Professional Unknown: How to Stop Panicking & Refocus Your Job Search

Do you ever have those moments in life when you're stuck in a state of limbo a bit longer than you'd like? I've been in the process of switching jobs for a few months now, and I'm chomping at the bit for the hunt to be over...but I haven't found a new job yet. Come October 1st, I will be working solely on a freelance basis after deciding to leave my part-time job.

This decision wasn't one I took lightly, but with the opportunity to increase my income working freelance and dedicate more time to finding a full-time job, I believe it's the best option for me. I spent about a week or two freaking out about the possibility of not having a steady income (especially with student loans and medical bills from a tonsillectomy rapidly coming around the corner), but I've managed to move past the initial terror and into a more productive realm of thinking. 

It can be tough having blind faith that something will work out, but I've found a way to manage the fear of the professional unknown somewhat gracefully. Here's how you can, too: 

  • Find your safety net: I'm extremely fortunate to have my parents to rely on. As much as I complain about wanting to move out on my own and get away from my mom's smothering worrying, I wouldn't be able to work on finding a career that ignites my passion and provides for me financially if I didn't have them to support me. Living at home might not be the coolest thing to do, but it's definitely providing me with much needed space to collect myself. Unfortunately, you might not have the same type of support system and might have to build a nest egg as your safety net instead, which could mean having to spend a bit more time at the job you're looking to leave. 
  • Scour job posting apps before bed: When my mind starts racing at night when I'm trying to sleep, I'll sometimes log onto the LinkedIn Jobs or Indeed apps on my own and scroll through new postings in my field. Of course, this is in addition to the day-to-day search that I try to constantly stay on top of. If I go through and save a few jobs on the app, I feel like I've been productive and stress a little bit less before I nod off. The light from my phone might be bad for my circadian rhythms, but it sure beats endless ruminations about unemployment.
  • Come up with alternative routes: Since spending most of my summer in various degrees of sickness, I had to get used to working from home. At first, I found myself missing the camaraderie of an office setting, but I quickly set up my own work desk and scheduled phone calls and emails accordingly. I even began practicing this with my freelance work. And you know what? I love working remotely. My creative energy is at an all time high when I don't have to live The Sarah Show for eight hours a day. The more I think about it, the more I realize that a full-time position may not be the right choice for me. In case I don't find a job I like in the near future, I'm working on building up my freelance client base. If you have skills that can easily be done remotely, consider looking into freelance for yourself. If nothing else, it's more money in your pocket!

How are you making it through your job search? Do you have any tips for me? I'd love to hear them!

Sarah Walsh