A lot of people have been writing about the benefits of daily rituals lately, and for good reason. Ritual is something sorely lacking in our modern society. In a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water many people think of the word ritual as a dirty word, synonymous with superstition. However, a ritual is simply a habit that is developed for a purpose. And there are a few habits that are especially beneficial to the job seeker, so why not create a daily ritual out of them.
One of the first benefits of having a daily ritual is to give you a framework for your day. When out of work and looking for that next career step it is easy to fall into bad habits, wasting time on Netflix, continually spinning your wheels applying for jobs on job boards, getting hooked on Candy Crush, you name it. But a ritual is like a built-in schedule for your day. Stick with it and can act as your anchor keeping you on track.
Second, a ritual can have many different components, each benefiting a different aspect of your life. For instance, let’s say your morning ritual revolves around morning walks- nothing superhuman, just a 30 min walk around the neighborhood early enough in the morning so that you can have the peace and space necessary to think. This ritual not only contributes to your health, but it also acts as an escape valve for those thoughts that continually swirl about in your head. Being out of work can exacerbate those thoughts of anxiety and having a ritual in place to try to calm them and deal with them is vital.
The third benefit of a daily ritual is that it allows you to run on autopilot for a while. When you don’t have a job to go to every day it is amazing how quickly you realize that a job is much more than a way to make a living, it provides a pattern to your day, week and life. Without this proscribe pattern you need to decide what you should be doing every minute of every day. This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you have retired parents or friends, they’ll tell you that that feeling of restless openness to their day was one of the first things they needed to deal with. If you have a ritual that includes certain steps for each part of the day, this problem is lessened.
Fourth, you can build your ritual around both self-improvement and job seeking. This way you are benefiting both for the short term and the long term. As stated above, a morning walk help you both physically and mentally. So when building your daily ritual think of others things that have multiple benefits. Perhaps, every day at noon you decide to take a 30 minute reading break from your daily job search duties. Make sure the book you chose to read is one that deals in some way with your profession and now you are not only giving yourself a calming break, but you are learning things that will benefit you for years to come as well.
The final benefit of a daily ritual for job seekers is that it will instill the habit permanently. Ideally you want to keep some pieces of your daily ritual, or at least the idea of having one once you land your new job as well. Because the benefits of this extend far beyond the relatively brief time you are looking for work. Having a daily ritual will allow you a greater measure of discipline and peace in your life for the long term as well.