I came to NC with the intention of paying my professional dues and gaining enough experience to land a great job once it was time to leave. And now, I’m less than 90 days away from my last day.
Right now I’m juggling a full-time job (usually over 40 hours per week), job searching, maintaining my blog, contributing to other websites, and much more. I’m hopeful that things will turn out in my favor, but the clock is winding down fast and I’d hate to leave without a solid plan. In an effort to not lose my faith (or mind), here are some of the things I’m doing as I quickly approach my next career move:
• Staying organized. At this point in life, everything gets penciled in. I’ve gotten more strategic about my to-do lists and I live by my calendar and alarms. For the to-do list, I write down all of my tasks the night before I plan to tackle them. That morning, I begin crossing things off with highlighters: pink means it’s done, yellow means I’ve at least started some part of it, and the goal is to color EVERY item on the list. Everything highlighted in yellow by the end of that day automatically goes at the top of tomorrow’s list. I even have the jobs I’ve applied for organized in an Excel spreadsheet with columns for: website link, employer, title, position opening, application date, position closing, etc.
• Upholding my standards. In the midst of chaos, settling for less seems so much easier. But when the dust settles, you’ll see that you’re exactly where you don’t want to be. I use my job search chart as a reminder of what I want and where I see myself, and I stick to it.
• Keeping my eyes on the prize. If you haven’t already, create a vision board or start using goal cards. This collection of pictures and quotes will stimulate your brain and keep you motivated in tough times.
• Networking. Even if you don’t know exactly where you want to end up, the more conversations you have, the more likely you are to realize what your next steps will/should be. Start using Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with professionals in all the areas that you’re interested in and let their success inspire you!
• Bragging. I actually don’t like this word, self-promotion sounds much better. Anyway, share your work with others, tell people what you’ve accomplished, and snap pictures of your successes! People only know what you tell them and with the fluidity of social media, you never know who’ll stumble across your greatness. The best way to stay ready for an unexpected opportunity is to regularly take stock of your achievements so that you can pitch your skills.
• Staying faithful, doing more. I was on a prayer call recently where it was said that while you’re waiting for a miracle, blessing, or your big break you have to stay productive. Giving up or slacking off will just leave you out of shape and unprepared for your new life.
And remember, you’re much closer than you think you are!