By: Raven Hunter
Let’s play a game.
Go grab a notepad or sticky note or just a piece of paper and take about two minutes to calculate how many hours this week you’ve spent doing anything that relates to your job search. That could be applying for jobs, editing application materials, getting ready for or attending interviews, or just thinking about your job search. Ready? Okay, go.
If you were able to reach a solid number, I’m sure you were surprised by just how much time you’ve been investing in this search. I mean, it’s probably starting to feel like a full-time job, right?
While it’s good to be driven, especially when you’re looking for a job, it’s important to take time away from the search to give yourself (and your resumé) room to breathe.
Here are some things you want to make sure you still take time for so that you don’t lose yourself in a sea of applications and resumé bullet points.
1. Spend Time With Friends and Family
When you’re focused and working hard on finding the right job for you, it’s easy to feel isolated. I mean, no one can write your resumé or fill out applications for you, right? With all of this work you’re having to do by yourself, it’s easy to feel like you’re alone. But you don’t have to be.
In between applications, take a few minutes to reach out to some of your family or friends. Let them know how your job search is going and get caught up on what’s going on in their lives. Having that space from filling out application after application will help you freshen your mind, and you’ll get to invest in important relationships. If you have family or friends that you’re living with, this is even better because you can just leave your computer on the desk for twenty minutes or so and have a chat. Maybe you could even get a second pair of eyes on that cover letter you’ve been staring at.
Community is invaluable at times like this, so make sure you’re still plugged in with yours.
If you’re at a point in your life where you’re struggling to find community, Suited For Change offers a great environment of people who want to connect with you and help you succeed!
2. Get Out of the House
I know the idea of leaving the house for anything but a job interview or a career fair can be rather intimidating. I mean, what if the perfect job gets taken while you’re away from the computer?! But worry not. Taking a walk down to one of D.C.’s many beautiful parks or perusing the Eastern Market for an hour or so will not ruin your chances of finding the job that’s right for you.
If you’ve been at the job hunting game for days on end and you’re approaching burnout, consider taking a whole day to get away from the computer. A popular (and free!) way to do this is by exploring the many museums and monuments along the National Mall. Most of these places are free of charge, and each of them give you a unique look into DC, American, or world history. So, you and some friends or family can take a self-guided, exploratory tour of your favorite memorials or museums, and you can give those recruiters a day to find your application.
Even when all of your hard work pays off and you finally get the job, you’re going to want to have a life outside of work. It’s important to invest time in finding things that help you relax and recenter so that you have those tools in your toolbelt when it’s time for work life to start!
3. Take Care of YOURSELF
In the time that you’ve spent investing in your job search, have you been keeping up with the things that you need to survive? When was the last time you had something to eat or drank water? Is your desk so cluttered at this point that the only thing that isn’t covered is your computer? Have you exercised like you usually do?
Taking time for all of these things in the midst of an ongoing job search may seem intimidating, but making sure your immediate needs are met will give you a healthier starting point to find that perfect job from. So, take an hour for a lunch break, or make sure you’ve got a water bottle at your computer. Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood, or spend half an hour getting some chores on your list done. If you cultivate these habits now, you’ll already be in the habit of taking care of yourself to put your best foot forward when you get hired!
The facets of job hunting are seemingly endless, but finding that next job is not everything. You’ve got a whole life that needs your attention, and taking care of it is what’s best for you. This week, make sure you schedule some time between job applications to invest in yourself and the people around you. Making that choice will be vital to making sure you have the best of yourself to offer the right job when it comes along.
About Raven Hunter:
Raven Hunter is a SFC volunteer and a graduate from the University of West Florida English Department. She is passionate about telling stories and helping others share their own.
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