How to get motivated and start taking action for a new job search?
March 6, 2017 8:44 PM   Subscribe

How do I get motivated and start moving with a new job search? I am quite tired of my job and ready to do something else - I'm tired because there is too much to do, and I've been in my role for awhile, and I don't see a future at my confusing jumble of a company. But I'm dragging my feet, for two main reasons: 1) I'm afraid of change (what if every place is like this??) 2) the possibilities are daunting because I could move anywhere (where do I go, how do I even search when I think I'm open to many locales??) How do I calmly, effectively focus efforts on finding something new?
posted by watrlily to Work & Money (8 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Think of and write down the changes that you want. For each change, write a couple of bullet points about how to achieve it.

This will help you clarify your thoughts and give you some momentum towards accomplishing your goals.
posted by Fister Roboto at 8:54 PM on March 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Well said fister

I think mind mapping w an app like MindNode is always helpful as well. Put new cities, companies, positions all on separate nodes ... a lot of them, then duplicate the map and narrow down your options to the good ideas.
posted by specialk420 at 8:59 PM on March 6, 2017

Inertia is a powerful and limiting thing. Realize that you will never move beyond verbalizing about it until you take the first concrete step and each step gets easier. Quitting my first job was terrifying; but then I realized that it wasn't the end of the world and that I survived. That frees the mind up to then look to broader horizons.
posted by Curious 2 at 11:24 PM on March 6, 2017

I am currently in very similar situation to yours. I haven't been satisfied at my job for some time but haven't felt enough pressure to actually start doing anything about it until recently. I've tried to approach this by breaking everything into smaller tasks that are easier to complete. I've also had access to career counseling through my union.

This is the basic outline of the tasks recommended by the counselor to get into stage of actually applying for positions.
1. Mapping of strengths - what you know and what you are interested in. Give concrete examples
2. Motivations - what motivates you, how do you want to improve
3. Imagine your dream job - where, what kinds of skills, work environment, etc. Give reasons why
4. Mapping of possibilities - which companies and positions would be suitable. Give reasons why for each

For me, the steps 1 to 3 have been very important in getting to know what I would want to do in the future and also motivating in actually applying for new positions. It also makes the application process easier when you have thought out answers to those questions in advance and can select answers applicable to each specific position.
posted by baueri at 1:01 AM on March 7, 2017

Setting and following through with SMART goals will help you accomplish what you want to do.

SMART goals are described as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based.

A broad goal will only limit your progress. So, adding more detail is better.

Broad Goal example would be: I want to be a writer.

Focus on satisfying the 5 SMART elements:
1. Specific: I will write a manuscript on XYZ that is a minimum of 200 pages.
2. Measurable: I will write one chapter per month, or 10-13 pages per week.
3. Attainable: I will work on the manuscript first, and once that is completed, I will begin to search for a reputable publisher (or explore self-publishing).
4. Relevant: Writing a manuscript on XYZ will prepare me in becoming a writer.
5. Time-Based: My manuscript will be completed and ready to be published in 12 months at reputable publisher.

Then, write out the SMART Goal as a clear mission statement:

-> During the next 12 months, I will write a 200 page manuscript on XYZ by completing a chapter a month in preparation to become a writer at a reputable publisher.

By doing this, you are answering the WHO?, WHAT?, WHEN?, WHERE?, HOW? and most importantly WHY?
posted by mountainblue at 9:02 AM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

A nice toe-dipping approach (and something I frankly recommend to anyone) is to setup alerts on job websites like to send you a daily email with new jobs in your area that fit a vague search term that would encompass just about anything you'd be interested in. Then you can at least get an ongoing sense of who is hiring out there and what they're hiring for.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:25 AM on March 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm kind of you, but I'm dragging my feet for some different reasons, I think - mainly because the last couple times I was actively looking, first was in 2009, and absolutely no one was hiring and I was living on fumes. Then the second time I was looking it was 2013, I'd been living on a cobbled-together round of temp assignments for three years and I was flippin' desperate.

I'm in a bit of a better place now - I'm actively employed, I just want to change the specific circumstances of that job. but I'm finding that actively looking at job boards is giving me major PTSD flashbacks to 2009 and I'm thinking "what's the use the job will already be filled by the time I try anyway".

fortunately, one of my old colleagues has kind of adopted me and made a couple of good job-search suggestions, and one I'm going to do is work with recruiters. You may want to consider that too - let THEM do some of the actual looking for jobs for you. They can also kind of hold your feet to the fire a little and get you actually interviewing and applying.

also, networking too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:19 AM on March 7, 2017

"what if every place is like this?"

Every workplace is definitely NOT "a confusing jumble" or a bad environment. I've worked for about 100 workplaces ranging from 4 employees to 1000 employees (I'm a freelancer) and I can tell you with absolute confidence: all workplaces are NOT all the same. Some places have toxic cultures; some places have awesome cultures.

Just as a tiny example, two years ago I worked at a horrible place where the boss was actively mean to employees and the employees retaliated in a small way by leaving messes behind them constantly. Nobody EVER did a dish in that place. I've been sexually assaulted by another employee at work- IN FRONT OF OTHER EMPLOYEES- and nobody said a thing and I was glared at when I spoke up.

On the other hand, at the place I'm freelancing this week, the boss bought us all lunch as a treat, pays for a yoga teacher to come in and teach a group class once a week, makes concrete choices to ensure the work achieves gender and racial diversity, and today, for some reason the cleaners couldn't come, so three different people took initiative without being asked and stayed 15 minutes late to carry out all the trash and recycling for the whole company, smiling while they did it.

You can totally find a great place to work! You will be SO HAPPY when you do!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 5:05 PM on March 7, 2017

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