Look for a Job over that Hill

Last week, I had coffee with a former colleague who is about to head into a transition.  She has been with her company for a long time and after some ugly corporate changes, they have decided to part ways.  She is very savvy and got good advice along the way.  She has a nice cushion in place.

I asked her what she was planning to do.

“What do you mean?” she said.” I am going to look for a job.”

While it is true that looking for a job is a full time job, it cannot be the only thing you do.  You will not get enough positive feedback and stimulation to keep yourself on the straight and narrow.

Sure, the first week or so is fun.  You can sleep in and catch up on Netflix without feeling (too) guilty.  You can do the laundry during the day instead of a midnight.  But that novelty wears off pretty quickly.

She is the sort of person who holds herself highly accountable and has always had one or two big, hairy, audacious goals in the back of her mind.  She is a driver.

I suggested that she think about climbing Kilimanjaro.  She looked at me like I had two heads.

I think there is value to working on something big and personal when you are in a job search.  It can give you a real sense of accomplishment when other things in your life are not delivering that feeling.

It also gives you something really meaty to talk about while you are networking.  If you are in casual conversation and mention that you are training for a marathon or learning to sail or hiking the Bruce Trail, you will see people’s eyebrows go up.  It is impressive in that it shows discipline and the desire to continue to do things while you are between jobs.

Should she spend most of her time looking for her next role?  Of course.  Can she swap out the time she spend commuting for something big and personal?  You bet.

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