I just hung up with an IT leader who is on a job search.
She had planned her exit from her previous company mid-2019 and knew, given her level of experience, that her search could take some time before she landed her next position.
And then the Coronavirus!
After almost 2 weeks of watching videos, playing games online with friends and feeling scared she scheduled a call with me.
Smart gal I know!
By the end of our conversation she felt, in her own words, “inspired” and “ready to stop procrastinating”.
Here is what I suggested to her that you might find helpful.
1. Feel Your Feels-Acknowledge how you are feeling. Your grief, anger or fear. Let the feelings have airtime…with limits. The feelings that are keeping you frozen and hopeless do not get to take up the majority of your day. In fact, I suggest 15 minutes is adequate. Honor them and then move on. Spend some time journaling, move your body, breathe deeply, go outside and bathe in nature. Then get back at your job search.
2. Create Your Bucket List-Not the bucket list of things you hope to do before the end of your days but, instead, create Job Search Buckets. In her case, we created a bucket called Director Level roles in Healthcare, a bucket called Startup’s and another labeled Director Level roles (non-healthcare). These buckets helped her to have a better focus on where to spend her time. She had felt like she was spinning and not making any progress.
3. Craft Your Career Story-Now that she had her buckets figured out, we talked about how to craft her story in a way that positioned her experience in alignment with the different buckets. What she has done for startups is not quite the same as what she has done for a multi-national conglomerate. She needed to spend some time telling the story of her career with adjustments that showcased how she was a good fit for the bucket she was pursuing.
4. Be A Bonding Agent-Now is the time to connect. You can’t network in person right now, but you can use this time to connect and bond with your team and with others. People are at home. They can talk more freely. They may welcome a change to their new routine. Who have you been thinking about reaching out to about what it’s like to work for their company? What about your previous boss two jobs ago-do you wonder what they are up to? Who can you let know about your desire to advance your career?
5. Lead with Service-You know this, but it bears repeating. When you help someone else you cannot help it-you help yourself. Find a cause and donate. Check-in on an elderly neighbor. Create a Zoom meeting to share about a skill you have that you think someone might be interested in learning.
The bigger message here is an idea that Martha Beck talked about during my coach certification.
Whenever you are looking to move your life forward, especially during unusual circumstances, you need to be both an Eagle AND a Mouse– do what is right in front of you but do not forget the bigger picture. We will get past this. What small actions can you make right now that move you closer to your bigger vision of where you want to be on the other side of this.