20+ Ways To Overcome Pandemic Job Search Stress

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - ©2020 Reprinted with permission

If you find it harder to concentrate right now, you aren't alone. It's caused by pandemic job search stress. Get ideas on how to regain your focus. There's already evidence that this pandemic is having an effect on those who don't even have the virus. Some have referred to it as "covid brain" or brain fog. No matter what you call it, it's real. This article from the BBC validates the effects the Coronavirus is having on people. I've been struggling to do anything that requires deep thinking so I reached out to my LinkedIn network to see what suggestions/tactics/tricks people were using to help them focus. The answers didn't disappoint. Some of the advice... Read More

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By Department of Veterans Affairs | VA Caregiver Support - Reprinted with permission, ©2020 All Rights Reserved

The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is for eligible Veterans who have incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975 or on or after September 11, 2001. This program provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, and health insurance (if eligible), beneficiary travel (if eligible), to caregivers of eligible Veterans. Veterans may be eligible for this clinical program if they: Sustained or aggravated a serious injury serious injury (now includes serious illness) in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975 or on or after 9/11/2001; and meet both of the following criteria to be eligible for PCAFC. Among... Read More

IRS reopens registration for Economic Impact Payment

IRS Tax Outreach | VA.gov - Reprinted with permission ©2020 All Rights Reserved

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reopened the registration period for claiming an Economic Impact Payment. Individuals who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, or certain Veterans benefits — but didn't receive the $500 payment per child earlier this year — can still file for the $500 payment. IRS graphic $500 child tax credit Eligibility Federal benefit recipients can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to get a catch-up payment for a qualifying child if... Read More

6 Simple Ways to Find Contacts Inside Companies

By Hannah Morgan - careersherpa.net - Reprinted with Permission

There are many ways to find the name and contact information for someone inside a company. If you've ever been frustrated that you didn't know people who work for a company you are interested in (or want to apply to) then check out these six simple ways to sleuth insiders! Before you apply to a job, talk with someone who works inside the company to get the inside scoop on what it is like to work there. Always! You may or may not know the name of anyone, but it doesn't matter. These solutions will help you find the name. It is best to start reaching out... Read More

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20+ Ways To Overcome Pandemic Job Search Stress

By Hannah Morgan | Career Sherpa - ©2020 Reprinted with permission

If you find it harder to concentrate right now, you aren't alone. It's caused by pandemic job search stress. Get ideas on how to regain your focus.

There's already evidence that this pandemic is having an effect on those who don't even have the virus. Some have referred to it as "covid brain" or brain fog. No matter what you call it, it's real. This article from the BBC validates the effects the Coronavirus is having on people.

I've been struggling to do anything that requires deep thinking so I reached out to my LinkedIn network to see what suggestions/tactics/tricks people were using to help them focus. The answers didn't disappoint.

Some of the advice was general. Some was specific to job seekers. I recommend testing different ideas to see what works best for you. And don't knock it until you've tried it!

The added bonus is that you'll procrastinate less and feel more motivated when you actually get a few things done!

General Best Practices for Reducing Pandemic Job Search Stress

  • Exercise (walks, bike rides,)
  • Eating healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Self-care
  • Meditation, yoga
  • Learn something new
  • Dedicated "Me time"
  • Volunteer, help others
  • Get into a routine

Thank you to all the coaches and job seekers for sharing your insights!

JOB SEARCH

Add Structure
Susan P. Joyce | Job-Hunt.org says:

I'm changing my "normal" routine to be more structured and methodical. Apply that to job search:

  • Any deadlines for this week? Job interviews, networking meetings, etc.
  • What needs to be done to prepare for them? Research employers and interviewers, post on LinkedIn, etc.
  • What deadlines next week, the week after that, etc.
  • Any interesting options available this week — Zoom events, opportunities, webinars, phone calls, etc.? With my goals in front of me, I plan my week, scheduling time to meet those goals this way —
  • What is already scheduled and what time is available?
  • What NEEDS to be done this week to make progress?
  • Which day of the week is the best day to do that task? Finally, I add those items to my smart phone's calendar.
Grace and shorter spurts
Adrienne Tom | Career Impressions recommends:

First, acknowledge that it is tough and be kind to yourself. The more frustrated you let yourself get, the harder it can be. Second, consider breaking up larger tasks into smaller, more easily attained actions. Checking even those smaller items off a list feels good and keeps the momentum going.

Also, I like to set a timer on my phone for 20-30 min increments, turn off distractions (email and phone notifications) and focus on just one task. It has helped.

Know where you are going
Dorothy Dalton | 3Plus International reminds job seekers to focus their job search:

Carry out the inner reflective work that job seekers need to do, to get to where they want to be. And as Mark Twain said " If you don't know where you're going every direction will get you there." For me — taking regular breaks and show gratitude and appreciate what you have.

One small step at a time
Kerry Hannon | Author, retirement and careers expert says:

I take the Anne Lamott "Bird by Bird" approach. Just do one thing each day to move the ball forward, and if you can do more, great. But the success of completing one call, sending one resume, reaching out to your network for advice, or finding who you know who works at a company where there's an opening you're curious about, will energize you to keep moving forward.

