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Holiday Job Search? Strategies for Staying Energized and Keeping Momentum

Holiday job seeker searching on computer

We've been hearing from many job seekers who express the desire to 'take a break' from their search during the holidays, feeling that it's a futile effort. If you find yourself in a prolonged job search, it's natural to feel a sense of hopelessness as we enter the holiday season. Job hunting can be tough, and experiencing burnout along the way is not uncommon. Today, we'll explore some strategies to help you stay motivated and avoid the dreaded job search burnout, especially here at the end of the year.

1. Embrace the journey, even though it doesn't always feel good

While landing that dream job is the ultimate goal, it's important to appreciate the entire process. Your job search can be a remarkable journey of self-discovery, providing valuable insights into your strengths and passions. We've seen many candidates take the opportunity to shift career paths or even industries.

Take this opportunity to explore! Use LinkedIn and resources like our Slack group to connect with diverse professionals, and uncover what truly ignites your passion. It feels terrible to be unemployed, but a silver lining might just be finding a fulfilling career path that's uniquely yours.

2. Set realistic goals

When thinking about a job search, especially during this slower time of year, it can be overwhelming. That's why it's important to break down the process into manageable steps.

Instead of fixating on the final outcome, focus on setting small, achievable milestones along the way. We do this in our accelerator program by creating four distinct courses with simple milestones.

Celebrate each victory, no matter how small it may seem. Whether it's updating your resume to showcase your skills and experiences, connecting with new contacts on LinkedIn to expand your professional network, or acing a phone interview with confidence and professionalism, every achievement counts.

By recognizing your progress and celebrating these milestones, you not only keep the momentum going but also prevent burnout. So take each step in stride, and remember that success is built upon the foundation of small wins.

3. Mix it up and meet new people

Repetition can be draining, so don't be afraid to mix up your routine. Spend some days networking, attending industry events, or joining virtual meetups. Not every day needs to be endless applications! In fact, we would argue that networking during the application process is even more valuable.

Engaging with professionals at prospective companies can provide fresh perspectives and valuable insights into the job and company. We encourage our students to apply, then follow the company on LinkedIn, and begin connecting with employees to strike up conversations. This works amazingly well, breaks up your day, and really does open doors.

4. Take breaks, especially during a holiday job search

Job hunting can often feel like a never-ending endeavor, demanding your attention around the clock. However, it's important to remember that you're not a robot and that taking breaks is essential. Give yourself permission to step away from the job search and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Whether it's going for a leisurely walk to clear your mind, practicing meditation to find inner calm, or indulging in your favorite hobby to unwind, these moments of respite can greatly benefit your mental well-being. Not only that, but they also have the potential to enhance your creativity and problem-solving skills, making you even more effective in your job search. So remember, recharge your batteries, and be ready to bring your A-game when that interview opportunity rolls in!

5. Cultivate a support system

You're not alone in this journey. Don't hesitate to share your progress with friends, family, or a mentor. Having a strong support system can offer encouragement, valuable advice, and sometimes a much-needed reality check.

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for connecting with other biotech folks through industry-focused groups. And don't forget! We also have a free Slack group where job seekers can engage in discussions, ask questions, and learn from one another.

While your friends and family may not be familiar with the biotech field, they can certainly empathize with the challenges of a job search. It's perfectly fine to confide in a friendly and receptive person to chat about your search.

6. You win or you learn

Every rejection is a valuable lesson, not a failure. So, let's put on our lab coat and treat setbacks as precious data points to analyze and learn from. Embrace the feedback you receive and adapt your strategy accordingly.

These moments of adversity are incredible opportunities for personal growth and development. Remember, rejection does not define your worth.

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