Job Search & Life Balance: How It Can Be Achieved
Serious job searching should be treated like a full-time job, not a part-time hobby. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re already employed and are looking for new opportunities.
Just like a full-time job, dedicated job searching can affect personal aspects of your life. Typical signs of a job search and life balance gone awry include:
- Feeling that you are merely trying to get through the day
- Feeling completely exhausted at the end of the week
- Feeling like you are always behind in some aspect and will never catch up
If any of these symptoms describe you, you’re not alone, especially if you’re a parent. A recent study shows 69 percent of working parents are exhausted by the end of the day and 60 percent said work pressures mean they have less time to spend with their families. I’d speculate the numbers are similar for non-parent professionals as well.
Your job search doesn’t need to spill over into your personal life. Read on to discover how a job search and life balance can be achieved.
Set Clear Objectives
Goals are nice, but objectives are realistic. To achieve a job search and life balance, you must set objectives. An objective is a specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound statement that expresses what you want to achieve.
For example, “To establish two-way communication with three potential employers in the New York City area before July 15.” You must also set personally goals. Try, “To spend one hour of quality family time each weekday throughout my job search.”
Take Care Of Yourself
Nothing throws off job search and life balance faster than poor health. While it may save you time to grab your meals from fast food restaurants, the food itself will ultimately make you feel tired and more off-balance.
Similarly, remaining hunched over a computer screen all day and staying up late at night to send in the last resume will also hinder your balance. Remember to get up from your computer every so often to rest your eyes and exercise your body, and try to go to sleep at a reasonable hour each night.
Also remember to pace yourself. Attempting to fit too much in too little time will only leave you feeling burnt out and unsatisfied.
Do Solo Activities As A Group
Do you work out, grocery shop or prepare meals alone? Make these activities a family or friend affair. You’ll appreciate the company and can count the time spent as the quality time you outlined in your objectives.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff—Keep A Journal
The book “The Last Lecture,” chronicles former Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Randy Pausch’s last few months of life. (Pausch, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, delivered a speech by the same name and prepared the book for his three young children.)
In one portion of the book, Pausch relays how a doctor suggested his wife keep a journal of all of her day-to-day irritations. As a result, Pausch’s wife was able to express her annoyance, yet still enjoy all the time she had left with her husband.
While your job search is not as dramatic as the Pausch family’s situation, the advice is still sound. Keep a journal of all the little annoyances you experience, whether they’re job search related or personal. That way, you won’t spend your quality time with your family annoyed about the search, and you won’t be annoyed by the unclean dishes in the sink during your search.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed in your job search despite these tips, remember to be open and honest with your family and friends. Everyone has periods of feeling off-balanced. If you need to cancel personal plans last minute due to an amazing job-related opportunity, good friends and family will understand.
When was a time you felt unbalanced in your job search and personal life? How did you overcome it?