Many job seekers, especially those who have been out of work for awhile, experience a sense that “nothing is working.” They may feel they have “tried everything” without success. The temptation is to give up. But if you want and need to work, quitting your job search is not an option. Instead, it’s more productive to find ways to stay strong and motivated in the face of discouragement and rejection.
Believe in the Process
Job search is a process. If you engage in best practices, bring sufficient time to your job search and apply a strategy, it WILL work. It’s important to believe that you are on a path to success. It may not happen as quickly as you would like or in the way you predicted, but it will happen.
You’re Not Alone
Job search may seem like a solitary pursuit, but it’s actually more successful when you don’t try to go it alone. Some ways to team up include:
- Have a job search buddy who is also engaged in a job search
- Join a job search support group and attend regular meetings
- Schedule regular social engagements that are not job-search related
- Seek out friends who are supportive of your job search
Building human connections sustains job search persistence by giving you an avenue to receive and give emotional support and encouragement.
Mix it Up
Fitness experts say if you do the same exercise over and over, it stops having much of an impact on your body, so you need to vary your routine. Same with job search. Shake up your routine by doing something new and different when you feel your progress stalling. One job seeker drove to a stretch of businesses near her house and simply walked into each one to engage in conversation, learn about their needs and assess whether any might offer opportunities for her. Another job seeker started going to lunchtime talks at his local library. Though the topics were not necessarily related to his field, he found it a great way to mingle with new people. Break up your routine with fresh activities. Monitor the results and see what works to generate leads.
When the big picture seems bleak (for example – high unemployment and a struggling economy), focus on the small picture. Set attainable goals for yourself each day and celebrate every success, no matter what size. It’s unrealistic to set a goal such as, “I’m going to get a job this month.” It’s within your control and a better goal to say “I’m going to reach out to a new networking contact today.”
When you feel like you are hitting the wall, you need inspiration to go over, around or under it. That inspiration can come from many sources:
- Taking a class or seminar in a field of interest
- Reading about and practicing a new job search technique
- Taking a break from job search to do something stimulating for a short time
- Reading the success stories of people who were in similar situations and got through them
- Giving back to the community or helping others
- Making a conscious effort to be thankful
If you feel discouraged and ready to give up on your job search, try one or several of these ideas. Finding new ways to keep moving forward will lead you to success.
Tell us: What do you do to stay strong and persistent in your job search?