4 Guidelines for a Stress-Free Job Search

The decision has been made. You’re changing jobs.

Whether you’ve had months to decide on a change or just a couple of hours, the search process can be overwhelming.

God loves new beginnings, and this moment in your life is simply an opportunity for a fresh start.

Here are four guidelines for a stress-free, successful job search:

1. Discover Your Talents  . . . And Embrace Them!

God has given you a unique blend of talents and abilities. They hold clues about your mission in life, your genius, and your vocation—ultimately, the best way to live.

Of course, it’s easy to recognize what makes a football player, movie star, or astronaut extraordinary. But it can be more difficult to pinpoint our ordinary talents. The first hurdle is recognizing that God made you to be perfectly yourself, and you have many desirable skills to bring to a new position. No one else can offer the world exactly what you can, and you can’t offer the world exactly what someone else can. So recognize your strengths and successes, and look to build on them. Now is also a time to be honest with yourself about your areas of growth, so that you can improve them.

Grab a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the middle, and in the left column, begin writing down your strengths. Focus on the big stuff at first: I make a difference in people's lives, I build people up, I encourage people. Then work your way to the specific job skills: I am a diligent worker, I am good with details, etc. Then in the right column, do the same thing with your weaknesses. Once you have your list, pick one strength to focus on, and one weakness to improve upon. Knowing who you are, what you have to offer, and where you need to grow shows awareness. Awareness is rare and ultimately attractive. If you develop this sense of awareness you will not only be able to perform better in interviews, but also pick the right jobs to apply for in the first place.

2. Prioritize Your Preferences

Do you know what you really want?

Too many people just jump right in to trying to find a job, without understanding their answer to this simple question.

When you interview, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.

Before you begin your search, try taking ten minutes to figure out the answer to this question. On a very basic level, you can do this by defining your preferences. A simple way to do this is to list, in order of importance (from highest to lowest), these eight priorities:

  • Salary
  • Healthcare, 401k, and other benefits
  • City where you live and work
  • Company hours, remote work opportunities, time-off flexibility
  • Potential for growth/new challenges
  • Travel requirements
  • Workplace culture and environment
  • Day-to-day tasks of the role
  • Mission and purpose of the organization

Taking ten minutes to weigh and prioritize these eight areas will help you understand what you are looking for in your future role before you start your search. And soon, you’ll discover an even more important question: God, what do you want me to do? That’s the big question.

Knowing what you really want will help you when you interview. When you interview, you are interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing you.

When you meet with members of the HR team, continually ask yourself: Does this job fit with my priorities? Would I enjoy working in this role, with these people, for this mission every day? Is working here going to help me become the-best-version-of-myself? In the end, God has a plan for you and your life, and the moment you open yourself up to God’s plan is the moment miracles begin to happen in your life.

3. Be a Relationship Builder

Between 65 percent and 85 percent of jobs are filled via networking—and some positions aren’t even posted externally.

What does this mean for your search? Spend less time on Indeed.

Networking can be as easy as having coffee with an old friend, joining a professional association, or connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn.

A great starting goal would be to build meaningful connections with just three people.

To get the most out of your interactions, let them know the specific job and industry you are targeting. That way, they can formulate a clear picture of your desired job and then reach out to people in their own network.

Never forget that people are formulating an opinion of you based on a brief interaction. Treat every conversation as a mini job interview. But don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Fostering new relationships can lead to new opportunities, referrals, and, potentially, a new job!

4. Turn to God

Searching for a new job is stressful. We often keep an internal clock in our minds of how long we’ve been actively pursuing a new role.

I’ve been out of work since December. There’s so many more qualified candidates out there. What if I never get a job? When these thoughts creep into your mind and start negatively affecting your self-esteem, invite God to enter into your heart and ease your anxiousness.

Try these short, powerful prayers:

  • Lord, help me to confidently answer each question.
  • Holy Spirit, guide my actions and words today so that I may put my best foot forward.
  • Jesus, give me the courage and strength to accept whatever decision the employer makes.

With these three short prayers, you will approach your job search with an intentionality and prayerful spirit like you’ve never done before.

Remain hopeful through the adversity, and celebrate the successes. After all, this is another great chapter in your journey.

Happy hunting!

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