Keeping sane whilst looking for work – Project Management Tips

Whatever situation you are in – whether you are unemployed, between contracts or just ready to make a move from your current role, the recruitment process can be incredibly frustrating. Searching for roles, applying for them and then waiting to see if you are blessed with any kind of response from the employer or recruiter and when chasing up applications being told you are one of dozens of applications blah blah blah. It is a bit soul destroying, even for the most motivated and upbeat job seeker. So what can you do to ensure you keep motivated and a sense of humour during this period?

Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself – I know it’s easy to say, but it’s true. There is a reason you are not shortlisted for some roles, a good hiring manager or recruiter will be looking for specifics in your CV and once they have met their shortlist needs they discard other applications. So it isn’t always just about the best CV, it’s the best CVs getting in there first.
  • Talk to people – whether it’s the recruiters, HR staff or even people in your network who currently work at the organisation. Understand what is going on behind the scenes. As we are currently going into holiday season, applications may be sat on the desk of someone who is away for 2 weeks and will have a back log of work when they return. This could be the “black hole” you feel you have gone into.
  • Call a friend – cliché I know but, talking to someone about how the process is going will help bring you back to normality. I have often bounced ideas off virtual work buddies – we work in different fields but all have an appreciation of what we do and can sympathise with each other’s situations. Bringing the sense of humour back is important.
  • Keep going – don’t pin your hopes on a couple of roles, you may be hearing all the right noises after making your application but for whatever reason, roles do go on hold and can be withdrawn. Make sure you keep plenty of irons in the fire, the worst which can happen is you end up with a few interviews (better for practice anyway) and hopefully, multiple job offers.

As project professionals, you are well used to good planning (or should be) – make sure you plan your recruitment activities and keep up momentum. By keeping to a structured format of applications you will feel more in control of the situation and will free up time for other activities – keeping sane means timeout too!

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