“I’m just feeling really antsy,” Kayla told me. She fiddled with the straw in her iced latte and sighed. “I’m ready for this to be over and for me to start working again.”
We were sitting in our usual spot – the coffee shop that’s central to both of our neighborhoods – and having our bi-weekly coaching session.
I totally understood where Kayla was coming from. She’d been at it for months – tweaking her resume, making connections on LinkedIn, writing cover letters galore – and she was tired.
The fact is, undergoing a career transition (i.e. pulling the plug on the career you hate and going after the career you’ll love) can be tedious, especially for those- like Kayla – who’ve come from a years-long background of working that structured 9 to 5.
But there are ways to break up the monotony of job seeking, and I assured Kayla that together, she and I would design an action plan that would not only help her redistribute her energy, but more importantly, keep her sane.
Read below for some of these tips.
Step Away From Your Computer
When undergoing a career transition, it’s easy to stay glued to your computer, scanning job boards and tweaking your resume again and again, doubting your use of the word “implement” and convincing yourself that no one will ever hire you.
You might even feel guilty for the time you spend away from your screen, reasoning that the more you hours you spend in front it, the better your chances are of landing the gig.
If only it worked that way.
Although you should dedicate a set amount of time each day for job searching, keep in mind that no one was built to do the same thing all day. We all need to switch up our routines from time to time.
So get up, stretch, take a walk, play some gangster rap and dance around your living room, call a friend and schedule a lunch date, take a Pilates class, watch a show on Netflix.
Then, come back to your laptop – but only after you’ve done something that refreshes you.
Make Connections – Online and In-Person
If the word “networking” makes you cringe, you’re not alone. Instead, let’s call it what it is: Meeting people. Making connections. Making friends.
In today’s job market, there are ample opportunities to connect with others online (via Instagram and LinkedIn) and in person. When I’m coaching clients, I encourage them to make two connections per day. This can be done via email, by sending a personal message to someone on LinkedIn, or by sending a direct message on Instagram.
In Kayla’s case, we looked for events that were based on or hosted by nonprofit organizations, since this is the field she’s transitioning into.
Volunteering is an awesome way to a) step away from your computer b) make connections and c) gain valuable experience that can be added to your resume.
Sites like VolunteerMatch allow you to browse different organizations and find one that appeals to your particular set of values. Look for a volunteer opportunity that will help you to learn new skills that can be applied to your new industry.
Kayla did this by volunteering at nonprofit food pantries and groups that help the homeless. This gave her more experience to list on her resume and also brought her face to face with the programs, software, and structure of a nonprofit organization, giving her further knowledge and skills in the field.
Whether your transition is long or short, keep yourself sane by volunteering, stepping away from your computer, and meeting new people. Above all, enjoy the freedom you have before you’re back at work.
How have you stayed sane during a career transition? Comment below! ↓↓