Is there anything more disheartening than job hunting? Spending your days typing up CV’s, making lists of transferable skills, checking your Indeed inbox daily and scrolling your way through endless jobs you know you’ll never be able to do.
It’s a tough process, and one that keeps more people in horrible jobs than happy ones. The fear of having to explore so many new avenues, working environments and job roles is scary enough to tie anyone to their creaky broken desk chair. But those of us with no choice but to job hunt, with the threat of empty bank accounts looming, it can feel like the end of the world.
So I wanted to try and help make this horrendous journey easier. Although there will never be anything fun about filling out repetitive application forms and cover letters, there are a few ways to make the process as a whole just a little bit more fun.
Use your time well
Firstly, there is no point at all spending your whole day job hunting. No matter whether you live in a tiny rural village or a huge expansive city, you will always exhaust your resources in no longer than 2 hours. Make sure to dedicate a set block of time per day to job hunting, where you only work on looking through the job sites and role listings, and spend your time applying to them. Then, for the rest of the day, enjoy yourself. Clear your mind, meditate, go for a walk, play with your pets, write a blog post. Work on something other than you, and just let all that frustrating job-seeking energy settle and rest for a while.
Keep your phone and emails open
Whilst you do need your rest, it’s also important that you allow yourself to be responsive too. Recruiters and potential employers will contact you almost immediately if they like your CV and cover letter, so be sure to keep your phone on loud and your inbox ready. Answer any and all calls you get during ‘job hunting’ hours, even if you don’t recognise the number. Although, as millennials, we organically detest phone calls, and our inbuilt social anxieties will reject this idea – for this small amount of time in your life, just answer the phone.
Re-define what you consider ‘work’
When you’re out of work, it can be hard trying to find your purpose. Job hunting seems even more unappealing when all you see on social media is a sea of goaldiggers and girl bosses smashing it in their own right. So change your perception of work. Take your laptop and your phone to a nice coffee shop, plug in your headphones and get stuck in to that CV builder. Bring some of your effortlessly successful friends with you to work on their projects, whilst you work on yours. Once you eradicate the shame element from job hunting, it can be as glamourous and celebratory as you make it.
Reward yourself for small successes
One of the most rewarding things to do, when searching for a job, is to organise yourself. List every job you apply for in a beautiful spreadsheet, with columns for ‘call back’ ’email back’ ‘interview’ ‘second interview’ ‘JOB!’ ‘rejection’ and ‘radio silence’. Not only will this help you to prove to yourself that you truly are doing everything you can to find a job, it can help you to really see just how many small achievements you’ve gained. 5 jobs applied for, and 3 call backs? That’s amazing! 20 CV’s sent off, and 10 email replies? You’re smashing it! You made it to a face-to-face interview? Holy cow, you’re a guru of career buidling! Let yourself be proud of the little things, it’ll turn your whole perspective around.
Create a ‘Preparation’ folder
This is something that can honestly save you so much time when it comes to job hunting. Create a Google Drive or desktop folder of everything you could ever need when it comes to applying for roles. This includes:
- Your polished and proofread CV (in both PDF and Docx formats)
- A cover letter template that you can easily adapt to each role you apply for
- Your basic information i.e. full name, DOB, address, National Insurance
- An email template for messaging companies directly
- If possible – a document with links to all of your work or examples of it
- A basic ‘About Me’ statement that can be easily copied into text boxes
Having this to hand will save you hunting down long lost files and folders, tracking down documents and hunting through old payslips to try and find that one bit of information you really need. It will also help you to become so much efficient in the way you apply to jobs, helping you to make the most of your dedicated job hunting time, giving you more hours to enjoy the day!
If there’s only one hack to take away from this blog post, I really want it to be this: your employment status does not define you, your worth, your status or your existence. You are you, no matter whether you have a £40k salary or are on unemployment benefits, and that is amazing.
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