My husband and I just downsized from a 4-bedroom, 1-guest house, 3400-square-foot, 2-acre property to a single-story, 3-bedroom house, with a standard size lawn. AHHH!
Getting there is the problem. The packing, move and unpacking are a tremendous effort, both intellectually (Where did we put that?) and physically (I can’t possibly move another box to unpack it.) I was so tired the day of the move I wrote Frazile instead of Fragile on a box. This was a Freudian slip – I really meant FRAZZLED. We were frazzled, so much so that our first day “at work” on computers seemed like a vacation!
I did learn some big lessons that could help you with your next move – even if it’s a Career Move.
1. Try to pack everything before move day. If you are changing jobs, be sure to remove your personal stuff, a little at a time, before the move. If you create training, art, proposals, etc. you may want to take copies home before you quit, so that you have pieces to show in your portfolio. Also, pack up digitally. Make sure you have a digital file of your business contacts, so you can continue building your network. Copy performance reviews, congratulatory emails and awards.
2. Realize that each action probably has a dependency. Project Managers are masters at figuring out the sequence and dependencies of actions. We realized we couldn’t cook until we found the pots and pans. We couldn’t sleep until we found the sheets and blankets. In a Career Move, each step may have a dependency. i.e. It’s important to make new recruiter connections BEFORE you actively job search. It’s better to create your resume, then update your LinkedIn Profile to match.
3. Pace yourself. A move doesn’t happen in a day. It happens over weeks, even months. At first, you might pack very carefully. At the end, it’s “Stuff it in a box and pray.” This is how my supplements managed to get put in a box called “Living Room” with the word “Lamps” on it! If you are in a job that no longer suits you, plan NOW on how you’ll make your escape. Then, the Job Search efforts can be spread our over time. You can create better cover letters, emails, resumes, applications, tests, samples and interview answers. You will interview better, and actually get a job sooner, if you pace yourself.
4. Prioritize by optics. I found myself unpacking a little here and there. Then, I decided to focus on one room and get ALL the boxes unpacked. The result: my office looks great! How do you want to appear as a job seeker? No matter how frazzled you are working and/or seeking work, think about how you appear. Do you quickly follow up on all voicemails and emails? Do you keep up your personal appearance, so you can do a video interview today? Are you going to meet-ups and networking events looking professional and smart? Quit being a perfectionist at work; be a perfectionist in your job search.
5. Give yourself a break. The first week-end after our move, we went to Home Depot three times and unpacked about 10 hours each day. During the second week-end, we went out with friends for dinner twice, shopped, and saw a movie.AHHH! Motivation improves after a short break. If you are hard in the job hunt, PLAN when you will do the big tasks. For example, Wednesday night work 7:00 – 9:00 PM on an important application or customized resume. Work Saturday from 9:00 – Noon. Then, give yourself some time off. Quit even thinking about your Career Move for a whole day.
6. Getting the right help is key, then work with them. We got great packers and movers. My big mistake was having my own agenda on both packing and moving day. Mistakes were made. Boxes weren’t really marked well. Stupid stuff got packed, like empty boxes! In a Career Move, hire a good coach to work it through with you. Then, work with them. Collaborate on your resume, practice your STAR stories, talk through your interview answers, call when you are focused on a specific company, and call when you get a new lead or an interview. Tell her when you’ve changed your job target. At each step, the professional can do a better job with more information and collaboration.
All this said, I am back in business. Are all the boxes unpacked? NO! But I’m cutting myself a break and returning the what I love: Career Coaching. I’m no longer frazzled, doing more planning, setting smaller goals.
On your side,
Career Passion® Coach