The 1 Thing That’s Likely Missing From Your Job Search Strategy

In your job search, you can send out a great résumé, have a heartfelt cover letter and, possibly, an employee referral, but those things don’t amount to much if you’re missing out on what we’re about to delve into.

You’re likely working full-time and adding another job, your job search can be intensive and stressful. Don’t leave out the very thing that gets you your job: your self. Self-care is essential to your job search strategy.

Most of us have heard of the term self-care, but our practice of it doesn’t always yield desired results. We’re a stressed out and burned out nation. When we put self-care first, we give our physical, emotional and mental health areas of our life the necessary support to succeed at home and in the workplace. The beautiful thing about self-care is that it’s unique to all of us, and we all have different threshold levels for the necessary components of our well-being: nutrition, relationships, exercise, and of course, my favorite well-being pillar, sleep.

This is specifically what happens when you leave self-care out of the job-search equation:

  • You’ll be more likely to get easily frustrated with your job search or at work which leads to hastiness or sloppiness with job search activities.

  • Self-care leads to confidence, so it’s typically harder to deal with rejections when your self-care tank is low. Dealing with rejections is what makes looking for a job tough, but the rewards are usually around the corner.

  • Self-care leads to improved energy, memory, and productivity, so you’ll increase your chances of better time management and results.

  • You’ll be more likely to miss opportunities. A positive mindset helps you leverage opportunities and spot them before they’re gone.

  • Burnout and self-care go hand in hand in many cases. So, the more you make time for self-care, the less likely you’ll be to experience career burnout.

There’s so much more that can be said, but let’s talk about things that you can do to improve your job search strategy by incorporating self-care. I’ve written a list of suggestions for you below.

1)  Define what self-care means to you. This definition then serves as your benchmark to ensure that your daily activities are on track.

2) Figure out your self-care love language, and then, incorporate it into your job-search strategy. Here’s what I mean by that. Gary Chapman is the author of a popular, relationship self-help book, The Five Love Languages. Three of those love languages are things that I’ve seen to be useful for clients to apply over the years: words of affirmation, gifts and quality time. Most of the clients I work with have words of affirmation as their self-care love language, and they’re also visual learners. If you lack confidence or you feel fearful, find some quotes that help elevate your feelings and use it as your inspiration. If you value giving or receiving gifts or spending quality time with loved ones, reward yourself after a job search activity with spending time on one of those things.

3) Value your time by spending it on things that will have the most impact, and ask for help if you need it. Having meaningful conversations and building and nurturing relationships is a good use of job-search time. After a job search, networking conversation, aim to leave with the following: an understanding of what the other person does and the biggest challenges in their department, their role and the industry; something memorable about the person, to build on and deepen future interactions and someone else they can connect you to.

4) Utilize nature and its scientifically proven calming and energy boosting effects. I tend to talk about calm and confidence boosters when conducting interview coaching. Enough fresh air, adequate sunlight and proper nutrition are often overlooked when we’re in job search mode.

5) Write a career gratitude list and think about it from the perspective of your achievements, relationships and corporate culture. You’ll find it also a great activity for interview preparation.

6) Be realistic with your goals and expectations. This one is crucial. If you’ve been out of the job search market for a while, then chances are you may not be sure on what to expect. You may not hear back from half of the jobs you apply to or even get a response from those you seek out to converse with, and that’s okay. Your desired career will be yours in due time.

Make self-care a priority in your job search and watch things turnaround.

This article first appeared on my Forbes column and was featured on the channel page.