Avoiding the Job Search Blues

jobseeker2You’ve submitted dozens of job applications, updated your resume and practiced your 30-second elevator speech—yet weeks pass without landing an interview, much less a job offer. If job hunting depresses you, you’re not alone. Looking for a job is an unpredictable process with no guarantees and a huge amount at stake. However, remaining positive throughout your job search is important to your motivation and self-esteem, both of which are highly visible and desirable factors to recruiters. Use these tips to rechannel your energy into landing the perfect career opportunity.

  • Volunteer – Unemployment can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel powerless. Volunteering helps you maintain a sense of value and purpose. Find an organization that is related to your personal interests or your career. Volunteering can also provide career experiences, social support and networking opportunities.
  • Join a support group – Other job seekers can be a valuable source of encouragement, support and job leads. Tap into this resource by joining or starting a job seeker support group. Being around other job seekers can be energizing and motivating. Simple words of encouragement can be a huge boost during this difficult time.
  • Learn a new skill – There may be free or low-cost online courses available through continuing education in your community. You can also visit your local Goodwill for free resume clinics or Occupational Skills Training courses.
  • Read – Borrow books from your public library. The benefits of reading include reduced stress, improved memory and stronger analytical skills. Plus it’s free entertainment!
  • Find a silver lining – Maybe it’s getting more time to spend with your family. Maybe you’re finally cleaning out your garage. Whatever the accomplishment, take pride in it. Losing a job is easier to accept if you can find the lesson in your loss. If you look, you’re sure to find something of value.
  • Don’t ignore your health – Your job search shouldn’t consume you. Make time for regular exercise, get plenty of sleep and practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga. Your search will be more effective if you are mentally, emotionally and physically fit.
  • Journal – Are you angry? Sad? Frustrated? Express everything you feel about being unemployed. Writing down your feelings can be especially cathartic if your job loss was handled in an insensitive way.
  • Get out of the house – Whether it’s meeting an industry contact for coffee or going to the gym, it’s important to stay socially connected during your job search. Many job openings are never advertised; they’re filled by word of mouth. You never know who you’ll meet who might be hiring in the future.
Elizabeth Isenhour
Elizabeth Isenhour

How do you stay upbeat during a job search?

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