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Are You Cheating On Your Job Search?

September 1st, 2011

Sunday I was talking with a fellow business owner, and we were chatting about working out. I said that it’s easy, as an entrepreneur, feel like you are cheating on your company when you do other stuff.  Like work out.

This is a hazardous mentality that I brought from the first days of my job search.

When I started looking for a job I was very, very hungry.

I didn’t want to rely on my family for help with bills and food.

I didn’t want to rely on my church for help with bills and food.

I didn’t want to rely on the government for help with bills and food.

All three were there, and ready to help.  And they did help, and it was hard to take their help, but that’s for another post.

I was hungry. I wanted to be on my own two feet.  I wanted to be independent.

I worked very hard on my job search (not necessarily smart).

I didn’t do anything else.  I let my marriage go on the back burner, I let my physical fitness go on the back burner.

If I had a shred of energy or mental bandwidth, it was dedicated to my job search.

I thought this was going to be a short-term thing, and then I could let life get back to normal.

It wasn’t short-term.

And letting those things go was a mistake.

What I’ve learned in the last 18 months is that I need to take time, and pay attention to my wife, and my kids, and my home, and my lawn, and my body, and my finances, and my spirituality, and my _________ (whatever else I was neglecting).

Today I am going on my 3.2 mile walk. In the time it takes to do that I might be able to do a LinkedIn profile critique. I might be able to write 3 blog posts. I might be able to do a number of billable things.

But I can’t.  Because what I’ve really learned is that I’ve been cheating myself by letting this one grand thing (my business… for you it might be your job search) get in the way of having the life I really want, and the health I really need.

2 Comments »

2 responses to “Are You Cheating On Your Job Search?”

  1. Rita Carey says:

    Jason – such an important message! We cannot give what we don’t have and we don’t have emotional energy when we don’t take time to replenish it with the spiritual (whatever that means to each of us) and the relational parts of our lives. And the counter intuitive reality: we actually get more done toward our work or job search. It’s tricky but I like to recommend applying Covey’s Seven Habits theory – keep your eye on what’s most important in your life…and plan accordingly.

  2. Brad Merrill says:

    I have found that running has become such a large part of my life over the years. (I started running in November 1999 – long before my last two periods of unemployment) That I have to do it to stay sane. Since 2004 when I lost the first of those two positions I have averaged over 1000 miles a year and will have run 7 marathons on October 1, 2011. Since I started in 1999? 15,624 miles through Aug 31 this year. And my marathon on October 1? (St George) #14 overall. (first in 2000)

    I applaud anyone who gets out and does something. Your 3.2 miles I imagine takes roughly an hour right (plus/minus)? It’s easy to say “I need to do this or that and can’t run (in my case) today”. I recently realized how much it means. I tweaked a hamstring about a week ago. I missed nearly 30 miles of marathon training last weekend including a 17 mile run. (Friday,Saturday,Sunday) I forgot what that stress was liked. I have remained pretty healthy over the years and haven’t missed a lot of runs/time due to injury. (maybe 30 days on the high side in nearly 12 years – less than 1% (.69% or 30/4322)). Now that isn’t counting days I blew off for no particular reason, or unscheduled days. (I like to run 4-5 days a week generally)

    All that being said, I am sure I have areas of my life that I do neglect some and I need to get better at those.