Have your job search muscles been dormant for some time? 

brain fog

Most likely, if you are doing it right, the job search process will be a struggle.

Depending upon where you are in your career, and how long it has been since you’ve embarked on a job search, you’ll likely begin using job-search muscles that have been dormant for some time.

I was inspired to write this post after reading my friend and fitness guru, Heather Frey’s article over at the SmashFit blog, called “Should You Struggle When You Workout? YES. Here’s why … “

In her ever-pragmatic and encouraging way, she explained that, amid the theories about “how much” you should lift when working out at the gym, the consistent thread is that “whatever your goal or workout preference, you should always struggle. That is, you should always be pushing yourself just a little further than you can go.”

I loved this. In conjunction with my recent re commitment to the gym, it seemed doable to “push just a little further!”

Similarly, in job search and career advancement, you can always push just a little further to move toward your next goal or series of goals. However, struggling, as Heather assures, “doesn’t (have to) mean pain.”

Instead of correlating the process with pain, associate it with pushing past the comfort zone. The feeling of satisfaction that taking one or two additional action steps toward your next role or promotion will feel worth it.

Read: Refresh Your Job Search – Don’t give up!

To get you started, following are a few career change workout sessions to consider:

Peer into Your Rearview Mirror.

Don’t forget to reflect on your own achievements

Allow your past achievements to inform how you describe your current skills.You want to make sure that you’re doing yourself, and all of your career successes, justice by including them in fresher ways on your resume or cover letter. The task of pulling together this archive may seem daunting at first, so instead of pushing forward all at once, assign yourself 30-60 minute sessions to compile this narrative.

Read: What makes regular women successful?

Determine Who You Are and How That Adds Value.

Narrow in on the snippets and short stories that best reflect the current “you” and the aspirational “you.” You’ll want this deeper thinking to help peel back the layers of your career and really take a look at what’s working, what isn’t and what you’d like to change. This exercise will help you flex the intellectual and self-aware muscle, which can only help you move forward in your career.

Job search

Research.

While it may sound simple because of 24/7 internet accessibility to billions of pieces of information, the enormity of options actually can exacerbate the challenge. Where do you start? What sites are reliable? How do you research companies? Then what? How do you know if you’re a fit for those types of companies, industries, jobs? These all are questions you’ll want to sort through, and it is likely you’ll need several sessions to sift through and fine tune the results. Which is why my advice here is to schedule breaks in between blocks of research time — the breaks will ultimately help you enjoy the research process instead of hate it.

While the career change arena is complex and the steps at times feel weighty, fight to not stay in your familiar corner. Get out there and compete for your next opportunity. Start with baby steps, and then, as you feel your muscle grow, momentum will build and opportunities will expand.

 

Do you need help with flexing your Career Muscles? Get in touch now! 

Originally posted in LinkedIn Pulse

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

About Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, owner + Chief Career Writer at CareerTrend.net, is 1 of only 50 master resume writers + has crafted >1,500 interview-compelling career stories. Her BA in writing/journalism allows her to apply a journalist's eye to your career. She weaves content that captures your core competencies but more importantly, reveals subtle strengths and distinguishing value. By shattering illusions of what a resume ‘should be,’ she architects a STORY you have NOT YET IMAGINED.