It snowed this morning. Did I mention it’s April 25? Yeah. So, I’m very, very tempted to be disgusted with the weather, but it’s days like this that the voice of my college cross-country ski coach suddenly blasts through my brain: “Don’t complain about the weather!” I haven’t seen him in years. I hate when he does that.
I was no great skiing racer, but I got a lot from my time in intercollegiate skiing. My alma mater, Carleton College (Go Knights!), wasn’t half bad at the sport. It helped we were in Minnesota. But even in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the weather can be less than ideal for skiing.
The rule on the team, though, was no complaining about the weather. Like, ever. Rain melting the snow to slush? No comment. Bitter winds whipping at you as you close in on the finish line. Zip it.
So it goes with professional life. My top bit of advice to stuck job seekers? Don’t complain about the weather, or the job seekers version of the weather. Yes, allow yourself a vent session or two, but then get in motion. The atmosphere at work, your boss, the economy, your aunt nagging you at Thanksgiving. It’s all weather. You have to get in motion no matter what.
How do you do that, though, when it’s all around you, and it’s cold and miserable? When you’re boss is in your face everyday? Life on skis or off is about two things, I believe. Rhythm and momentum. Get in motion and stay in motion, by breathing steadily and finding your rhythm.
How can a job seeker do that? First, breathe. Like, for real. Call it meditation, a coffee break, even a visit to the bathroom will do. (I’ve often thought that the most helpful place a career coach could ever set up shop is in a corporate bathroom).
Then, find your rhythm. Set a time every day to do the next step on your hunt. That time is sacred. Sit down and do nothing but that task for 30 minutes. The next day, show up again, same place, same time. No matter what.
Now, build momentum. Ironically, momentum is about relaxing sometimes. With skiing, it’s all about a quick burst of energy, a jump and then glide. What’s the glide in your job hunt? Are you an amazing interviewer? Enjoy it. Can you send cover letters without worrying too much. That’s going to carry you forward. Keep giving yourself mental props for just moving the job hunt forward, day after day.
Momentum can carry you to amazing places. And of course, sometimes you need a coach to get that momentum back. If so, just drop me a line at email@example.com.