By Raheela Gill Anwar, BPI group Chief Sales, Client Service, Market Strategy Leader |

Leaving your job may or may not have been your choice, and the process of seeking a new one can be stressful. Adding to the anxiety is the fact that most of us are risk-averse people, and no two job searches are alike or predictable. This can leave some people feeling vulnerable and unsure about the arduous task of finding a new job.

In an article, Art Markham discusses how to remain confident during your job search by focusing on the process rather than the outcome. Outcome is vital, of course, but it’s more important to pay attention to your actions during the process, as that is how you will remain motivated, stay on target, and eventually get to the desired result. Engaging in the right activities during your job search is what begets the outcome of landing your next role.

There is no substitute for quantity of activity. We often ask individuals we consult with, “How much of your available time are you dedicating to your search?” The answers range somewhere between 10 and 90 percent. I would argue that in their previous professional engagement the amount of time dedicated was closer to 100 percent. Putting in enough effort, both in the initial stages and throughout the process, will help alleviate frustration as more conversations begin and as activity ebbs and flows.

Activities you should engage in during your job search include:

  • Meet new people and expand your network of peers.
  • Expand your circle of professional advisors.
  • Give back to others who are also seeking a new challenge.
  • Think more broadly about your skills and possible new environments where you can apply them.

These activities will help increase your confidence, but the unpredictability of it all may still be nerve-wracking at times, no matter how confident you become. Here’s how to offset the lack of clarity:

  • Set weekly goals for outreach that include phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings.
  • Be precise about your follow-up.
  • Have a sense of immediacy. It reflects well when you act with urgency.
  • When people offer to help you, ask them to connect you to their contacts.
  • Have a confident, open answer to these two questions: What do you want to do next? Why did you leave? These questions present opportunities to explain your skills, what you can offer in your next opportunity, and how well you will do when given the opportunity.