Job Search TIP #2 for International Students and New Immigrants

#2 Make regular plans...in advance.


Humans are creatures of habit. Many of us might be unaware of it, but so much of our lives circle around habit. In the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, the author writes, "MIT researchers...discovered a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit, a loop that consists of three parts: A cue, a routine and a reward." The author goes on to explain, in extensive detail, how these three parts affect all human habits: from our small every day habits all the way to our macro societal, cultural and corporate habits.


For example, everyday when I wake up in the morning, I come downstairs and make a cup of coffee, and then I sit at my table and read and enjoy my coffee.


The cue is: waking up, tired and sleepy, (early morning is not my friend).

The routine is: taking out the coffee grains and starting the coffee maker.

The reward is: motivation to stay awake, personal time, drinking something that I really like, AND getting an extra energy boost.


When you're looking for a job, all of your normal habits are interrupted. What is more, you don't know how to create new habits during this time period because you think "this is only temporary and I don't want to create anything new right now."


But habits have a way of regulating that which is chaotic, structuring our lives that are otherwise hectic, and taking care of us through routine when our decision making is overloaded. The reason we are all productive as human beings is because everything we do revolves around routine and habits.


A good place to start:

Daily habit: Drink something every morning - lemon water, tea, coffee, whatever. Wake up, make your bed, look out your window, and drink something delicious every morning (even if you wake up at different times).


Weekly habit: Hang out with at least one friend on the same day of the week every week. For example, make Saturday your 'friend hang out day." And start calling friends now to book someone for every Saturday for the next 2 months.


Monthly habit: Check your progress every month on the 28th. Take a light overview of the job search things you've done and organize them into 1 sentence. For example:


August 28th: 16 job applications, 16 rejections

September 28th: 20 job applications, 20 rejections, 8 new contacts


It may seem bleak, but remember, one day soon, your yearly review will look like this:

2020: 36 job applications, 35 rejections, 10 new friends, 1 really great job!





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