With job searches now averaging 10 months – an all time high – frustration, fatigue, and outright burnout can occur. This dampened spirit can be hard to mask during interviews, further exacerbating the search. Companies, given the choice of equally qualified candidates, will choose the positive, energetic, healthy one over another exhibiting weariness and signs of desperation.
How do you overcome this? A job search is basically a numbers games. You have to persistently work on researching companies for opportunities, network, blog, participate in trade functions, and generally get as much contact in the marketplace as you can, to find those which match your skill set. A job search requires a plan of attack. You have to have the right office set up and stick to a disciplined daily schedule. Set times for research, networking, qualifying leads, connecting with potential employers, and follow up. These tasks need to operate with military precision to keep your search on track and get the exposure you will require to land interviews and a new job.
It is easy to see how discouragement can set in after weeks and weeks of searches competing against an average of 5 others for each open position. Equally as important as your other tasks are health breaks – for both mental and physical fitness – and these should be part of your scheduled daily routine. The best part of the health break is that exercise gives you a better mental outlook as well. A long jog, bicycle ride, or workout at the athletic club clears your mind and gives you uncluttered time to think and develop new strategies for your search. The club can also be a great place to network. A good workout leaves you refreshed and ready to jump back into the thick of your search – with a new, fresh perspective.
Some may argue that you must be vigilant with your search and not let up until you land the job you are looking for, but finding that job is one thing and getting hired a completely different story. Let’s face it, there is discrimination in the job market. Recruiters don’t want to parade in unhealthy looking applicants to meet hiring managers and companies don’t want potential healthcare cost exposure. This is an acute problem especially for older workers. Unless you can demonstrate that you have a healthy, energetic persona you will not make it to the first level interview.
When you consider an exercise program as integral to your job acquisition success, it becomes a matter of discipline to work it into your schedule just like all other daily tasks. It can be an evening jazzercise class, a morning bike ride, a jog on the treadmill, a noontime walk, or whatever else is convenient for you – but it must be done with unwavering regularity to provide the benefit you need. Wellness is also predicated on a healthy diet. Worrying about job prospects, bills, the kids, etc. can cause you to overeat or snack on junk food, lose sleep — even get depressed and consume too much alcohol. Another benefit of regular exercise is that it tends to help you sleep better, builds your self-esteem, and basically contributes to a healthier lifestyle – which typically leads to better eating habits. Make sure you get plenty of sleep before job interviews to appear bright and alert. Appearing fit, with a healthy glow and a positive attitude, will help open doors (once you’ve done your homework) for interviews and the job you seek.