Keep a journal
Carla R. Messer | Beyond Executive Coaching states:

Research suggests that those who journal during the job search process find work twice as fast. Getting stuck in a rut? Journal about it. Nervous about reaching out to a connection? Journal. Writing can be a powerful lubricant to restart your engine. Even 20 mins of mindfulness a day changes the brain.

Work your plan
Joe Hertvik, Project Manager emphasizes:

For me, it's working in a framework and working a plan. Keeping a certain discipline and following through on these items each day.

Choose what works best for you
Kathy Robinson | Turning Point says:

Proactively packing the day with activities that are shown to give clarity and an emotional boost. Beyond that, I think the antidote may be different by individual... some may get a mental breakthrough by talking out their job search with a mentor or buddy; some may benefit from a change of scenery, like taking a notebook to a park bench; another person might journal, or make to-do lists.

Work the steps
Joe Cardillo, Marketer

As a job seeker, the most helpful thing for me over the last several weeks has been to clearly delineate the stages and separate time to work on each. Information overload makes it really easy to get stuck at the top searching for things, and not do the proper research, referrals, and outreach to get to the interviews stage, and then the last step of getting to an offer.

OVERCOMING STRESS

Walk barefoot
Karen Tisdell | Tisdell Careers recommends:

I heard beautiful Sue Langley talk on a podcast about walking barefoot on the grass to ground yourself. It's a beautiful exercise and takes only a few minutes.

A little bit of everything
Angela Watts | MyPro Resumes and Recruiting reveals:

I'm trying out using music, exercise and visualization techniques to try to counter these challenges right now.

FIND FOCUS & DEEP THINKING

Create boundaries
Joe Jacobi, Performance Coach suggests:

Loss of boundaries doesn't remove the possibility of deep thinking but can challenge how we make space for it. Maybe try starting with the smallest amount of quiet space to which you think you can commit — maybe 5 minutes after waking up.

Turn off notifications
Rick Triana, AWS Technical Account Manager found this tip on LinkedIn:

Temporarily turn off Notifications on your iPhone, turn off your laptop (or close your mail and messaging programs) and set aside a block of interrupted time in your calendar (and keep this appointment).

Know when you perform best
Jude Gaal | ResumeRedux says:

I would say do the toughest task first thing in the morning and set a certain amount of time to do it. That will be different for each person. Then the rest of the day will be a bonus.

Set a timer
Jeannie Burns Jaworski, Educator and Trainer swears by:

Using the Pomodoro Technique has helped me. It's easier for me to focus when I know it's for a set time and there is structure around it.

PARENTING +

Dealing with too much going on
Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchil | Avenir Careers says:

As a black man, politics/news junkie, husband, father of an 8yo, doing virtual 3rd grade, & career coach there is a lot that has my attention, energy, & concern these days, so here is how I maintain:

  1. Exercise: 3-5x a week | Nike Training app = my best friend | moving makes me happy, feels good, helps me stay sharp
  2. Therapy: weekly sessions help me process any & everything I'm thinking & feeling — it's my time to focus 100% on me
  3. Quality time with my wife & daughter
  4. Rediscovering old hobbies: re-teaching myself to DJ (turntablism) & getting back into tennis
  5. Reading a good novel: almost done with Crazy Rich Asians — plan to read the trilogy.
Keeping sane
Rebecca Henninger | The Job Girls says

The only thing keeping me sane has been exercise and laughter. Many of my clients who are in active searches meditate.

SELF-CARE

Do the dishes
Jessica Sweet | Wishingwell Coaching confesses:

I enjoy spending time with friends, watching some TV, reading, hanging out with the kiddos, writing, I'm even one of those weirdos who finds doing dishes relaxing.

MEDITATION

A simple timer will do
Sharon Hemersley, LinkedIn Coach says it's simple:

Meditation can be as simple as setting a timer for 5 minutes, sitting quietly, and focusing on your breath. There are tons of meditation videos on YouTube. Here are a couple that I've found useful: youtu.be/nmFUDkj1Aq0, youtu.be/8Xdwr4cRTVA

Suggested Apps
Taylor Hill, Customer Service shares:

I've really enjoyed the apps Serenity (has 6 or 7 videos available without purchase to get a feel for it) and Waking Up (can try it free for a month, offers for a free year long subscription for those who need/request it). There are a lot of options but I think the most important thing when starting meditation is to accept that it takes practice. It was really challenging for me to get into a rhythm with meditating because I found it so hard to focus and just assumed I wasn't good at it or that it didn't 'work' for me. Once you find an app you like to use, something I found helpful was having a friend who also commits to meditating each day which keeps me accountable as well.

Two more recommendations
Chris Hays, author, writer endorses:

Meditation 10 minutes daily—Jeff Warren's guided sessions are phenomenal. Also, forestapp.cc .

