Top 5 Work Search Resilience Tips

By Martha Willson, Toombs Inc

In my experience as a Career Coach supporting clients with their career management, a person beginning their career will often consider or plan for a certain career trajectory. The most common path is one that follows a vertical line, or an upward slope, progressing from role to new role, increasing salary and responsibilities along with learning, status and often stress. There is a rhythm to the path, a recognizable upward movement.

Other people follow a more horizontal trajectory where they might stay in one place and deepen their learning or choose to balance their work life with other equally meaningful pursuits.

Whatever one’s career trajectory looks like, there is movement to it, energy, and progression.

What about the energy of career transition? What happens when a person is caught between jobs or roles and can’t seem to get any traction? The trajectory has stopped. Nothing seems to be happening.

What can an individual do during this hiatus to feel like they are still growing? How can they sustain their courage, their forward momentum?

My work includes supporting clients through planned and unexpected breaks in their workflow. I continue to be inspired by the resilience and creativity of people as they absorb the initial shock of a work stop, and then navigate the uncertainty of career transition. How do they manage? What sustains them during such an unpredictable time? The ground seems to be shifting and moving beneath their feet. How do they find and maintain their balance while they keep moving forward?

I asked several previous career transition clients. Here are their answers.

Top 6 Work Search Resilience Tips

1. Job searching is hard. Take excellent care of yourself. Be scrupulous with exercise, solid nutrition, and sleep. “A lack of good habits is demotivating,” one person explained. Another recognized how much better she started to feel, and her self-care habits strengthened her confidence. She stepped up her search, successfully.

2. Networking is key. Online job applications take so much time and energy. The process can be frustrating and staring at a screen is draining. Find ways to interact with people. One of the best ways to connect, learn and grow is to volunteer. Find something particularly meaningful to you and invest your time and energy in contributing. As well as making a difference to the people around you, you will be networking with folks who can support your career advancement.

3. Find a rhythm to your week that is sustaining and consistent. Some folks identified early morning as their best work search time with the afternoon for self-care and learning. Others figured out that the first three days of the week were most rewarding, and they took advantage of not being bound to a work schedule to plan adventures, from backcountry ski trips to something as simple as walking kids home from school. Finding contract work or accepting short-term contracts can remind you of your value and bring you needed revenue. You’ll also be networking. Consider the fact that your time is more your own right now; you have more ownership over your schedule. Make it work for you as much as possible.

4. Surround yourself with upbeat folks, people who love you and like to laugh with you. Read motivating authors and find blogs full of insights, encouragement, and tips. Join a strategy team. This work search support group will sustain you and become a source of strength for you. You will delight in each other’s successes and understand upsets and dry times.

5. Keep learning. One client took advantage of the time to pick up a new language; another expanded her coding skills. Any kind of formal learning will augment your resume and demonstrate your commitment to your own growth. As well as connecting with others, volunteering can be a meaningful way to learn. What is important to you? Who else is doing it? Can you help?

Remember, this too shall pass. How do you want to look back on this time? How has it made you stronger, increased your resiliency, added to your value as a person, and not just been a stop on your career trajectory?

At Toombs Inc., we empower clients to cultivate resilience and forge meaningful connections in their personal and professional lives. We provide individuals with the essential tools, resources, and strategies to navigate life’s challenges effectively. By fostering a proactive approach, we enable clients to build their resilience and embrace new opportunities in their chosen endeavours.

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