Icebreakers for the end of winter job search blahs

It’s barely March and in the Eastern US, at least, it still feels like frigid February. Staying on track with a job search is rarely easy, but when it’s bleak outside, it can be even harder not to internalize the weather.  Here are some ways I’ve found to make it through the final stretch as painlessly as possible until the real Spring thaw. Try these out for the next two weeks and watch your job search energy soar along with March temperatures.

Go with the wind. Stop fighting against the elements and indulge yourself a little. Cut back your search time by 30 minutes a day and use the time to phone a friend, do easy reading or catch an episode of your favorite series on Netflix.  Add popcorn and hot chocolate.

Start to un-hibernate. Warm up your contacts with face to face interaction. Social media is great, but overdoing it can add to end of winter feelings of isolation. Try to plan at least one early a.m. coffee or after hours get together each week. When the weather warms up, add more.

Break the ice each day with just one main focus area.  For instance, devote Monday to LinkedIn updates, Tuesday to scanning relevant industry job boards, Wednesday to researching targeted employers of interest, etc.  Friday is a great day to chart your plan for the week ahead, including any checklist items you might want to fit in over the weekend.

Plan an early Spring meetup with local friends and colleagues also in search mode. It can be as simple as an energizing walk in the park followed by coffee and lead swaps, or as elaborate as a Saturday of self-run workshops, idea sharing and an inspiring guest speaker or two.  The main point is to surround yourself with positive people who will support and encourage each other.

And here’s an encouraging thought for starters:  along with the ice, there are some anecdotal signs that the job market is finally starting to thaw.  I’m hearing about more success stories every month, including among long-term searchers and those over 50.

What are you seeing out there? Any tips to share for getting through the last windy gasps of Winter?