When Search is Tough, Try These Tips

November 6, 2018
When Search is Tough, Try These Tips


Maintaining a positive, self-confident attitude when letters and phone calls are not returned or interviews bring rejection letters can be disheartening, particularly during prolonged job search. But perk up. There are ways you can stay enthusiastic and optimistic.

– Know what you want. It’s very important that you have clear career goals that represent your passion, not what others think you should be doing. It’s difficult to maintain enthusiasm when you’re applying for positions you’re not excited about.
Review your goals periodically. If necessary, modify them to represent what you’ve learned about yourself and the market place during the search.
– Investigate growth industries to determine how your skills fit. Creatively investigate ways in which you can transfer your skills to a new industry. Brian, a former account manager in the meat packing industry, found a job using his accounting skills in the biotech industry.
– Explore all job search avenues. Try executive recruiting firms, temp agencies, college placement offices, trade and professional associations, accounting firms and chambers of commerce. Explore the internet.
– Take charge. Don’t passively answer help-wanted advertisements or send out resumes to personnel departments. Find out who the hiring managers are in the departments at companies you’ like to work to determine jobs available and skills required. Then, if appropriate, revise your resume to fit their skill sets.
Develop a different resume for each job target. Make certain that your resume reflects a clear career objective, summary statement, and focuses on your accomplishments — what you did in previous positions that made a difference.
– Enhance your network. Keep abreast of new developments in your field, and add to your list of colleagues and acquaintances by joining professional, trade or civic groups.
– Develop a routine and stick with it. Even if you’re unemployed, get dressed like you’re going to work every day. Make a daily list of things to accomplish. Ask yourself, “What can I do today to move my job search campaign forward,” or “What follow-up steps need to be implemented?” Activities may include mailing targeted resumes to the project manager at companies M and N to determine job leads, or follow-up on resumes you sent to companies A, B, and C a month ago. Tangible, daily accomplishments will provide stimulation and help maintain enthusiasm, energy and motivation.
– Secure the maximum number of interviews with potentially interested employers. Make as many contacts as your information and time will permit. Follow-up every telephone interview or meeting with a letter. A polite, pleasant note indicating your appreciation of their time, assistance and consideration will encourage the recipient to remember you.
– Write and state affirmations. Say, “I’m an excellent programmer (or whatever) with many special skills to offer.” Say it regularly, with conviction. Confidence (in your eyes, your words, your gesture, your very being) transmits to others. Having faith in yourself and your abilities is related to confidence.
– Develop a support system. Stay in contact positive, supportive people to keep your spirits up.  Many withdraw during job search because they don’t like to answer questions like, “How’s the search going?” If this happens to you, respond with a brief, “Everything’s great,” then shift the focus to something else.
Sometimes, though, it’s good to have someone to commiserate with, who understands you and can function as a sounding board for frustrations. Although partners are helpful, they may lack the intimate understanding of how painful a job search can be. Professional career counselors or coaches can be helpful. Check the experience and credentials of professionals including education, philosophy, tools and techniques used, and years of experience.
-Take breaks periodically. Reward yourself for accomplishing a certain number of goal-directed activities.
– Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, get at least seven hours of sleep daily and exercise regularly.
Develop your spiritual self.  Allow yourself quiet time to meditate or pray. Enjoy nature. Take walks in nature including parks or by the water.
– Stay focused on your goal. Believe you will attain it. Creating a life worth living and finding the courage to risk pursuing your dreams isn’t always easy. But you, like thousands, can do it!
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life by Carole Kanchier, offers additional job search suggestions: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963