When you’re truly unhappy in your current job, a new one can’t get here fast enough. Having to drag yourself to the office each day can be the worst. When you’re caught up in the emotion of it all, you begin to wonder why you don’t have a new job yet. Is it a problem with your resume, your cover letter, or your LinkedIn? Panic and frustration begins to set in as each day goes by.
But, sometimes it’s none of those things at all. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of time. What I mean by this is, it’s easy to get swept up in our everyday responsibilities. Whether it’s a current job, children, a side project, or social commitments, there’s always something pressing to do. The job search gets pushed to the side, like a treadmill bought with the best intensions that’s gathering dust in the corner.
The problem is, just like physical health, your dream job will rarely find you without some real work. It’s possible that a so-so job that pays almost enough will fall into your lap. But, with that job, there’s no guarantee that it will actually be better than the one you have now. That high paying promotion you’ve been dreaming of will not be found easily. Those jobs are harder to find and to get. They require treating the process of getting a job like its own job.
Believe me, I wish there was an easier way. But, for the most part, elbow grease is the only answer. Making your job search the most important thing you’re doing will move it forward faster.
Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that preexisting commitments, such as family, should take top billing. It’s the right decision and one that I truly respect. But, the higher you can prioritize your search and the more time you’re able to pour into it, the faster things will come together.
Start by deciding how many hours each week you’d like to work on your search. Then, picture when would be the best time to put in those hours. Are mornings easier for you? Is right after work the best? Or, is Sunday afternoon ideal? Whatever time you select, hold yourself to it. Let your family know that you’re going to need a little extra time to focus on your search. Consider tracking your progress in a spreadsheet or on a calendar.
As I write this, I’m reminded that prioritizing your search is in reality a lot like prioritizing yourself, and your own happiness. It’s making time for your future goals. It’s making time for your future self. It’s a way of saying that you will not wait until your current job is so miserable that you can’t stand it anymore. You won’t wait for another tiny raise or a nonexistent promotion. You’re ready to take your search into your own hands because it’s a priority for you. Only then will you find what you’ve been hoping and searching for.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.