10 Non-Bullshit Habits Every Job Seeker Should Form
In the beginning of 2016, I spent a few weeks looking for a new gig, and what I can say is that I’ve read a ton of advice, on Medium, on “Career” blogs and even on BuzzFeed. Most of it was either utter nonsense or Captain-Obvious-like-content. I hate listicles as much you do, but I feel like sharing ten small, non-bullshit habits I formed, that helped me go ahead day after day without being discouraged.
1. Wake up early
When you look for a job, you’re not entitled to waking up at a specific time, nor you are to go to sleep at usual hours. So you could be tempted to go to bed quite late and set your alarm clock to the middle of the day.
I won’t list all the reasons why it’s a bad idea and go straight to the point. Wake up early, even earlier than when you were working, even if you’re an “evening person” like me. Just set your alarm at 6am, so that your day starts before it does for people who work. You’re woken up before them, and can achieve a lot when the world is still asleep.
If you’re applying for a job, make sure you send the email before 9am. This way you’re sure people will read it before starting their day. Also, put a tracker in your email, so you’re actually sure people read it.
2. Make your bed
Its a stupid task that takes 2 minutes, but it’s a way to kickstart your day. Making your bed is also a signal telling you: don’t go back to sleep when you are tempted to do so.
3. Do Sports
For physical shape obviously, and for confidence too. This way you get a sense of accomplishment.
4. Do the most annoying things first
When you’re looking for a job, there are hell a lot of things you’d rather postpone, like registering as unemployed to your local agency, printing your CV or just sending an email to your banker to tell him about your situation. I hate this stuff and I’m pretty sure you do too.
Yet, the best piece of advice I could give you is to do such tasks first. Why? Because it means the rest of your day will be more pleasant!
5. Always be active
You’ll be rejected during the process, no matter how good you are at what you do. This feels discouraging when you’ve put much effort into an application, but whatever the results you get, you should ALWAYS be active.
Being active doesn’t mean looking for a job and updating your resumé and writing cover letters no one will read 24/7. It means that you can cook, read a book, articles, meet people, participate side projects, create a website, write on your blog, or whatever that doesn’t make you passive.
Being active is a way not to give up and keep your confidence level high. If there’s one thing I thought I had lost besides my job, it was my confidence.
6. Keep your transportation card
This is another small thing that makes a big difference. When you don’t have a transportation card, you’re not free to go anywhere, and you’re tempted to always stay home or in your neighbourhood, which means: saying no to friends who want to have a drink, being less motivated for a lunch on the opposite side of the city, missing interesting meetups and events, etc.
Even if that costs you 100 bucks a month, keep this card.
7. Ask for help…and listen.
This one is fucking hard, because it’s in our nature to be hopeful. We’ll get things sorted out alone. We don’t need anyone’s help.
Yet people are willing to help us, as long as we ask. So let’s benefit from this opportunity, be it just asking for a recommendation on LinkedIn or having a coffee with an ex-coworker.
8. Go out
When you’re jobless, you feel guilty about going out. That’s time where you’re not actively looking for a job. But as you could take a 15mn pause when you work, your mind needs to freshen a bit, going out, even if it’s just for a 20 minute walk in your neighborhood. Also go out on weekends, see friends, don’t create more barriers.
9. Learn something new
This one is a no-brainer. You have plenty of time, so try to learn something. A new language, a new skill, coding, whatever makes you happy. And maybe these will help you land a job. If not, you shouldn’t care, at least you’re still growing day after day.
10. Stay accountable to at least someone
You can be easily tempted to create a bubble around you, because you’re ashamed of having no job while some of your less-talented-friends (according to you!) work. But these people are your friends, right? And what they mostly want to do is to help out. Sometimes, they won’t understand you, they will be sarcastic or hurt your feelings, they’ll be discouraged too, but they are the ones pushing you every day. Take it as an opportunity not to disappoint them, and do whatever is possible to find a job.
P.S.: If these look obvious to you, you’re on the right track.