5 TIPS TO CONQUER YOUR JOB SEARCH
2020 has been overwhelming to say the least. Add that to being unemployed and it’s been a rocky (yep, that’s me!) emotional roller coaster. In February of 2020, I quit my job without a new one lined up. I didn’t exactly have a backup plan. I was reacting on faith. I thought to myself several times “What the f*** are you going to do…. what ARE YOU DOING?!” It paid well, I was debt free, and my savings was increasing. Deep down, I was miserable, sad, and angry.
But, as soon as I put in my notice, I felt an instant feeling of peace come over me. Is a job worth your mental health, sanity, positivity and peace? When I first joined the company, I thought the opportunities were endless. It was an internationally based company with locations all over the globe. I was ready to dominate the industry, bring growth to the company, and expand my knowledge in various roles in the field. Instead, I learned quickly that would never be the case. And if it was, I’d be waiting 30 years for one measly career promotion. I was consistently gas lighted throughout my experience even though I was practically doing two full time jobs at once, without an increase in pay. Even though I had practically learned an entire new industry in less than two months and acquired several new accounts to manage. What would have taken others half a year to learn, I learned or taught myself in a few months.
Living a life by faith means never knowing where you are being led but "building what you know is here so you can reach what you know is there." - Cullen Hightower
A lot of the stress I experienced stemmed from nonexistent training, work-life balance, stressful work-load, and lack of passion in logistics. Yet, being a young Black leader determined to enhance the company, demand better practices, better connections, and community ties, led to a sense of outgrowing the company. I was evolving and striving to make an impact in the company, but I felt as if no one was truly seeing the potential of my work. Everyone around me was becoming complicit while I was yearning for more opportunity and advancement. I refused to work in the same position at mediocre pay for my entire life. This also led me to another realization – that my next opportunity needed to recognize and amplify my value, not diminish it. Being an outspoken leader demanding excellence is rare. I needed my next opportunity to see my leadership and intelligence as an opportunity for progress and advancement, not a threat.
Throughout my job search I went on a roller coaster of emotions: feeling overwhelmed, happy, excited, sad, and rejected. It was a mental battle between standing firm in my worth and value or sacrificing my sanity again to pay my bills. I was tired. Exhausted. Not to mention, it was quite horrifying to see the job requirements for entry levels positions. Majority of jobs in business require 3-5 years of experience, master’s degrees, relocation, or 3 interview rounds – but at the end of the day aren’t competitive enough in pay, benefits, or promotional growth. Leaving me to truly find what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live, and how I was going to make an impact.
If you’re struggling to find a job during this time, you are not alone. I want you to know you do not need to sacrifice your mental health and can conquer your job search. It will take time, but you can make your time worthwhile by following these 5 tips towards amplifying your career.
1. FIND BALANCE
For the first few months of job searching, I wanted to avoid looking at job postings, sites, and applying for jobs to avoid the feelings of regret and rejection. I had to find the balance between finding my next career, and practicing more self-care. Finding a new job is practically a full-time job in itself – especially when companies want you to submit the resume...then fill out 3 pages worth of application information that is literally…on…the…resume. Or to add to the fun, require a signed cover letter, and we all love writing cover letters, right?
Stick to a schedule that welcomes balance and avoids overwhelming feelings. Divide your daily and weekly habits by focusing on tasks individually instead of all at once:
- Search and save new jobs and potential careers in your city ONLY.
- Search and save new jobs and potential careers in other cities and countries ONLY.
- Set a goal to apply to a specific number of jobs a day from your saved search(es).
- Research potential career fields that connect with your skill set and interests.
- Find people on LinkedIn or social media that you can connect and add to your network.
- Research certification or skill development courses on www.Edx.com, Youtube, LinkedIn and professional influencers on Instagram. Enhance your skill set, add to your resume, and be more qualified for job positions in your career.
- Channel your love language, but on you! Check out how you can love yourself more here.
- Don’t be scared, make new friends. We are online, all the time thanks to the rona.
- Find a new series to watch, or a new podcast series.
- Set new personal goals to channel your energy.
- Drink wine, read a book, go on a walk, or face time your friends.
“Linkedin isn’t a job finder it’s a people finder. When you connect with the right people you’ll find your next opportunity” -Shanee Moret
2. MAKE CONNECTIONS
Now is the perfect time to make meaningful connections that you can sustain throughout your career. You may think your next job will be found on a job posting site, but it could be within your own network. Your friends, family, and business connections all know your worth. They know your best capabilities and how you are the best fit for the job.
Obviously don’t start the conversation asking for a job, connect to seek advice, knowledge, or express delight. Many people are more willing to help you than you may think, and if they aren’t, well forget them and move on to the next person who is willing!
3. EXPAND YOUR REACH
Ensure you are expanding your reach across a variety of job posting sites. Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed are some of the top sites people use to apply for jobs. But don’t forget to check local listings. For example, Memphis’s own Choose901.com shares blogs, news, and events all geared towards loving the city of Memphis. But what else do they have? An entire page dedication to a variety of local job listings! Other career resources are leadership organizations that have their own job boards. Don’t limit yourself.
- Your city’s local chamber of commerce
- Leadership development organizations
- Your city’s travel, blogs, or news sites
- National organization websites that may require membership, but have job postings tailored to their members
- Your alumni’s (virtual) job fairs, and job application sites
- Organizations specific to providing opportunities to women (www.fortefoundation.org), or minorities (www.nbmbaa.org).
4. CHANNEL YOUR ENERGY
Positive energy and thoughts DO MATTER. If you are struggling to channel positive energy into your job search, find new ways that get you excited to conquer your future career path. Invest in a new certification course to enhance your skill set, expand your network of inspiring business professionals, or find a new podcast that will enhance your critical thought about your career. Use that positive energy and dive into applying for jobs.
God, Goals, Grind & Growth.
5. KNOW YOUR WORTH
This is one of the hardest things to master when finding a job. It is constantly challenged throughout your mere existence. But you must stay steady and strong by knowing what value you can bring to a company. Even though I was willing to sacrifice a lower paying job to gain more skills, or move across the country, I knew deep down I deserved to feel valued at a company and for them to also know my worth. Not all companies want to pay their employees properly, care about their company, value work life balance, or even diversity and inclusion. But some companies and people, do. Knowing your worth and being consistent in your goals and faith will lead you to that next open door of opportunity.
For my job search, I wrote down everything I desired in my next role. I also wrote down items I was willing to sacrifice if the opportunity had promise. Channeling positive energy into the vision for my future career opened a new door of possibilities. You have the power within you to find the opportunity that is fit for you. Without the connections I had made in college, I wouldn’t have been able to find a new job that fit all my requirements. Thanks to my connections, my new job pays more, has unlimited time off, and many opportunities for promotional growth. Now I have the opportunity to drive my passions for my career and travel without sacrificing my sanity! This blessing was in the works before I even knew about it.
You accepted less because you thought a little was better than nothing. Know your worth.