I’m excited to join the Coffee With Kelly crew on Friday, January 13th to share my best guidance on surrounding your job search with positive energy this year. And what better day for positive vibes than Friday the 13th? (: Thank you Kelly for having me!
I decided to call the session “surrounding your job search with positive energy” because energy is something you can create and surround yourself with! When I speak with someone looking for a new role or one of my new career coaching clients, there is usually a focus on external factors – “beating” the ATS, waiting for the recruiter or hiring manager to get back to them, etc. (Don’t focus on ways to beat anything, focus on building relationships, learning and expanding your network – more on that below!) I notice a lot of energy is being placed on other things’ power, or other peoples’ power. Through this session/post I hope to encourage you to take control and put out the positive and confident energy that you want to receive back! Throughout this post, I will also be mentioning my favorite phrases from the Kelly Merbler Quote Deck! I’ll indicate these with a *
First things first, get organized. Make a spread sheet or free Trello board to track your search efforts. Postings you applied to (link, title, company, location) date applied, followed the company on LinkedIn, connected with recruiter on LinkedIn, date followed up on application, etc. Especially once you have screens and interviews, you don’t want to forget to send that thank you note within 24 hours, or forget to follow up after a week if you haven’t heard anything to reiterate your interest and see if any other information is needed. You have control over how organized you are. *You can do anything, but first you have to do something.*
I want to revisit is my blog post from 2018 – Feeling discouraged about your job search? It’s okay! I’ve sent this to folks so many times over the years and is still a great resource. I know it’s easy to get discouraged. Always stay kind. You may get unfavorable responses from recruiters, or no response and that really sucks I know – just remember that the energy you put out is what you’ll receive back. Do your best to compartmentalize each recruiter interaction, so you don’t accidentally take negative feelings from a recent rejection, into a fresh conversation/interaction with the next recruiter! If you don’t feel like you’re in a place to do this, then take a break until you can get back into searching with fresh, positive energy. Taking a break is okay! I like to reference my mental health toolkit, especially on harder days, to help me reset negative thought processes and complete something I enjoy. *Do not lose sight of the storms you’ve weathered. They are what adds all the colors to your rainbow.*
Now is a great time to reconnect with your existing network – it’s January and a great opportunity to check in and say Happy New Year! It’s easy in a job search sometimes to focus on making more and more new connections. But once you’ve met them, or connected with them on LinkedIn, what are you doing to build that relationship? Building your network for the long term certainly helps with job searches, but also helps with learning, professional development, seeing what events are happening, referrals, and attracting other opportunities like volunteering and community involvement. It’s just fun to help each other and learn! Reach out to your existing connections and ask them how they’re doing, wish them a happy new year and ask if there’s anything you can help them with. Of course it’s okay to also mention that you are looking for a new role, the types of roles you are looking for, and ask if they have any ideas/guidance/tips/feedback for you or suggestions of folks to reach out to! I wouldn’t recommend sending a note and asking someone to keep you in mind, or keep an eye out for postings for you, as those asks are too vague. It’s easy for someone to disregard that ask when you’re putting some of the job search work on them.
Set goals for yourself. Check out my goal setting tips blog for more of the mechanics behind setting goals. Goals keep you on track, moving forward, and keep you in control! Be careful with the numbers you chose, if the goals do involve numbers. For example, apply to 3 jobs per day. If you find you aren’t seeing roles each day that fit your interests/qualifications, then don’t apply just to hit a number. When I can’t hit specific goals for myself, say I applied to 1 job today when my goal was 3, then I move to my “action” list. In what other ways can I take action? For example, connecting with everyone on LinkedIn that I met in the chat on the Coffee With Kelly call, liking/commenting on my connections’ post that come up in my newsfeed, learning about one new company in my area, following a new company on LinkedIn, reading an article relevant to my ideal role/industry and then sharing it as a post on LinkedIn with thoughts/take-a-ways. These are just a few ideas that come to mind! But YOU control the action you take. By creating momentum and positive energy for yourself, you’re much more likely to attract good things! *Your future will be as good as you decide it will be.*
A couple of the things I mentioned above, like learning about new companies in your area, or reading/sharing an article are also KEY because learning helps you fight impostor syndrome! We all can doubt ourselves at times, and especially as a young professional, I’ve definitely dealt with impostor syndrome. Check out my blog post here with tips to combat – like learning, self-care, and creating a strong support system. Learning also improves the quality of each new interaction with someone, because you have more knowledge and context about your field of work/function/industry to pull from, reference, or bring up in conversation.
