Job searching can be emotionally draining. Here are some tips to keep you motivated.
Keep Things in Perspective
When employers are not ringing your phone off the hook, don’t take it personally – and don’t assume it’s the end of the world. First, ask yourself what you have done to motivate employers to call you.
- Does your resume highlight skills and projects that employers want to see?
- Do you send a cover letter with each of your resumes?
- Do you follow up in a timely manner on all resumes sent?
- Have you taken advantage of every networking opportunity?
Even if the answer is “yes” to all of these, a professional job search takes a combination of patience and perseverance. Always look for new avenues to take and new perspectives.
Don’t Let Money Rule Your Job Search
You might have serious financial problems that require an immediate source of income. Make sure you separate your immediate financial needs from your career goals. Don’t make decisions that could damage your professional reputation or come back to haunt you in the future.
Choosing a high paying non-related job over a lower paying or short-term job in your field might seem like a good idea now, but six months or two years from now, you will have done nothing to further your career and will be stuck in a job that doesn’t interest you.
Write down your monthly financial plan and know how much money you honestly need to make vs. how much you would like to make. When choosing a job, always look at the impact it will have on your career first.
If you have to take a non-related job, look for freelance projects and other ways to keep your skills up and add to your resume.
Create A Career Plan & Stick To It
- Write down your short-term and long-term goals for your career.
- Map out a few scenarios that will lead to your dream job five or 10 years from now.
By having a plan and sticking with it, you will be able to see how each job and freelance project helps lead to your future goals.
Have Realistic Expectations
Sometimes people get hired at a great job after only a week of job searching – but this is very rare. Searching for a professional-level job takes time. The higher your expectations, and less your skills and qualifications, the longer it will take. Take a realistic look at the type of job you want and the type of job you are qualified for.
If you are not yet qualified for your ideal job, look at lower-level jobs and contract assignments that might lead to your ideal job. Career planning is not about taking a giant leap into a great job – it’s about the stepping stones that, in time, lead to that great job.
Recognize The Benefit Of Actions That Do Not Create Immediate Results
Joining a professional organization may not yield a hot job lead immediately, but it will provide networking contacts that could lead to several good job leads in the future.
Likewise, doing an informational interview with a hiring manager will not end with a job offer, but the interview will give you invaluable insight into a company’s hiring process, inside information about the industry and generate future job leads. Always keep your long-term career goals in mind and take action to nurture those goals.
Ask For Help — Accept Help
No one expects you to know everything there is to know about a professional job search. There is always something more to learn about interviewing, or a different way to revise your resume. Job coaches and college career services representatives are trained in helping job seekers with effective job searches. Plus, they talk to employers every day and know what hiring managers want from candidates.
Also, seek out other job seekers, even those not looking for the same type of work. Job searching is one of the most stressful things you will go through in life. Don’t go it alone.