How to Hit the Reboot Button
As some of you may know, in the lead up to Christmas I was feeling rushed, anxious and more than a little stressed. I’d set myself the task of finding a job before the year was out, and the fact that I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere was slowly driving me crazy. That coupled with some developments at home, meant that I was in serious need of an R&R. Here are the 3 steps I took to hit the reboot button.
1. Drop everything! – Well, as much as possible. When you’re racing about, and stressed out, it’s easy to lose yourself. I found the anxiety I was getting from having multiple interviews in a week, was causing my mind to race in a way that was entirely unfamiliar. I’m a writer, and I’m used to thinking in long, methodical sentences, not half-statements that I don’t have time to finish. It was time to put some things on the back burner for a while. For me, this meant taking a break from interviews, and putting a pause on blogging. I was still looking for work, and keeping in touch with contacts, but only applying when I found a job that I actually got excited about.
2. Do what you love – Once I’d made time, I began doing things I enjoyed again. I started with watching TV and playing video games, and worked myself back up to reading and writing. I apologise, but I may have – by which I mean, I definitely have – munched my way through The Hunger Games trilogy, while I was gone. Also, Douglas Adams’s The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and Every Day by David Levithan. (They are all great books, which I will probably review when I get the chance). I’ve also spent a lot of time with friends and family, getting out of the house as much as possible. After months of putting my job-hunt first, it was exactly what I needed.
3. Move forward – Once you’ve got yourself back on track, it’s important not to start thinking 10 steps ahead again. Focus on driving the train, not what’s on the other side of the tunnel. For instance, when I look at jobs now, rather than thinking about what my life will be like, where it’ll take me in five years, etc. etc., I go through a set of criteria; Can I do this job? Will I enjoy it? Am I going to like my colleagues? Can I fit a social life around it? It’s good to have an over arching goal, a destination like “get a job,” but live in the present and keep yourself grounded. It’s also important to assess what may be keeping you from that goal. In my case, the tree on the line was that I’d lost the ability to show any personality in an interview, and personality is essential to connecting with potential employers.
It’s been an odd few months, but they were definitely needed. I now know where I’m going, but I’m focusing on the day-to-day. I’m enjoying the present and worrying less about the future. I really hope this helps some of you, and as always I’d love to hear about your experiences. What do you do to get yourself back on track? How do you hit the reboot button?