What does a daily ritual for jobseekers look like?
Earlier this year I talked at length about why’d you’d want to create a daily ritual, but I did not spell out exactly what one would look like. Hopefully I have convinced you of the former as I am about to deliver the latter. Here are a few different ways to go about building a daily ritual. Just note that these are only ideas to get you started- this is a very personal activity which will look different for everyone.
To me, a good daily ritual should incorporate activities that hit all the major aspects of one’s well-being, the physical, mental and spiritual. It is only when all three are giving their own space to grow that someone can truly thrive. How you jigsaw the pieces together is largely personal preference.
Physical. I don’t think I need to point out the thousands of studies linking physical health to mental health. We all know about the endorphin release you get from moving your body and how physical activity can allow the brain to work out problems it has been wrestling with. Movement is good- we just need to build a daily ritual of doing it.
You could choose to start every day with something as simple as a walk around your neighborhood (after a cup of coffee of course). Or perhaps you are more incline to take a daily jog. Or maybe you really want to challenge yourself and you take the 100 burpee-a-day challenge. What you chose for your physical ritual is not as important as doing it every day, at the same time of the day. Make it how you do mornings.
Mental. Jobseeking is a mentally draining task as it is very repetitive. You have to take the same steps, day after day to achieve the results you want. Research the job and company. Make some connections. Tailor your documents and apply. Then do it again. And again. You get the idea. If you don’t build some intellectual enrichment onto your day you will begin to feel the weight of this repetitive schedule. While you could of course enroll in a class, this article is for jobseekers, who could very likely be out of work, so I am aiming for no cost activities. (This is why I did not mention joining a gym above). Luckily there is a completely no cost solution to the mental aspect of your daily ritual as well- the library.
Put aside a period of time each day where you simply read something that will benefit you down the road once you land your new job. I’d suggest doing this sometime around mid-day so that it can act as a break as well as a recharge for your brain after a morning spend scouring LinkedIn or The Ladders. Not sure what to read? Just type your job title into Amazon and see what comes up. I guarantee they’ll be plenty of books to choose from. Write down ten titles and then go to your local library and see what you can find.
Spiritual. It is hard to set up a daily ritual without paying attention to one’s spiritual nature. This will of course look different depending on the spiritual tradition to which each person belongs. But again, the important part is doing the same type of activity every day at the same time. Whether you chose to read the Bible, pray, or simply meditate on a positive affirmation is up to you.
Putting it all together. So what does a fully functioning daily ritual look like for a job seeker? Here is a sample that revolves around reading and walking. If this looks interesting to you give it a try for a week. Take it for test drive. Once you get the feel of it make your own adjustments. Make it your daily ritual.
Early mornings: Wake up before the rest of the house and simply sit with a cup of coffee. Don’t check the phone or turn on the tv- just sit for ten minutes and think about what you have to be grateful for. Start the day off by feeling positive about your situation. Being out of work isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.
Then pick up a career book and read for ten minutes. When you’re finished jot down a few notes/thoughts in a notebook. Not on a computer- just a simple spiral notebook. Then throw on some shoes and go for a twenty-minute walk around the neighborhood. Don’t feel like you need to keep up a certain pace or go a certain distance, this is just about waking up your body in the morning.
Mid mornings: This is when you’ll do your daily research. Scan the job boards. Look up companies. Find connections. Post and comment on LinkedIn. Do your due diligence. Then chose one job opening to target in the afternoon.
Noontime: After you have finished lunch it is time to reset. Go back to your chosen professional development book and read for another ten minutes or so. Then, take another short twenty minute walk around the neighborhood.
Afternoons: Now go back to the job you have targeted for today and spend some time reworking your resume and cover letter so that they are tailored directly to this position. Try to send a copy directly to a connection you have found within the company. If you can’t make a direct inroad, try a “friend of a friend” route. And as a last resort you can apply directly through the job board. Just remember to make the resume ATS friendly if you have to send it this way.
Close out the work day with another ten minutes reading your chosen book. Be sure to jot down your thoughts quickly after each reading session. This helps cerement any lessons you learn along the way into your brain and it also gives you something to look back on.
Night: Just be done. Do no “jobsearch” work after 4:00 PM. It is important to have a dedicated work time and off time. Know that you made solid progress during the day and that you’ll pick it up again tomorrow. Now just enjoy yourself. Spend time with your family, eat a good dinner, catch up with your Netflix queue.