Searching for a job during a time of economic hardship can be a difficult and taxing experience. While the financial strain is an obvious worry, the emotional and mental strain are just as important to acknowledge and manage. Eddie Rivera, a goals coach at U.S. Bank in Las Vegas, Nevada, shared professional advice for staying positive throughout your journey from managing employment to helpful tips to remain motivated through these uncertain times.
You may feel as though your only focus right now is applying for a new job. While that’s a giant piece of the puzzle, it’s not the only important one. “Get laser focused in every aspect of your life: physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and of course, professionally,” Eddie says.
Staying physically healthy can prevent insomnia and distract you from feelings of hopelessness that can negatively impact your mental health. Challenge yourself to do something physical every single day: maybe it’s something as simple as going for a walk, taking a bike ride, or something more vigorous like lifting weights or going on a run.
Emotionally, begin mindful daily check-ins to reflect on how you’re feeling. Checking in with yourself every single day can be a powerful way to gauge your mood and whether or not you may need to take some time for yourself, call a friend or family member to receive motivation or positive encouragement for wavering self-confidence. “Stay away from diminishing people, and find an accountability partner you can truly trust with open and honest feedback,” Eddie says, “Tap into your circle of friends, circle of trust and circle of influence. When you find a person that aligns with all three of those, that’s the person you want to go to for advice and encouragement.” They can be a teacher, mentor, or someone in your life that guides you when you’re weathering this storm.
Financially, be smart about the choices you’re making when you have limited income or no income. “Prioritize what’s important for your family,” Eddie says, “it’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying something that will make you feel good in the moment, but when you get the bill, you’ll probably feel even worse.”
Spiritually, it’s important to realize that we’re all in this together. Trusting in a greater process and knowing you’re not alone in your position can play a huge part in staying motivated and staying organized.
Professionally, identify skills that make you stand out. Maybe you’re incredibly organized, very committed or a great leader. Remind yourself of those as you navigate this journey to remember who you are as a person. Review the goals you’ve accomplished in the past and hold onto those as motivators to push on when morale is low. And an easy task? Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume match! “Employers go to LinkedIn all of the time. If you need to spend time to get organized, match your LinkedIn and resume,” Eddie says.
An exercise that Eddie suggests doing (and does daily himself!) is what he refers to as “start, stop, continue”. Evaluate the things happening in your life right now. What are the things you need to start doing? What are the things you need to stop doing? And what are the things you need to continue to do to be successful? These three elements are important to be focused on because they can steer you in the right direction when you’re facing significant challenges.
“This is the time and the moment to reach out to your ex-peers, bosses or former bosses, because we all have something in common right now: we’re all facing this challenge together,” Eddie says. Don’t be embarrassed or shy when it comes to networking. You might be surprised the willingness of others to advocate for you or help you find your next position. Another piece of advice from Eddie? “You’re looking for a career or opportunity. Make that clear. Sometimes you have to take a detour and accept a job, but that can lead to a great opportunity in an organization. Don’t diminish the possibility of a job leading to a career because you’re able to show off the skills you have.”
While networking in-person might not be possible due to social distancing guidelines, as a society we’ve all become more accustomed to connecting with each other online. Be proactive, and be open and honest when you’re connecting and networking with people. “Say, ‘I’m in the market, I saw your profile and I’d love to connect with you to get guidance about how you started in this organization, or any feedback or insights you may have for me,” Eddie says, “You’d be surprised by how many people will take the time and connect.”
While in-person networking events aren’t happening right now, so many businesses are doing things virtually. Search for virtual events happening in your area. You may be surprised by how many people, businesses and peers are participating in those. If you don’t find a virtual event that pertains to your career, network or area, create one! “Be the person who says, ‘I am reaching out to my network and creating an event,” Eddie says. Your peers from applicable organizations may be impressed with your initiative and motivation, and potential employers can see your face, determination and understand if you’re a good candidate for a job based on your virtual meeting.
The job search can be daunting and difficult. Don’t forget what the value you bring to a potential career and remember that this is a temporary setback. Eddie says, “The following quote has been my guiding light, ‘Don’t let circumstances define you or confine you. Make them refine you.’ Don’t let these circumstances define who you are, let the way you live your life do that. Stay focused, humble and flexible, and don’t lose sight of the end goal or what you want to achieve.”
To learn more about goals coaching or schedule a free goals discovery session, visit usbank.com/exploremygoals.