It’s been a few days since I returned from my rollercoaster of a job interview and while I’ve moved past my little snafu, I have to wait until later this month to find out if I’ve bagged the job.
I wrote in the newsletter last week (You are subscribed to the newsletter, aren’t you? You should be if not) that I’m not particularly the most patient of people and for the past few days I’ve been coming to grips with that.
Aside from my impatience, I also have the nasty habit of dissecting how something went and probably obsessing a bit much over the fine details.
Any jobseeking hack, myself included, will tell you that’s a pretty awful way of approaching the long slog that can be job hunting.
To be cliche, these old habits do die hard, and there is some wisdom in them – a little bit of healthy introspection and reflection can only do good.
Yet there is a pretty fine line between the healthy and the detrimentally obsessive.
So here are a few tips that I’m trying to follow at the present moment to get my mind off things and remain focused on the greater picture – which is of course finding my dream job and getting on with the career I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars building toward.
- Get outside – not sure about the weather over there, but it’s been a bit of an Indian Summer here in the States (aside from the random snow storm a few weeks ago). You can’t spend every day hammering away at applications. Take a walk, see friends, play football, walk the dog, ride your bike, go swimming or do some shopping. If you’re like me, at least sit outside and do your work (like I’m doing now, beer included).
- Read. Read. Read. – People often say that one of the best ways to improve your writing is to read a lot. Me personally, I’ve made a more concerted effort to not only read as much news as possible during the day, but to also bury my nose in some books. Right now I’m being a total nerd and reading the latest of George R.R. Martin’s books from the series, “A Song of Fire and Ice”. I’ve also got a few issues of the New Yorker piled up as well.
- Step away from the computer and e-mail – Obsessively refreshing your email account isn’t going to make news come any quicker. It’s just going to hurt your eyes and one o’clock in the afternoon will quickly turn to two, then three and you’ll wonder where the time went. Just leave it to the smart phone to let you know when the all important e-mail finally hits the inbox.
- Indulge a bit and watch some television – In between applications and the hell of writing cover letters I’ve tried catching up on a few TV shows. I’ve been rewatching Arrested Development and The Wire. I’m also watching The Sopranos for the first time.
- Apply for other jobs – Enough said really. It’s best not to get hung up on one particular opportunity, no matter how much you want it. You’ll feel better off and more productive for keeping at it.
I think all of the Hacks so far this year have harped on and hammered home the essences of jobseeking, but there’s always more than cover letters, job interviews and resume building.
You’re not going to get anywhere if the jobseeking process turns into an automated churning machine spitting out resumes and clippings left and right. Employers want to see someone with personality and panache, not the beat down and smouldering shell of someone who went a job application too far.
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After finishing my stint in student media, I couldn’t help but look