Don’t be afraid to change things up! You’ll likely have to be creative and resourceful in the new role you’re looking to take on anyway, so start that way of thinking now. Change up your job alerts to different titles, companies and locations. You may be surprised of what you see. Many things in life need tweaking from time to time, so don’t be afraid to change something. *It’s never too late to change your path.* Try and think of new and creative ways to move your search forward. Applying online and waiting to hear back works for some, but I wouldn’t rely on it. In the mean-time take creative, sincere and intentional action to move yourself forward.
Celebrate your wins or when you learn something new! Each week I look back and write a few wins or memories, such as a nice coffee chat with a new connection, a new skill learned, even personal wins like enjoyed 3 long walks with my dog, found a new album to listen to, or had breakfast with my mom. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what you enjoy doing. Job searching can quickly become your identity, and maintaining the other items you enjoy in life will help you feel balanced, stay positive and avoid burnout. Plus, you can meet people relevant to your job search anywhere! I’ve met folks I ended up making professional connections with while dropping my dog off at the groomer and in line at the grocery store. Continue to be you and do the things you enjoy – keeping that intact helps attract new connections and opportunities anywhere. (:
Shoot your shot. You need to take chances on you before expecting others’ to do the same. Doing this for yourself creates positive energy! Don’t count yourself out if you’re missing a few things on the job posting – still apply! I recently saw on Twitter that someone was intimidated by the number of followers on LinkedIn a recruiter had, and they figured they wouldn’t get a response because of that number of connections/followers, so they didn’t reach out. Be careful about telling yourself stories that may not be true. I have over 12k followers on LinkedIn, however I get a ton of spam and InMails that I immediately decline. If you’re thoughtful and specific with your connection request or message, you WILL cut through the noise! I get messages each week that just say “Hi, how are you?” and I unfortunately have to skip them so I can focus the time I do have to help others who are specific and intentional. Don’t assume someone is unapproachable, won’t respond, etc. You have to shoot your shots and *fight for your future.*
I spend some time customizing my LinkedIn newsfeed to surround myself with the information and positive energy that I chose to use LinkedIn for. I personally do not want to spend the time I allocate to LinkedIn scrolling past posts that are negative or focused on complaining. With any post you see in your newsfeed, you can click the 3 dots in the top right corner of the post and then click “I don’t want to see this.” You can also unfollow specific people, which just means you won’t see their posts and activity in your feed, however you will remain connected to them and able to message them. As you let LinkedIn know what you don’t want to see, your feed will improve over the coming weeks as the algorithm learns. If there are posts you find helpful, valuable, encouraging, job posts etc. be sure to like or comment on them so LinkedIn knows to show you more of that content. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my morning 10 minute scroll on my LinkedIn app to bring me down for the day! I want it to be positive, productive, and I want to see the information that’s most relevant to me. We all use LinkedIn differently, so tailor your newsfeed to the type of information that you personally come to LinkedIn for. *Are the people you spend the most time with feeding your future or starving your success?*
Last but not least, *when your calling comes make sure your voicemail isn’t full.* Lol! Full voicemail boxes are definitely a pet peeve of mine as a recruiter. Please make it easy for me to reach you – it’s usually good news! I hope this will help you surround your job search with positive energy this year. You got this!