The importance of pace


When the days are so short that I don’t see my apartment in daylight I always enjoy work a lot. December in classical HR is the beginning of compensation season and list checking. It’s also the month where most of us spend more time meeting colleagues and friends and going out with vendors to celebrate another year end. By the time we have reached the “Holidays” we are all overweight, full of ginger bread, had too much Gluehwein and often we are exhausted too. Let me not get into the consumerism and craziness we have created in Europe around gifts and how spoilt our children are. I am not a big fan of Christmas presents and this is a very personal story I might tell you over a Gluehwein.


What I would like to talk to you about today is the importance of maintaining pace. When you are looking for a role in a new country and territory that is unknown to you, you need a lot of energy: building professional relationships, updating your resume, writing inspiring motivation letters and running from interview to interview without clarity and sometimes finding out in the fourth round that they are restructuring the whole department again.


Some of you might have anxieties about the financial impact of long-term unemployment, others have built a lifestyle that includes international schools, several homes and commutes to a partner in another country that create additional pressure.


And you must not forget that your self-confidence might have suffered too since you are out of the workforce and lack the general feeling of accomplishment that comes with a full diary, a real weekend and the status of a Vice President / Senior Manager position.


What is pace?

I encourage you to consider a pace as your training rate. There are certain elements that you have to do every day such as walking and relaxation exercises. I recommend a daily target and scheduling the exercises at the same time.


You also need to search job boards, write motivation letters and meet contacts at least three times a week. Here I recommend that you set a weekly target and visualize it on either a flipchart or a wall. You can use post-it-notes to write down the people you would like to connect with that week. Use an old-school method rather than your iphone as you can easily forget the apps in your phone when your find a funny cat video on Facebook. When it is there in your workspace you won’t forget.


Speaking of social media, apps and phone calls with your mother: Try to schedule those too.


Then on Friday write a summary of your week and what you have done well in either your diary or an email to me. I have offered many of you to email me your weekly “Have-Done-List”. See if you notice any change.


Plan to take one day completely “off” job search and go out into nature, connect with friends and family and make sure that you see the sunlight.


Every six weeks I encourage you to schedule either a mini-break or a holiday. This way you can maintain your motivation through the job hunting marathon. As you probably noticed it takes about a year to find a role at the moment in Switzerland. It might take longer in other countries. If you receive a temporary offer you should accept it and continue your job search at the same time. Now, that you are in the pace you can easily send out one or two targeted applications to a warm contact. Don’t forget to continue building and maintaining professional relationships while you have a role as it takes about three years to build a good network in Switzerland.


We know that it is taking energy. That’s why I recommend you either work with a coach or join one of our HireMe! Groups.


Please also remember that some of your friends might need a bit of encouragement. You can give them a coaching voucher for a career consultation session. Check out our


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