Job Search (And Life) Lessons Learned From The Martian
Last weekend, I went to see The Martian. Since I didn’t have time to read the book, I didn’t know anything other than it was about a man stranded on Mars. Without giving any secrets away, one of the astronauts is hit by debris during a storm. Based on the evidence, he is presumed dead and left behind as the rest of the crew evacuates the planet.
Well, the movie was awesome. Viewing it in 3D was an experience, worth every extra penny.
The movie has many underlying themes like the significance of character, friendship, and loyalty. It demonstrates how essential, sometimes critical, it is to be open to new ideas. However, the most powerful theme was the indomitable strength of the human spirit.
Later that day as I was thinking about the movie, I realized that many of The Martian’s lessons would serve job seekers as well. Looking for a new job can sometimes make you feel alone and overwhelmed.
Here are five ways to get back on track. (Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the movie, there are no spoilers here.)
Even if it seems like your job search is going along smoothly trying something new may take you to the next level. Be open to trying something new, like getting on Twitter and connecting with some recruiters. What if it works?
You may find that the help you need comes from an unexpected source or sources. Your 20-something niece or former boss may come up with an idea that you never thought of.
Change Your Perspective
After a few hours of working on a project, whether it’s writing your resume or scanning the job boards, take a break. Don’t just open Facebook to see what your friends are doing. Get up and walk away from the computer.
When you’re stuck, go for a walk or sleep on it. Ah-ha moments can come while taking a shower or in other unexpected places.
One Step at a Time
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when facing what may be a prolonged job search. Finding a job is a major undertaking. But, it will be less daunting if you take it one step at a time. First create a plan, even if that plan is little more than a to do list: revamp resume, find networking events, research job boards, update LinkedIn profile, etc.
Then tackle one thing at a time. In the morning focus on your resume. Schedule time in the afternoon to research job boards and choose a few that will work best for you. Carve out an hour to search online for local networking events.
Don’t Forget Humor
Even in your darkest hour, try not to forget or neglect your sense of humor. Exercise your funny bone whenever possible. That might mean watching a funny movie. Or exchanging sarcastic quips with a friend.
Looking on the bright side during a job search can be difficult sometimes. But, you can always try.
As Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So it is with your job search as well. Everyone has those “deer caught in the headlights” moments. The key is to do something to move forward.
Whether you’ve just been laid off or have been looking for a job for the past six weeks, or six months, begin by doing one thing, taking that first step, today.