You were ready to start a new job search. You had an updated resume in hand, an expertly crafted cover letter drafted, and a list of industry networking events to attend. You started to apply for jobs and then–2020 happened. 

The best laid plans…

I don’t have to tell you that 2020 has thrown a curve-ball into most, if not all, of our plans. Zoom meetings have become ubiquitous, remote work the new norm, and in-person interviews a rare occurrence if it happens at all.

So how do you approach a job search in our new, seemingly virtual reality? 

Uncertainty brings up resistance: to change, to making plans, to moving forward. 

So first things first–don’t let the current uncertainty bring up resistance. Has your inner-critic been telling you that finding a job in the current climate is impossible? Has it said that even if you are unhappy in your current job, you should just be happy you have one right now?

It may be more challenging to find a new job right now. It may take more time. But it is not impossible. And these times don’t mean you should settle in a job that makes you unhappy.

To approach a job right now, it is all about holding your vision while adjusting your course. 

I work in higher education administration. I had already embarked on a new job search for several months before the March 2020 lockdown. In all honesty, I wasn’t having much success. I thought I was doing everything right–networking, tailoring each application for each job, promoting myself on LinkedIn. Still… *crickets.* 

Then the pandemic hit. With that pandemic came hiring freezes at most, if not all, colleges. 

Fast forward several months, and I am now happy in a new position at a prestigious liberal arts college. 

I found my current job through persistence, networking, and keeping my vision. I also adjusted my course by being more opened-minded about the jobs I applied to, and also focusing on how my digital skills were a valuable asset. While every person, job search, industry, and situation is different, you can still follow some key steps to launching a successful job search. 

Step 1: Write Down Your Intention, Then Your Goal

Writing down intentions may sound like advice given at a yoga class. However, neuroscience research supports that writing down goals helps us to achieve them.

I prefer writing down an “intention” before writing down my goals. By analyzing my “intentions,” I begin to understand the motivation behind my goal. When you understand your real motivation, you can create a more clear vision. You can also decide if the original goal you had in mind may need adjustment.  Here’s how to break this step down:

Write down your intention 

An intention is not the same as a goal. A goal is an aim, or a desired result. An intention is about your purpose, your “why?” Why do I want a new job? Try to think beyond “I need the money.” While that may be true, this is more about your inner motivation and purpose.


  • “My intention is to find a more satisfying position. My current job is unfulfilling and stressful. I do not have a supportive manager which is hindering my growth potential and I want to grow in a successful, enjoyable career.”

Analyze and adjust

When you read your intention, you will start to realize your motivation behind finding new job was that I was bored. I didn’t feel challenged. 

I originally had thought I was bored because I was in the wrong career. I realized I really just wanted to work on a team that challenged me and provided opportunities for growth. 

Write down your goal

After examining your intention and understanding your motivation, reframe it as a concrete goal, the end-result you hope to achieve. 


  • “My goal is to find a content management or communications position within higher education. My criteria is that this position will have both growth potential and be part of a supportive team.”

Interested in step 2? Head back to the blog in a few days, as the remaining steps will be posted in separate posts!