Anyone who's ever been unemployed (or looked for a job while employed) knows how stressful and exhausting the job search process can be. So, during your job search, should you feel guilty for taking some time for yourself?
The short answer: No. Of course not.
If we're not spending every waking moment applying for jobs, sometimes it's easy to feel guilty—like we're not doing EVERYTHING we can to land our next job. This strategy of applying for as many jobs as possible and hoping for the best actually doesn't help anyone get a job faster. In other words, choosing quantity over quality. This is the wrong mindset to have, and it does more harm than good.
The job search process is about working smarter, not harder.
Think about a normal work day. It's pretty balanced, right? You get up, go to work, come home, and still have hours left in the day to do whatever you want. Your job isn't the only thing you have going on in your life. That's why it's called work-life balance. To sum it up...
Your job isn't your whole life. So, your job search shouldn't be either.
Here are some ways you can take time for yourself as you look for a new job (because you deserve it!):
When you're unemployed, here at Work It DAILY we like to say this is an opportunity for you to get in the best shape of your life.
Taking care of yourself is important and regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for both your physical and mental health. It's a great way to relieve stress and it may even help you sleep better.
Take advantage of the free time you have after applying for jobs and get moving! Chances are, you'll walk into your next interview with more confidence and an extra spring in your step.
Nothing helps us detach from our busy lives like reading a good book.
Quiet those racing thoughts by reading—any genre will do! Reading may help you learn something new, gain new perspectives, and help with empathy (all things that will benefit you at your next job).
Knowledge is power!
Although you may dread networking, think of it as a necessary evil. Sure, it sucks having to step outside your comfort zone and you'd rather be doing other things. But nothing can produce positive career results quite like networking. There's no substitute for it.
If you're between jobs, you should devote some of your time to networking. You'll meet new people in your industry and connect with those who have similar interests and career goals. If it doesn't help you get your next job, it may help you get a job down the line.
4. Visit Family & Friends
Sometimes all we need when we're feeling down is a visit with our family and friends. They've supported you through tougher times, and they'll support you through this transition too.
When you're starting to doubt yourself, they will remind you of your strengths and accomplishments. They'll give you that confidence boost you need. At the very least, you'll have quality time with the people you love—time you don't always have when you're working every day.
5. Learn A New Skill
One of the best ways you can spend your time during the job search process is by learning a new skill.
Whether it's getting certified or taking a class, this skill should be applicable to your new job. You can add it to your resume, and it shows employers you've been doing something productive for your career, even when you weren't employed.
If you try these five things (or just one!), you'll transition to your next job with ease—and it won't feel like you're just waiting out the clock. Be proactive and take ownership of your career like never before! You may be looking for a job, but don't let that stop you from living your best life.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.