How To Keep Up Your Energy For The Long Job Search

Gail Belsky, job search tipsLast week I wrote about needing to get out of my own little world and connect with people. I haven't done much about that, but I have gotten an energy boost --mostly from exerting more energy. An insane burst of freelance work had me working 14-hour days, juggling six projects at once. And somehow, the adrenaline has kept flowing.

Momentum is a beautiful thing. Instead of slowing down once the crunch passed, I redirected that energy to the career front. I finally finished making the changes to my resume that guru Miriam Salpeter of Keppie Careers suggested, although I couldn't come up with quantifiable "results" for a few of the things I've done.

I've also talked about potential jobs with a couple of people -- former colleagues from various points in my career whom I reconnected with through writing this blog. (It may be cheating, but the blog has served as a sort of e-blast alternative to reaching out directly to people.) Maybe it's karma, but there also suddenly seems to be more job postings that are a good "fit." Or maybe, after all my thinking, talking and hand-wringing about my professional goals, I've just figured how to identify them.

What I'm not sure of is how to keep the energy flowing if another work lull sets in. Thinking back to what career coaches Marty Nemko and J.T. O'Donnell told me, I should probably strike now and contact people in my network -- not just about potential work, but for insight into what the market looks like, and how to position myself for it.

If I learned anything from my earlier freelance slump it's that idling is a bad idea. It deflates your sense of self-worth and drains your batteries. You don't need to be busy 14 hours a day, but you need to be busy. So last week, after finishing my resume, I started sending it out.

I emailed it to a friend who passed it along to colleagues in his company's marketing department. And I sent it up twice to the job-board heavens. That ate up all of an hour. If I didn't still have work on my plate, then what? What would I do to keep myself powered up?

I have no clue. My tendency is to sit around waiting for the action to come to me, which means a lot of sitting around. I don't want to lose energy, and frankly, there are a lot of good things I could be doing with my time. So along with making a list of potential companies to work for, which the career coaches suggested doing, I should probably make a list of other things I might find energizing in the meantime.

What have you done to keep your momentum going during a job search?
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