Long Job Search? Here’s How to Cope
If there’s one near-universal truth about the search for employment it’s this: You can never find a job fast enough. No matter how long you’ve been on the hunt, you want a job yesterday — if not before. That means it doesn’t take long for frustration to build if you don’t see immediate results.
But maintaining your motivation is essential to success. Your energy and excitement comes through in every interaction with potential employers. If they sense your enthusiasm is low, they’re likely to move on to the next candidate.
How can you keep your spirits high? Here are some tips:
Take a breather. Searching for work is a full-time job in itself. But devoting every waking hour to it can cause you to burn out. If you’ve been at it without a break, consider hitting the Pause button for a few days. Focus on your hobbies, go away for the weekend, or simply treat yourself to a movie or meal out. When you resume your activities, you’ll find you’re refreshed and ready to go again.
Ask for help. You may feel all alone, but you don’t have to fly solo to find a job. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those you know for assistance, especially if you’ve hit a wall. Friends or professional contacts may know someone at a target company and be willing to provide a referral. Or request a family member review your resume with an eye toward potential stumbling blocks.
Get out there. We all know that networking is one of the most effective ways to find a new job. But there’s another benefit of mingling with your peers: It’s a great way to find support. You’re not the only one looking for work. Talk to those in your network about their own experiences and struggles, and offer to lend a hand when you can.
Try something new. If your job search activities aren’t getting you anywhere, it may be time to change things up. For instance, you might consider shifting your resume from the standard chronological format to a combination style. Have the jobs boards seemed to dry up? Talk to a recruiter about opportunities that may not be advertised. This doesn’t mean throwing everything out the window and starting from scratch. Small changes could be enough to make a difference.
Be realistic. Some of your frustration may be the result of applying for jobs that simply aren’t right for you. Make sure you’re focusing your efforts on positions that best match your skills and experience. If you continually target jobs you have little chance of landing, you’re bound to be disappointed.
Last but not least, realize that rejection is part of the job search process. You’re almost guaranteed to be turned down more times than not. Many more times, in fact. But each rejection is a chance to build experience and learn something that may benefit you next time. Keep your head up!
We’ve all struggled with a long job search. What have you done to keep your spirits up? Let me know in the comments section below.