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Craft a Fulfilling Career with Your Personal Memento Mori

Your Career ‘MEMENTO MORI’

Imagine that you have a lifespan of approximately 80 years. How many weeks have passed so far, and how many weeks do you still have left?

It’s not a thought many of us like to ponder.

But by now, you’re well into your professional and personal journey. How’s it going for you so far? Are you satisfied with where you’re at in life? Or do you yearn from something more?

Probably you’re leaning towards the latter, if you’re like many of the job seekers we coach.

Your Career Memento Mori

Here’s an exercise we often do in our career coaching sessions. Imagine this is your life calendar:

image info

Today, we’re giving it a career-centric twist.

Your career life calendar, or career ‘memento mori’, is an unavoidable indicator that time is precious. Every minute, hour, and day counts, especially when it comes to finding your next job opportunity. Because an ineffective search, lacking in strategy and direction, can waste precious time and result in lost opportunities. Fantastic, satisfying, growth-driven opportunities.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can put energy into your job search to shape your career memento mori precisely as you envision it.

#1 Ensure Your Job Search is Purposeful

When you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t fulfill you, each day can feel like a burden. The repetitive cycle of work can sap your energy and leave you longing desperately for something more meaningful. Every moment spent in this state is a moment you’ll never get back. So, how can you invest your time purposefully to quickly find a job that you truly desire?

Self-Reflection

Before diving any further into your job hunt, take a step back and reflect. What are your passions, strengths, and long-term goals? What kind of work environment do you truly thrive in? What do you really want out of your career? Being consciously aware of what will make you happy is the first step towards a purposeful career path. This investment of time in self-reflection will help you to focus on opportunities genuinely aligned with your values and ambitions.

Build Your Professional Brand

Don’t just start applying desperately to anything and everything. First, take time to rethink your professional brand. Which means, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile to showcase your skills, experiences, and career objectives accurately. Review your digital footprint – what can be found about you online, for example on social media – to ensure it promotes a positive image. These form the first impression that potential employers will have of you, so make it count.

#2 Proactively Seek Opportunities

Investing time in your job search isn’t just about escaping an unfulfilling job; it’s about unlocking the door to new possibilities in ways other than just checking out job boards. Here are two methods that are almost guaranteed to unlock great (often unadvertised) opportunities:

Networking

Never underestimate the power of networking. With over 80% of jobs being unadvertised, your personal and professional network is almost certainly the key to that amazing job opportunity. How can you actively network? Attend industry events, get in touch with contacts in your desired company or field, put a post up on LinkedIn about being open to opportunities, and connect with professionals who share your interests through online forums, webinars, and so on. These interactions can provide insights, mentorship, and job referrals. But remember: networking isn’t about quantity - it’s about the quality of relationships you build.

Active Job Searching

Don’t wait for the perfect job to fall into your lap. It almost never happens that way. Instead, actively seek out opportunities yourself. Aside from job boards, check out company websites (after all, they may not be advertising on the job boards you typically visit). Or reach out to recruiters and headhunters in your field (jobsleads.com has hundreds of listings). A proactive approach ensures you are less likely to miss fantastic opportunities.

#3 Build Confidence

Investing in your job search is also an investment in your self-confidence. The process can be challenging, but every challenge is an opportunity to grow. Here’s how to build confidence along the way:

Skill Enhancement

Take advantage of your job searching time to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones. Review ideal job postings to see if particular skills are mentioned that you currently lack. Online courses, workshops, and certifications can help you gain needed skills and helps you to boost your resume keywords.

Advance Interview Preparation

You may get lucky and land interviews as soon as you start applying. Don’t wait until then to brush up your interviewing skills. Take a JobLeads digital masterclass in interviewing to help you master these. Get into the habit of researching the company and practicing common interview questions for that type of role before attending an interview. Prepare thoroughly so you don’t lose out by making a less-than-awesome impression.

#4 Time Management

It may sound boring or obvious, but time management – or lack of – can make all the difference in finding that amazing job opportunity. Making every minute count in your job search requires really effective time management. Especially if you’re juggling family, job, or learning commitments at the same time. Here are two tried-and-tested, easy to implement strategies to invest your time wisely:

Set Clear Goals

Establish clear job search goals and prioritize them. Whether it’s updating your resume, sending out applications, or networking, having specific objectives helps you stay on track. Keep a to-do list or job search spreadsheet to keep on top of goals, milestones, responses, and action points.

Create a Schedule

It might seem easier to go with the flow, but devoting dedicated time to your job search can help you take it seriously and ensure goals are achieved in a timely manner. We recommend setting aside blocks of time each day or week to focus on different aspects, such as researching companies, writing cover letters, or networking.

#5 Embrace the Journey

Finally, remember that your career is a significant part of your life memento mori. The effort you put into your job search isn’t just about escaping a bad job or boss - it’s about supporting an amazing life journey with fewer regrets. Here’s how to positively get through to the other side of your search:

Stay Resilient

Remember, rejection is a part of the job search process. It’s nothing personal. Sometimes, a slightly more ideal candidate comes along. One day soon, you’ll be that ideal candidate, and someone else less so. Instead of dwelling on setbacks, consider rejection as bringing you one step closer to finding the right fit.

Celebrate Small Wins

Last but not least, celebrate small victories along the way. Whether it’s landing an interview, receiving positive feedback, or simply sending out a well-prepared application, give yourself a pat on the back. Reward yourself with a hike, a bit of quiet time, or a glass of wine. Be your own champion!

In the grand scheme of things, your career memento mori is a powerful reminder that your work life is finite. However, don’t feel overwhelmed by it. Instead, be empowered.

So, embrace the journey, invest in your career, and remember that your future is worth every moment you spend securing it. Your career memento mori is a clear reminder that you have the power to shape a future filled with fulfillment and purpose.

Key takeaways:

  • If you’re feeling trapped in an unfulfilling job, invest time in self-reflection to identify your passions and strengths. Update your professional brand, including your resume and LinkedIn profile, to ensure a polished impression when you start applying.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect job to come to you (it almost never drops in your lap). Instead, actively network and build quality relationships. Attend industry events, connect with professionals in your field, and explore company websites for hidden opportunities.
  • Use this time to develop new skills and enhance existing ones. Prepare thoroughly for interviews. Invest in resources like digital masterclasses to boost your confidence.
  • Prioritize clear job search goals and create a schedule to ensure you make the most of your time. Keep track of milestones and action points to stay on course.
  • Rejection is part of the process. Stay resilient and view setbacks as stepping stones to finding the right fit. Celebrate small wins along the way to stay motivated and positive.
  • Your career memento mori serves as a reminder that your work time is finite. Use it as motivation to shape a fulfilling future.

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