What does it mean to look for a job in a way that makes the looking itself compelling? I suspect there’s a core set of values that everyone wants to honor in their process.
- learning (you develop new skills or have new experiences, you discover things about yourself or others)
- enjoyment (the search is fun)
- safety (your self-image is not at risk from rejection, you’re not in financial or physical danger)
- balance or integration (the job search complements your current life, or at least doesn’t overload you)
- presence (you feel like you’re really participating in the effort and experiencing the highs and lows)
Then each of us adds our own values. It’s important for me, for instance, to be open-hearted and rely on my emotion and intuition in this process right now. Presence for me is all about feeling, and connection with other people. Balance is all about feeling like the search itself is creative and leaves space for my artistic life.
Why think this much about what kind of job search experience you want to have? You could just start sending resumes out, or call your old manager who thought you were awesome. That whole process turns you and your next work into a bundle of keywords, skills and benefits. Great, if you want a job based on those things. If you want real fulfillment, though, you spend a fair amount of time deciding what job you want to do, where, in what sort of place and with what sort of people.
I say don’t wait for that new wonderful job to have what you want, where you want with the people you want. Have it now.
So, that’s part 2: decide what kind of experience you want to have while you look for your next great work. It may be a lot like what you want from the work itself. Or not. In either case, it will help you decide where to go on the map to your new destination.