People say that creativity thrives when boundaries are blurred and thought processes are disrupted. As a writer, I know that my best ideas come when I am not trying to think about them. When my mind starts off elsewhere, it has every chance of bringing me to that place of “yes, that’s it, I’ve got it.”
When you are open to a “messy” mental journey, there are all sorts of interesting tangents to explore.
That is when the step-change insight has a chance of appearing.
The link between a messy approach to life and creativity has been well documented. Just a glance at a picture of Einstein’s desk will give you an insight into the mind of one of the greatest thinkers the world has ever seen. As a child, my room was rarely tidy, but my concert-pianist grandmother always said that it was a sign of a creative mind.
When you are happy to be a little messy, you can expect the unexpected.
If you welcome the unexpected, all sorts of exciting stuff can happen.
When you think of all of the random events in your life, any job search will count amongst them. While you might seek to organise it with military precision, the simple fact is that the most interesting opportunities tend to come out of the blue and from sources that you may not have previously considered.
There is no such thing as an ideal job search. On the contrary, in my experience, organised chaos tends to uncover the hidden gems.
Especially when you don’t know exactly what you are looking for in the first place. If you embrace an imperfect approach to your job search, you never know what might happen.
Go for an interview at a dream employer for a job that isn’t exactly right for you. Take a call with a recruiter who hasn’t got anything for you yet. Connect with people on social and ask everyone for help. Comment on unrelated posts at random times of the day. Meet an old friend for coffee. Be vulnerable in admitting that you haven’t got a clue how things are going to work out.
Now some of this advice isn’t exactly textbook, but there is no definitive textbook on how to find a job, so sometimes you have to go with more left-field approaches.
A messy job search also definitely includes periods of time when your mind is engaged in something entirely different. Like picking up a crossword puzzle after a mental break, you suddenly see your mess unravel that little bit more.
No one knows where a ball of string ends. That is the essence of a messy job search, and why you have to be at ease with the uncertainty. Sometimes you just have to follow that random path that opens up ahead of you every day.
It could well lead somewhere amazing. Or it might not.
If you don’t follow it, you will never know.