“Arrrgh. I’ve only got three months of gardening leave cash. I have to find a job. Now!”
We probably all know that unique pressure of either quitting or being dismissed from your job. Before the fateful email or meeting it was a threatening menace, but somehow it wasn’t quite real. The moment that you say goodbye to your colleagues and walk out of the office for the last time, the reality hits you like a freight train.
You have to find a new job as soon as possible. Time is not on your side.
Suddenly the realities of life hit you so much harder. You have the morning routine with the kids, you take them to school and then you have six hours until mid-afternoon for your search. You want to make up for all those late nights in the office, so you decide not to work on your job search when they get home. Then, after they have gone to bed, you can hit the internet again for a few hours. This is a familiar scenario for so many working parents – for them, time is in especially short supply.
“Six hours every day and then evenings… That’s nothing. I need a job tomorrow.”
Unless you are incredibly well networked, there is a lot of groundwork that needs to be done in a job search, but it is not something that can be rushed. Every application should be tailored, every chat should be researched, and every avenue should be explored. You aren’t going to find your ideal next job in six hours, and you probably won’t have found it when you hit sixty hours. Job searching is a long slog if it is done properly, but if done mindfully the slog can unearth the most amazing opportunities.
The key is to admit to yourself that it takes time.
When you allow yourself six to eight weeks to find a job, you can plan the process properly. You won’t jump from activity to activity like a headless chicken, and you won’t get despondent when you haven’t heard from anyone after the first week. If you are mindful of the time that you are given with your gardening leave cushion, you will make the best possible decisions, and it will be less likely that you will go for the first opportunity that comes your way (that happens so much, it really does).
It is an interesting fact that when you give yourself more time, you will actually be less likely to waste it. When we feel under time pressure, we rush down too many dead-ends because we have not properly thought through our priorities. We go to job interviews where we would never accept the job. We apply for things that don’t fit our experience. We even spend days on end on social media in the vain hope that someone will notice us.
Unless you are laser focused with how you spend your time, it will be wasted. This is your career that we are talking about, this is your future. Give time a chance. If you do explore the right things for the right reasons, the opportunities will come. Patience is hugely important in any job search. A job opportunity at your ideal employer might not be there today, but there is a (small) chance that it might be next week.
Sometimes you simply have to give things a little time.