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When Motivation is Flagging: Be Curious

I am a contributing writer for a monthly Career Experts Group newsletter, and here is my August 2023 submission:


Summertime is a great time for taking it easy. And the job search tends to take a back seat to picnics in the park, road trips to the beach, etc. Still, for those people who need to find employment, summer is not a time to put your job search on ice.


How can you keep going when all you want to do is let go? Turn everything into a learning experience using curiosity as your guide. When you learn something new, you feel good. You feel productive. As poet Tucker Bryant says, "Curiosity leads to epiphanies." That is a great result when you are in job-search mode.


Three ways to Stay Curious:


Research Companies


Create a spreadsheet of target companies, and do some research on those companies. Read every page of the company website. Google the company and read articles (the most recent, the better) about the company. Follow people on LinkedIn who work at the company. You can check to see if they are active LI users by clicking on their name and going to their profile, then scrolling down to their activity. If they've posted in the last week or two, they are probably active. If you have a worthwhile comment to make on their post, go ahead and engage.


Take a Class


Learning a new skill is a great way to be curious. Speaking for myself, I was beginning to take it "too easy" after a few great vacations this summer, and I was feeling unmotivated to work on my business marketing. So I signed up for a week of workshops and that was just what I needed to get my creative energies going again.


You don't have to spend money to learn something new, either. Go to your LinkedIn newsfeed and in the top right corner, click on the LEARNING icon. There are thousands of quick learning opportunities there, on so many topics. Some cost money, but many are free. If you want to increase the skills you already have, or learn a new skill in preparation of pivoting to a new career, there's something here for you. Interested in Project Management, or Human Resources? Check out the learning options under "Certifications."


Ask Questions


Schedule a coffee date with someone in a career of interest to you. Prepare in advance a few questions about their career and then let the conversation naturally fan out from there. Maybe I'm biased here, being a career counselor, but it's fun to learn about someone's career journey. I'll never forget an informational interview I did in college with a newspaper proofreader (yes, I was considering this career!) and the first words out of her mouth to me were, "You don't want to do this job." Tell me more!


These are just three ways to jumpstart your job search by harnessing the power of curiosity.


For more career inspiration, here's the full August 2023 newsletter from the Career Experts Group.


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