If your job search has been underway for a little while, you might have gotten into a groove that isn’t helping you. Some habits or choices are so automatic that we don’t even realize they have taken over. Here are ten ideas for a quick energy switch–just some little things to make you try something different, put a new spin on your game, or just change it up for the sake of change.
1. Make calls instead of emailing. Phone calls can be really effective, set you apart, and show off your voice and warmth. Try it for two weeks and see what you think. Practice the voice mail you might have to leave.
2. Get up an hour earlier each day and read things you don’t normally read–blogs, news, opinions.
3. Re-connect via phone or in person with an old friend or two; talk about the past as well as the present. Share your plans and aspirations with someone who knew you a while back.
4. Move away from the television, iPad or computer. Make something, or make something happen. If you are handy or a crafter, go there, if not, just make dinner for some friends you don’t see often, or see often but for whom you don’t usually cook.
5. Go back to the computer. Update your social media–post something, if you are not a poster, or take a break from your photo-a-day and add some new friends or contacts.
6. Send Valentines to friends, with personal notes.
7. Learn to do something you haven’t tried–create a chart in Excel, use your phone to make a little movie, buy and master an app, make a pie crust. Dance.
8. Karaoke. Yes you can.
9. Write a really good cover letter to someone you don’t know, but whom you have researched and might like to work for–or at least might like to meet. Send it via snail mail, not email.
10. Volunteer to do something hard, unpleasant, or challenging, that no one else really wants to do. Write about it, just for you.
Some small changes can have big impact–the point of these ten is to remove the groove, so that you are able to use everything you have. When I was a young figure skater, we had practice “patch time” in which we had a tiny piece of ice to ourselves on which to repeat over and over again the required school figures–eights, serpentines, loops, forward and backward–until the ice was grooved (and until we were more than a little bored and tired). Once the time was up, though, the music would come on and it was time for wilder moves, free style, creative skating, jumps and spins for those who had those moves or wanted to try, and open ice. We all need discipline, but we all need the free skate, too.