important. Being without a job adds additional stress and so it is vitally important for you to stay focused not only on your search for a new job, but also on your physical well-being. By taking a walk every day or running every other day, it will help you clear your mind, keep your health up and also build positive energy around you.
That leads to the third thing you must do while in a job search: keep a positive attitude. I know that is hard to do. Trust me. But I also ask that you consciously work to stay focused on your attitude. If you have a negative attitude when you go into a job interview, or are pushing so hard to get the job, that is going to come off and it is a turnoff for a potential employer. Focus on the positive, the opportunity you have to find a fantastic opportunity that fits your personal needs.
Fourth, keep in mind that even if you aren’t getting paid – you have a job! You job is finding a job! I know it sounds silly, but if you can set weekly goals for calls, meetings, networking events, job interviews, etc., you will find yourself being more successful in your search. There are all kinds of resources out there to help you with this. Your job is finding a job. Do it like any other. Get up, get dressed, have coffee and start searching!
Finally, keep learning. There is no greater resource, no greater advantage for you as the job seeker than to stay up on the current information, trends and research of your field. Having up-to-date knowledge will help you when you go into an interview because you can reference this knowledge.
Job searching is hard, emotional and it’s draining. But I believe these five things can keep your mind focused, your heart healthy, and your eyes on the horizon. Good luck!
View my other articles on Helium.
Also, I found this article from Penelope Trunk’s blog to be helpful.