Consume Without Being Consumed: Information overload during your job search

In the past months, the internet has exploded with resources and articles meant to encourage job seekers, inform people of companies that are hiring and provide ideas on how to manage a job search during our global pandemic. How do you take in all this information and stay focused while also avoiding being consumed negatively by it all? Here are a few ideas:

  • Decide what you are seeking. Avoid going down the rabbit hole of reading every article about everything. Do you want to know who is hiring right now? Do you want to improve your video interview and video meeting skills? Do you want to read up on your segment of the overall industry you work in? Decide what your priorities are and set a time limit for reading.
  • Learn online. Which personal or professional skills would you like to develop? What work-related topics would you like to know more about? Maybe you want to find fun and unique educational resources for your schoolchildren. There are a plethora of online learning platforms with free or low-cost courses available to you. Many fitness-related businesses are also offering free classes. Take advantage of this time by improving yourself.
  • Plan for the next phase. Maybe you’ve been a strategic and innovative thinker throughout your career. Apply that skill now. Write down ideas for how your industry might respond to the pandemic and post-pandemic now and during the recovery and rebuilding phases after the crisis subsides. Your ideas could be specific and micro-focused on actions a company could take to rebound, or they might be broader ideas for new ways of doing business gleaned from this crisis. Spend time on this. You may decide your ideas are worthy of sharing during networking meetings, interviews, or other conversations (see the next tip!) you have during this stay-at-home period.
  • Get social. Distance doesn’t have to mean disconnection. Have video chats or create a short video greeting for your friends, family and professional contacts. You might share a recipe you’ve tried this week or strategies you’ve used to stay productive and upbeat during this time. Share a fun memory your friends might also remember or ideas from the above brainstorming exercise. Ask them how they are faring during this time. You can connect via email, text, Facebook Messenger, or posts to your different social media feeds. Humans are hard-wired for connection. Staying in touch helps us maintain a positive attitude.
  • Be helpful. Mister Rogers always tells his audience to look for the helpers during tough times. If you are not quarantined, you may be able to run errands for your neighbors that need extra support. You may be able to volunteer at a local community organization or simply donate blood. Being a helper can also mean providing emotional support to others. Send an encouraging word to someone that needs it.
  • Take a break from it all. Instead of consuming information, take a break from it. Take care of yourself and your family. Get exercise (outdoors if possible) and read the books that have been piled on your nightstand for months. Clean a closet or the kitchen junk drawer. Think about all the things you’ve wanted to do around your home or for your career but haven’t had the luxury of time to do. Now is the time to tackle those things.

And, above all else, continue to seek out the resources and people that help you stay positive and connected during this time. The world will get back to normal and by doing things to help yourself feel good during this crisis period, you will be able to more quickly get on board when things do turn around.

About Dr. Sheila Boysen

Sheila M. Boysen, Ph.D., PHR, BCC, MCC is Master of Organizational Leadership Program Director and ICF ACTP Director at Lewis University

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