Step-up your job hunt with more steps

by Ruth Lincoln, Senior Assistant, INALJ DC

Step-up your job hunt with more steps“Job hunting” bears little resemblance to the “hunting” of our primal ancestors. We both may forage for the biggest prize (cavemen: meat and fish; recent library grad: a tenure-track position with benefits), but the librarian’s hunt burns fewer calories. All that resume tweaking, cover letter writing, and online networking can translate into a lot of sitting.


The only certainty of a job hunt is the stress. That said, you’re better off taking a few breaks to manage your stress and making some healthy choices than burning through each day. It’s always best to make time for exercise, but there are lots of easy ways to sneak a few extra steps into your day. These small changes can take your hunt to the next level.


Drink water

One classical element that fueled the cavemen will also energize your job search. Drinking water not only hydrates your skin, organs, and your brain, but it makes you walk…to the water source and the restroom.


…but a little at a time


I love a big water bottle when I’m out and about, but during the day, I like to keep it to a small 8-to-16 oz. cup. That way, you’re drinking constantly throughout the day and walking frequently to refill your glass.


Exit the bus/subway one stop earlier

When the weather’s nice, I like to complete my daily errands on foot. But even exitibg public transportation one or two stops early can make a difference. It’ll only cost you a few extra minutes, and the fresh air can be a nice reprieve.


Park farther away

If you’re car-dependent, take the parking spot farthest away from the entrance. Whether it’s the grocery store or your next interview, it’s some extra distance to tackle.


Network in person

LinkedIn and virtual committees are great time-savers, but they’re no substitute for the quality connections face-to-face meetings provide. Stop by your next local ALA or state event.


Set up reminders

There are lots of free apps that prompt you to take a break every at specified time intervals (20 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.). You can set up reminders to stretch, walk, grab some water, or just get some fresh air. These “mini-breaks” leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the next job application!


Invest in a pedometer

Fitbits and the like are everywhere today, and they’re a great (but sometimes pricey) way to seriously track your steps. These devices provide the motivation and friendly competition many people need to get moving. Watch out for a sale or Craigslist if you don’t want to pay full price.

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay.