I am the first to say it and I say it often: job searching is a job in itself. You magically transform into a business owner and sales person all in one. Your business is you, your product is you and you are constantly promoting yourself.
Every encounter can be a lead or opportunity. Every networking event could unfold to meeting a person who might know the right person. Opportunities are endless and it takes an extreme amount of time, effort and energy to suit up for this job every day.
You are always “on” being a business owner. You never know if that person you are talking to in the grocery or foo-foo coffee line is a prospect. Your radar is constantly running, that prospective right connection buzz rings in your head at all times.
It is exhausting.
It can also be mentally, emotionally, financially and physically grueling. Thinking you made a great impression during an interview or connection then never hearing another word – sheer hell. At which point you go back to your product design and see where there might be flaws. Was it in the delivery, was it in the sales pitch, did you not convey the benefits of your product effectively?
It is enough to send you over the edge – if you let it.
Do not let it. Find a completely unrelated distraction and throw yourself into it.
I absolutely love what I do, if you were talk to any of my clients I think that is one thing they would all agree on – I am very passionate about what I do. I give it all I’ve got when I am working. Having clients in different time zones and countries makes a “typical” working hours type day nearly impossible. It would be easy to get burned out by burning the candle 24-7; however, I have three secret weapons that work for me – the three D’s.
Dogs, Dew and Dancing.
They are more than secret weapons, they are more like healthy obsessions. Ok, bordering on the unhealthy, whatever.
I preface every interview with clients by telling them I bring my dogs into my office, they might hear them in the background now and then. I traded an empty-nest situation to a dog situation. My current pack is three.
They sense when I am tense or having writers block and I find a dog head popped into my lap as if saying, “time for a brain break.” I talk to them, they talk back. I take them on walks, give belly rubs, play chase and throw- they do not return the items so it is a short lived game. They give me a healthy, loving, fun break from my day.
This is my unhealthy obsession – Mountain Dew. I love it. It is bad, I know, but when I really kick butt on a project I reward myself with a Dew. When I am struggling, I help pep myself up by getting a Dew. The bonus is when I am done with the bottles they become instant dog toys. The boys love to take the screw off cap off the bottle and have gotten it down to being able to do so in about 30 seconds. It is fun for me to watch them get all excited about getting a bottle then triumphantly spit out the cap.
This is the best and is sometimes done with the dogs. When I find myself stressed out or blocked I turn up the music and dance it out. Yes, right there in the middle of the office. Oh yes, and sometimes right in the middle of a store. It may look like I am flailing or having some sort of attack, but it is my release. All I hear is the music all I feel is the beat and all I do is let it go and let it out. Five minutes of that jumps starts me right back into my day.
These three D’s have helped me keep my sanity – and perspective. When I am dancing it out I tend to stop analyzing why I didn’t get a certain project or care that I am having a brain block. Having three sets of eyes watching every move because it has been an absurdly long time since they have had a treat gives me perspective.
Find your own obsession or escape from the job of job searching. You need balance. You need to recharge. Embrace your release and let yourself go. My obsessions also weave in the important elements of keeping healthy:
Exercise – walking three dogs will definitely give you some great exercise, I take one at a time to triple the benefits
Eating Well – not the Dew, but the reminder from the pups that they get a treat after I eat, so it helps me remember to eat regularly
Sleep – dancing it out and walking three dogs can cause physical exhaustion which helps me get great sleep
Fun – dancing is fun, playing with my dogs is fun; fun is a necessity! Seriously, look at that face in the picture – that is one of my pups, how do you not smile when you see that face?
When you are on the clock for your job of job searching, give it all you’ve got; just make sure there are down times or hours. If you do not take care of yourself you will be no good to anyone else – your family, yourself or that new, fabulous job!
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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:
Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility
Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.
Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at companies, professional organizations and colleges speaking to leadership, sales, teams, transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about career mobility, personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.