SEE ALL THE COMMENTS ON LINKEDIN

Hannah Morgan on LinkedIn: #jobsearchtips #career #gethired | 121 comments Anyone else struggling to focus or do 'deep thinking'? I think part of it is this pandemic, part of it is political and part of it is me. But I am pretty... read on LinkedIn.com >

And it isn't just pandemic job search stress. Even those who have jobs are feeling stressed, anxious and foggy headed. We're all in this together!

I truly believe in blocking out time each day for designated job search activities. You can see how to do that in Structure your week.

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IRS reopens registration for Economic Impact Payment

IRS Tax Outreach | VA.gov - Reprinted with permission ©2020 All Rights Reserved

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reopened the registration period for claiming an Economic Impact Payment. Individuals who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement, or certain Veterans benefits — but didn't receive the $500 payment per child earlier this year — can still file for the $500 payment.

IRS graphic $500 child tax credit

Eligibility

Federal benefit recipients can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to get a catch-up payment for a qualifying child if:

  • Have not already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information about their qualifying child
  • Have not filed their 2019 or 2018 tax return

Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries, and certain VA recipients who have already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on children don't need to take any further action. The IRS will automatically send a payment in October.

How to Apply

Federal benefit recipients can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to get a catch-up payment for a qualifying child. The Non-Filers tool is available on IRS.gov in both English and Spanish. Eligible individuals can use the tool until Wednesday, Sept. 30 to enter information about their qualifying children to receive a catch-up $500 payment per child.

What to Expect

Eligible recipients can check the status of their catch-up payment using the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov. They will also receive another Notice 1444 in the mail after the payment is issued; this notice should be kept with individual tax records. The payment will be issued in October.

Those who received their original Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit will also have any catch-up payment direct deposited to the same account. Others will receive a check.

Those unable to access the Non-Filers tool may file a simplified paper return following the instructions in this FAQ on IRS.gov.

Anyone who misses the Sept. 30 deadline will need to wait until next year and claim the payment as a credit on their 2020 federal income tax return.

More information

Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments

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6 Simple Ways to Find Contacts Inside Companies

By Hannah Morgan - careersherpa.net - Reprinted with Permission

There are many ways to find the name and contact information for someone inside a company. If you've ever been frustrated that you didn't know people who work for a company you are interested in (or want to apply to) then check out these six simple ways to sleuth insiders!

Before you apply to a job, talk with someone who works inside the company to get the inside scoop on what it is like to work there. Always!

You may or may not know the name of anyone, but it doesn't matter. These solutions will help you find the name.

It is best to start reaching out to people you know. They are more likely to help you than someone you don't know.

Search LinkedIn

Of course, LinkedIn is the go-to tool for finding people.

Basic and Advanced Search

From the top search menu, type in the name of the person or company you want to search for. You may want to start with a company search to see who you know inside the company first. Those are your strongest allies.

LinkedIn's advanced search allows you to search for users (and more). You can search by connection level, location, or current company. But there's more

[image: LinkedIn search 2019]

The advanced search filters give you more options to search for.

[image: LinkedIn advanced search filters]

Scroll down and you can search by current company, past company or industry...

[image: LinkedIn People filters]

You can search by profile language, schools and contact interests...

[image: LinkedIn interests filters]

Or service providers, name, title, company or school.

[image: LinkedIn service providers filters]

When you find the person or people you would like to reach out to, check their profile to see if you can find their email address. It may be in their "contact" section or in their "About" section.

It's almost always better to email someone than to try and connect on LinkedIn since not everyone regularly monitors their LinkedIn invitations.

Google Their Name

Who would have thought that a simple Google search might uncover someone's email address. Well, it's worth a try! Just type in the person's name and the word email and see what shows up!

If you are looking for tools that are designed to lookup email addresses, you're in luck. Later in this article I link to a resoure to help you find email addresses for free!

Hunt on FaceBook

You're thinking "but Facebook isn't professional." We all know this. But when push comes to shove, who are the people most willing to help? Your friends and family. So try searching Facebook to find the name of the person you want to connect with. Type the name in the search bar and select "people." You will see your mutual friends listed.

Email your mutual friend and ask if they can introduce you.

Try Twitter

Twitter is an open network and I've said before, people using Twitter are generally pretty open to networking, otherwise, they wouldn't be there. There are at least two options for searching for people on Twitter.

First, use the search box. Note: look down below to see the option to "Search for all people for Sally"

If this doesn't work, you can try Twitter's Advanced Search (it isn't easy to find it, so I linked it there for you). For best results, enter the person's name in the "this exact phrase" box. If or when you find someone, send them a tweet which may look like this: "Would love to talk with you about XYZ company @Sally S"

[image: Twitter search]

[image: Twitter advanced search]

No email Address, No Problem

It's hard to contact someone if you don't have their email address. And FYI, everyone checks email. So once you have the contact name, here's a list of research tools to find email addresses- all free. 8 Actionable Ways To Find Anyone's Email Address

As you can see, there are many ways to find contact information!

So if I ever hear you say, "I don't know anyone inside a company" again, I'm going to scream! Find them, ask for an introduction via email and call them! Voila, you're connected!

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