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How to job search productively while enjoying your holiday

30th July 2013

So the holiday season is well under way now, school is out and the weather remains kind. Many people in work now would rather be forgetting about the daily grind and focusing on a break and a rest. Whether you are lucky enough to catch a full fortnight away, just a long weekend, or a few hours break in the garden, any kind of pause from your routine will be welcome. 

I often find myself busy in September coaching clients who have managed to grab some time away from work over summer and realise how dissatisfied they are with how they spend their working life. We need to stand back from regular activities in order to investigate why we are unhappy and then investigate what we could do to improve things. 

 If you are not currently working, then talk of improving your job seeking while not working will sound distasteful, but taking a proper break applies to you as well. The purpose of stopping what you usually do and doing something different, or just travelling somewhere new, is to renew and refresh your thinking. Seeing life from a fresh viewpoint or taking time to reflect on how you spend your time now and what you get for that time (not just monetary reward, but intellectual, emotional and spiritual reward as well) will effectively launch you towards a new job.

 So how can you use your holiday time, even if it is just one day off, to enjoy yourself, keep your holiday commitments to yourself and your holiday companions, and make progress on job seeking too? Try some of the following questions, they won't take long and you might then want to discuss your answers with your holiday companions. They come from some of my most powerful reflection exercises in 'Nail That Job, the complete guide for the less-experienced jobseeker'   Clients frequently comment on how helpful they find these questions for 'clearing the wood from the trees' and sharpening a job seeking focus. They are not difficult  'homework" questions' - I'm simply inviting you take a few minutes out of your holiday to grab a pen and paper and jot down your instant responses to these questions. Research shows that it is important to write down or type your responses, as it will stimulate your thinking more productively about your future. There are no 'wrong' answers here; just honestly put down your first  responses. 

What tasks am I good at and how do I know that?

 What is the best thing about my current job and the worst and how do I know that?

What hours do I need from my next job?

 How far am I prepared to travel for my next job?

 What does boredom look, sound and feel like for me? What does stress look, sound and feel like for me?

What do I want from my next job and what do I need and what is the difference?

If you have any further questions about where to go next, please just email me at and I can help you develop your ideas about looking for work productively through a range of focusing activities. 

I've met too many lost job seekers who have wasted so much time dithering about with a vague sense of dissatisfaction but not knowing how to find the next right job for them, that several holiday seasons pass them by wasting time in a job that they have outgrown. It is scary in the current climate to consider leaving your job, but when you have a chance to pause, reflect and begin prioritising your thoughts, job seeking becomes an exciting prospect, one that will energise you and bring you the right rewards. 

For more of these sort of clarifying exercises, take a look at 'Nail That Job, the complete guide for the less experienced job seeker'

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