To look after your career, you first need to look after yourself. To help you with this, we’ve teamed up with now pause, a new wellbeing initiative that provides hospitality workers with a free practical self-care toolkit, to bring you five key tips for looking after yourself when looking for jobs.
Take regular screen breaks
There’s no doubt about it, digital apps such as Placed are the future of finding jobs. Why hand your CV out door-to-door when you can instantly get it in front of the right people online?
But you have to find a balance – staring at a screen all day won’t do you any good. Instead, try to take regular breaks – set a recurring alarm as a reminder – and remember to stay active. Physical activity – whether it’s running round the park once a day or simply jumping on the spot for five minutes once an hour – will boost your positivity and productivity.
Craig Prentice, founder of now pause: “I am a morning person by far and get most of my work done in the morning each day. Assigning your most productive part of the day to job searching is key, limiting the amount of time you spend online is equally important as too much time ends up being counter-productive. Digital fatigue is horrid, so stepping away and creating variety in your day is important”
Get into a good sleep pattern
Forget those stories about successful people living off four hours’ sleep a night. It’s a myth. The truth is, nothing boosts your physical and mental capabilities more than getting consistent and regular sleep.
When looking for work it’s easy to slip into unusual sleeping patterns, particularly if you’re feeling stressed and are job-hunting into the evening. To guard against this, try to gradually wind down before bed-time and keep screens out of the bedroom. A drop of lavender oil on your pillow will also help.
Craig Prentice, founder of now pause: “Sleep is the probably most important activity in your day. You get the quality of your sleep right and everything will fall into place, in terms of energy levels, productivity and general wellbeing.”
Don’t be hard on yourself
Finding a job isn’t easy. It takes dedication, focus and often a little bit of luck.
If things aren’t going well or you’re not being productive as you’d hoped, don’t let it get you down – that career-changing moment could come at any time. And if you’re feeling burnt out from the job search, don’t feel bad about taking a break. As the saying goes, it’s about managing your energy, not your time.
Craig Prentice, founder of now pause: “Stepping away from the frustration can do wonders. When you feel you aren’t getting anywhere, step away and go back to it.”
Stay in touch
Finding a job is not about locking yourself away and staying in your own bubble until you get results. No matter how desperate you are, it’s vital that you stay connected with your friends, family and professional network.
For one, they might be able to help you in your search, by recommending you for a job or giving you feedback on your skills. Two, speaking to people that you like or love will boost your mood and keep you feeling refreshed.
Craig Prentice, founder of now pause: “It’s super important to keep in touch with family and friends. Having down time gives you thinking time. Clarity and creative ideas or thoughts often happen when you are most relaxed.”
Control the controllables
When looking for jobs, there are some things that are simply out of your hands. Embrace that fact and focus instead on what you can control.
Get organised, take some online courses to learn a new skill, write a plan for each week and stick to it. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we stop worrying about things that we can’t do anything about.
Craig Prentice, founder of now pause: “Make a plan, schedule regular time throughout your week to job search and treat it as a task, not a full-time hobby. Keep track of what you apply for, with who etc and follow up in a timely manner. Connect and speak with like-minded people in the industry. A lot of people are doing great things out there at the moment and it’s the perfect time to connect.”