How to Keep Your Sanity During Your Job Search 2021

Unemployment is hard. Use time management to help you through it.

  • Make a daily schedule
  • Make sure there’s at least of each of these things in your schedule
  • Have something else going on — preferably multiple things
  • Set small goals
  • Take care of yourself
  • Give yourself a break
  1. This category will probably be pretty apparent to you. This is the finding jobs to apply to, the networking, the cover-letter writing. However, it also might be time you spend making data visualization projects.
  2. Things that you enjoy doing
  3. I’m not going to lie, I watched a lot of TV. I got really, really into House Hunters International. (Did you know that there is an entire neighborhood of London where many flats are converted horse stables and now they rent for like $1200 per month?)
  4. But seriously — maybe it’s talking to a friend, or playing video games, or taking a run, or drawing. Just do something that is relaxing and/or fun for you and don’t feel bad about not using this time to convince someone to pay you for your labor.
  5. Things that feel meaningful
  6. This is the trickiest category to figure out, but it will be the key to you keeping your sanity through long weeks of hearing absolutely nothing from any of the jobs you applied to.
  7. Figure out something that makes you feel like you’re doing something that matters or that is validating or that you are making clear, measurable progress on. In short, find something that makes you feel excited to do it and proud of yourself when you accomplish goals related to it. It might have something to do with your job, or it might not.
  8. For me, there were 4 main things that fell into this category:
  9. Bluebonnet Data Fellow volunteer work: I happened to be applying for jobs during fall 2020 and got involved with Bluebonnet Data, and I build a Covid-19 tracker for a rural Texas house district and supported Democrats in Michigan.
  10. Blogging. Obviously, this is a blog, but I didn’t start blogging until I started looking for a job. Honestly, I started blogging because I thought it might help me get a job, which I think it did. However, seeing that even a few people read my posts on Medium and even clapped for them gave me validation when I was feeling very alone and confused and not sure if I was on the right path or doing the right things.
  11. Rock climbing. When Covid-19 restrictions were soft enough to let the rock climbing gyms open with limited capacity, I went quite frequently. I improved enormously over just 4 months — I went from bouldering V0s and V1s to being a solid V2 climber, and struggling on 5.8 top roping to flashing (completing on the first try) V9s and completing V10s.
  12. Meditation. A key part of my routine was taking a walk every day and meditating on a bench or the ground during the walk for about 10 minutes before I started doing any job-related work. It really helped me deal with anxiety and also I felt like I was doing something virtuous/meaningful by taking care of myself.
  13. As you can see, two of my “meaningful” activities ended up being job-related, and two weren’t. However, even when my meaningful activities were job-related, the key is that I chose to do them primarily because I was excited about them, and secondarily because they could help me get a job.
  • Another day, I set a goal to spend 5 hours working on a data visualization project.
  • I will build a draft of my website by the end of the week.
  • I will set up two networking informational interviews this week.
  • It is still a pandemic, there is still an economic crisis, and it is ALWAYS hard to get your first job.
  • You are getting closer to finding a job each day.
  • It is okay to feel bad.
  • It is okay to feel good.
  • Your feelings and expressions of those feelings are valid, even if they seem irrational and inconvenient.

A New Graduate’s Guide to Becoming a Data/Business Analyst

Part 1: How to Become a Business Analyst 2021
Part 2: Skills and Projects You Need to Get a Data/Business Analyst Position
Part 3: How to Network and Use LinkedIn to Find a Job
Part 4: How to Use Professional Groups to Find a Business Analyst Job 2021
Part 5: How to Keep Your Sanity During Your Job Search

I write about computers (shout out to my CS degree!) and also about having emotions as a twenty-something. Professional me: DM @elianasquared.

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