My clients who are in career transition often find that life naturally fills up with personal activities. Whether it’s coaching a soccer team, serving on the church board, or building a new deck, these activities can present a giant distraction from the WORK of job seeking.

But, how do you say “NO?” After all, you aren’t WORKING. The answer is found in Ecclesiastes 3:1:

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.

Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.High achievers secretly believe they can do it all, all the time. The reality is that time and energy are both limits we can’t deny. We might be able to fit something in, but how well can we do it? In a computer network, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be sent from one point to another in a certain period of time. A system can only take so much digital traffic. YOU are a physical, emotional, mental system and you have limited bandwidth, too. (Sorry, achievers!)

It’s both a matter of time and FOCUS. It takes time to organize your materials. You need time to think through your job search. Time on the computer doing research. Time to find new networking contacts. Time to meet with new people. Time to study your target companies. Time to tailor your resume. Time to make thoughtful applications. Time to rest. Time to be reenergized and inspired.

The simple way to say “NO” graciously is to say, “Thank you, not now.”Here are some examples:

You are asked to start a Sunday school class: “Thank you for thinking of me. It’s an honor. Now is not the right time as I am focused on some other projects (like, getting a job!) right now.”

Your spouse asks you to take on repainting the house: “Thanks, honey. I know I could do that project well. Right now, I need to focus on my job search. After I get a new job, perhaps we can afford to pay a contractor to do it.”

Your current boss asks you to be Project Manager for a software rollout at the company: “Thank you. I feel honored that you would think of me. The timing for this is critical, and I’m concerned the deadlines will conflict with other important projects. If we can push it out a few weeks, I would say “Yes.” (Notice that you aren’t saying “No,” just not now.)

Career transition is a season of your life. It’s not going to last forever. You will find the right job. And, you’ll find it faster if you FOCUS your mental, emotional and physical energy on the task. Try not to start anything big at home, at church, or in the community. There’s a time and season for that, too.

On your side,

Catherine Jewell
The Career Passion® Coach

PS: If you are unsure about the season of your life, you might want to Explore Your Career Passion® with me as your guide. Ask for a complimentary phone consultation.

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