When you’re unemployed, working up the confidence and energy to begin looking for a job is relatively easy. After all, with bills to pay, most of us can only procrastinate for so long. But what about when you already have a job — one you’d totally leave tomorrow were finding something new not such a hassle?
In a terrific Forbes post titled “How To Stop Procrastinating And (Finally) Start Looking For A Job,” Muse staff writer and editor Kaite Douthwaite shares some tips for getting your butt in gear and making some positive career moves. Read on for a summary of her excellent advice.
1. Start Slow — There’s a lot involved with a successful job search. You’ll need to update your resume, research companies, begin drafting cover letters, and network like you’ve never networked before. Instead of tackling everything at once, do like Douthwaite suggests and ease your way in. Spend tonight compiling a list of companies you might like to work for; tomorrow, tackle a single section of your resume. Baby steps.
2. Remind Yourself You’re Unhappy — Career experts rarely encourage negative thinking, but Douthwaite suggests procrastinating jobseekers think about how miserable they are in their current roles, and how much better they’ll feel once they land elsewhere. It’s all about visualizing the finish lie, not dwelling on the miles it takes to get there.
3. Take That First Step — Given the nature of online job listings, it won’t take long before you encounter an opportunity that looks absolutely perfect. That’s great, but as Douthwaite writes, the desire to put together a perfect application might lead you to drag your feet even more. Instead of agonizing over that dream gig, begin by applying for a job that’s less attractive and intimidating. “By getting that first application out of the way,” Douthwaite writes, “you’ll feel less pressure, shake out some nerves, and get all those terrible, cliché cover letter lines out of your system.”
4. Don’t Go It Alone — While searching for work is ultimately a solitary pursuit, there’s no shortage of people in the same boat. Got a friend or colleague who’s also on the hunt? Arrange weekly meetings wherein you share progress and bounce ideas off each other. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable and motivate yourself to keep going.