Views & News

Maintaining Job Search Momentum - with Anita Rodriquez

Steven Kramer, a psychologist and author of The Progress Principle, said “of all the things that can boost people’s work life, the single most important is simply making progress on meaningful work.”

When you're actively looking for the right professional job, you need a process, support, structure and an accountability mechanism. Once you have all of that, you need to arrange your time, schedule, support systems, workspace, and mindset to take effective action every day.

Anita Rodriquez, a former client, recently spoke with us to share her career story and the ways that she maintained momentum during her career transition – and how she stays productive in her job now.

Anita used ArcVida's career guidance to pivot into a new industry, function, and role in 2019 - and she did it in 16 weeks. Watch our full conversation with Anita Rodriguez for background in her education and jobs, and to understand HOW to set yourself up to maintain momentum and reach your professional goals. You can use these techniques for maintaining momentum in your job search and in your daily work too.

Here are some of the highlights from our questions about how Anita maintained momentum in her search.

What are the best ways you set yourself up for success?

orange bullet.JPGFinding a job had to feel like my job

orange bullet.JPGLearning to become good at networking and marketing for myself

orange bullet.JPGRelying on networking conversations to find my new role

How do you stay focused and productive?

I like using spreadsheets – master trackers and to-do lists. I like setting goals and tracking accomplishments. My personal style is very organized. When things are disorganized, I feel anxious.

When I was job-hunting, I followed ArcVida’s system. At the end of each day, I would review the day’s conversations. I was transitioning in 2019, so I was planning for meetings, in person as much as possible. Or I would schedule phone calls if people were not near me. I was also spending some time reading professional books.

In the mornings, I would try to complete my phone calls and meetings. But if I had free time during the day, I gave myself leisure time. Either going for a walk with my dog, or just going to Starbucks to hang out for a while. Prior to my last transition, I just tried to work all the time – but on my career coach's advice I learned to gave myself permission to relax when I had leisure time. This relaxation helped me to be more productive when I was working.

When you were in career transition, did you have a regular daily  schedule? How does this differ from your schedule at your new job?

I always exercise in the mornings and did that a bit later each day when I was job-searching. Now that I’m working again, I get up everyday at 5 a.m. and exercise. I feel better and am more productive when I do this first. 

How do you keep your work life separate from your home life? 

I have a separate workspace. After I exercise in the morning, I work for a few hours, and then I talk my dog for a walk. It’s important for me to have a separation between work and personal life; the separate space and defined working times help me keep that separation.

Did you set any expectations for yourself about what you were going to accomplish each day during your career transition?  

When I was looking for my next role, I had goals for number of calls or meetings per day. I’m a goal-oriented person and I like having goals. If someone doesn’t give me goals, I’ll create them!

How did the ArcVida's structure support or motivate you? 

Working with ArcVida helped me consider positions and talk to people I hadn’t considered before. I knew I wanted to do meaningful work in a different function, but when I started looking for my next role, I really didn’t know what I would do next. 

The networking conversations, which are the base of ArcVida’s system, actually led me to my current role – doing meaningful work with two great bosses. 

Who did you tell about your search on a regular basis? How often did you talk to these people and what did you share?

I talked with my cousin almost every day; she knew everything about my career history. I always shared how my search was going and what I was doing that day.

Do you keep any kind of a record of your “wins” - either a written journal, or a checklist marked off or even just looking back at your calendar of meetings?   

I put everything that I’m proud of accomplishing on my LinkedIn profile. I’m also the kind of person that likes checklists so much that if I do something that isn’t on my to do list, I’ll add it to the list just so I can check it off!

What tools (e.g. spreadsheet, calendar, notes) did you use to track all of the people you were connecting with?   

During my job search, I really relied on spreadsheets to keep track all of my tasks and conversations.  

How do you keep your physical and mental energy high (e.g. rest, exercise, sleep, stress)?

orange bullet.JPGI exercise every day, first thing in the morning.  

orange bullet.JPGIf I ever feel down or have low energy, I check in on my stress to see if I need to manage that.  

orange bullet.JPGOr, I think about when the last time I took time off or a short vacation and take one when I feel burnt out.  

What’s your top overall tip for a jobseeker to maintain momentum?

If you don’t want to do something, whether it’s sending emails or making calls, I recommend calling someone who loves you - or at least likes you (!) - and talking to them for a few minutes. After this call, you’ll feel better before just jumping in to complete the tasks you need to do!

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You can connect with Anita on LinkedIN.  

If you're actively looking for the next right opportunity and aren't creating or maintaining momentum or aren't getting exciting interviews, schedule your free strategy call with ArcVida today.  

Published on 9/3/2020