Q: I’ve been researching opportunities in my field. There don’t appear to be very many. I’ve been watching the major job boards, paying attention to what the media is discussing and sending out my resume. There must be a better way to find what I’m looking for, because this combination isn’t working. Please advise.
A: You won’t be if you dig further.
“Sending out my resume” sounds extremely casual and not targeted. You’ll make the most progress, although likely with the greatest effort, if you get yourself away from your desk and out talking to people. Identifying one particular company where you’d like to work, with a second for Plan B, will give you far greater focus than you’ve had. Get the names of specific people with whom you’d like to interview. Call your friends to see if anyone you know knows a person there. If not, move to contacts, via email if that seems more appropriate.
If you can’t close employers, ask for others in the company to meet. Meanwhile, start working on the other company to avoid the possibility of being left out in the cold.
Q: I can’t see my way through all I have to do. I have a business to maintain while job hunting. Forget family responsibilities. Every place I go and everything I do reminds me of work. When I get something done, I hardly have a chance to mark it, because it’s on to the next thing.
A: “To every season turn, turn, turn,” the song goes. We’re so attached to computers, urban or suburban living and the media that we sometimes fail to see the big picture. Overwork comes and goes. Demand wears us out, followed by relative respite. Think of the seasons.
Summer fools us into thinking it’s time for R&R when it really requires work. Sunny days lift our spirits, although the heat can become oppressive. Organize your thoughts and tasks early in the day. Your business will tug at you when you’re busy with job-hunting tasks. Don’t lose sight of it as a foundation, but don’t let it overtake you.
Incorporate family time in the mix. View each meal or errand you share as a family moment, not just an occasion to discuss or worry about work or your job hunt. Compartmentalize for sanity.