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Embracing Accountability: Pathways to Success & Self-care

By Jennifer Tucker, Writer and Content Creator  |  June 4, 2024
Embracing Accountability: Pathways to Success & Self-care

Navigating your career journey is a long, hard road. It comes with twists and turns, highs and lows, starts and stops. And inevitably, your perseverance will wane. But when you feel your motivation dip, accountability is crucial.

When we think about accountability during a job search, it often conjures up a long list of ambitious tasks to be done: set goals, work hard, pursue opportunities, conquer challenges. At a time like this, it’s crucial to balance commitment to your professional goals with commitment to your personal well-being.

The demands of a job search can be challenging, and maintaining your mental and emotional wellness are necessary to help you stay the course.

Here, we’re exploring why accountability to self-care is just as important as accountability to your to-do list and sharing strategies to help you honor both.

Set clear goals

Create a few specific, achievable goals for your professional journey and your personal well-being. When you’re in the midst of a job search, it’s crucial to break your goals down into manageable tasks that you can track—and not for the reasons you might think. When it comes to setting goals, I always tell people the purpose isn’t to load you up with to-dos. The purpose is to set realistic expectations. Without clear goals, you’re more likely to (incorrectly) assume that you’re not doing enough and subject yourself to constant critique.

Create a schedule

Similarly, it’s important to dedicate time each day to both job search activities and self-care. I advise my clients to treat a job search like a job itself, with set hours for researching opportunities, applying, and networking. 

But it’s not the one who spends the most “time” on their job search who wins. In fact, it’s the opposite. Being purposeful about how you spend the time you’ve set aside is the key to success. For example, when you log into LinkedIn, do so with a specific purpose. That will prevent you from losing hours to “doom-scrolling,” ending up feeling helpless.

Set boundaries

Establishing boundaries during your job search is critical to prevent burnout. Those boundaries might include limiting the hours you spend searching, saying no to additional commitments, and making self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine. Is it exercise, meditation, or hobbies? When you set aside time for things that bring you joy, you increase your likelihood of effectiveness and boost your chances of achieving your job search goals.

Enlist an accountability partner

Despite what you might think, your job search doesn’t have to rest entirely on your shoulders. Share your goals with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor willing to share the burden by holding you accountable.

Once you’ve found your accountability partner, don’t hesitate to reach out for their support. Setting up regular check-ins can encourage and keep you motivated. Whether talking through a setback or simply taking a walk, they’re here to help you navigate the highs and lows.

Practice self-compassion

Be kind to yourself throughout the job search process. Setbacks and rejections are a natural part of the journey, and you should anticipate a few bumps in the road. The most important thing is treating yourself with the same patience, understanding, and compassion you would offer a friend.

Embrace Accountability

Beyond acting with intention and taking responsibility for your decisions, accountability represents a courageous step toward personal growth and empowerment. And sometimes that’s exactly what you need to stay the course. Incorporate these strategies into your job search and you can maintain accountability to both your professional goals and your personal well-being. Remember, a balanced approach not only enhances your job search effectiveness but also sustains your overall well-being.

At Transitions Careers, we help people embrace their human-ness on their career journeys. Meet the Transitions Careers team here and learn how we can help you map a doable path toward professional and personal fulfillment.