Most job searches start optimistically. The job seeker eagerly searches for and applies to postings, confidently anticipating the rush of interviews and job offers. It’s true; some do land their dream job quickly with job requirements and candidate skills aligning for the perfect match. However, this is not the story for the majority of job seekers.
On average, a job search lasts over 7 months. Add more time to that for senior-level job seekers. For example, the jobs for C-level job seekers are scarce and the competition is fierce. However, job searches at all levels can run on and on for a multitude of reasons, resulting in deflated spirits, decreased confidence and reduced motivation to keep seeking. It’s more than a few job seekers who give up entirely and simply stop looking. The passive job seeker may stuck in a less-than-fulfilling job. The unemployed job searcher may drop out of the labor force altogether.
So how do you keep spirits high and stay in the game until you find a desired new position?
- For starters, don’t focus so intently on your job search that it occupies your every thought and dominates your life. You may be apt to focus more on what you don’t have, namely the job of your dreams. Instead, believe that the right job will arrive. Do the job search work, and then let it go.
- Don’t spend more than 10% of your job search time on online job search activities. Get out, stay active and stay connected to maximize networking opportunities. Today, more jobs are landed through networking than not. You can’t network in a vacuum or by being heads down in front of your computer all day. Sure, some networking happens online in the form of emails and social media connections, but include that online networking in your allotted 10% of Internet activities. Plus, the more active you are, the better you will feel. If you are unemployed, move your job search to a coffee shop, the library, anywhere you have access to the Internet and can raise your sense of social interaction.
- Have a job search routine. Make a plan and follow it. Determine to spend so much time a week on your job search and schedule the time on your calendar. Goals are achieved by steady and consistent momentum. A job search is no different. Trips to the gym reshape a body over time not over night, but the payoff is there if you stay the course and keep a vision of the end goal in mind.
- Exercise. That’s right; don’t just flex your job search muscle. Keep your body in movement. The mental health benefits of exercise are vast, and just feeling strong physically makes you feel better overall and reduces stress.
- Stay grateful. Yep, that sounds cliché, but being in a state of appreciation puts you in a positive state of mind and keeps you grounded in the moment, even if the moment is not where you ideally want to be. It’s where you are now, and has gifts of its own. Consider being grateful for each rejection that comes your way too. Remember the old adage, “What’s for you won’t pass you by.” A certain job may seem perfect for you, but maybe it’s not. Perhaps it wouldn’t be right for you for reasons you are unaware. Trust the process and keep going.
- Surround yourself with positive people and keep yourself inspired. Read success and leadership stories that give you hope. Dream, visualize, and imagine yourself happily working the job that is best for you.
- Remember your job is not who you are; it does not define you. Think of it more realistically as an outlet to contribute your talents and create an income. Seeing your work in this light will enable you to view it as one of many avenues of giving and casting your skills in the world rather than your sole validation of self-worth.
- Don’t give up. Get help with your search. Any job search is tedious and tiring by the nature of the repetitive administrative tasks involved: constantly searching job boards, uploading resumes and completing applications over and over again. Those processes can feel overwhelming to start with and can really bog you down when a job search spans many months.
The good news is you don’t have to go it alone and you can easily offload the brunt of the work with emerging job search approaches like Fridayd’s. You’ll be able to keep your job search running consistently while having more time for all of the other activities that can lift you up during your job search.
There’s even better news. As we enter the busy holiday season, you can get a free month of job search and application done for you. Check it out.