The process of searching for a job can be frustrating and discouraging, regardless of whether you are fresh out of college or an experienced professional. And the longer the search process gets prolonged, the more the dark walls seem to be closing in. The enthusiasm and self-confidence with which you begin your search may soon be replaced by annoyance and, eventually, a defeatist attitude. Your motivation levels are sure to take a severe beating.
So here are four coping mechanisms you can adopt to retain faith in your dreams during a lengthy, arduous job search.
1. Identify Issues
Many unpredictable factors come into play during a job search — some within your control, and some outside of it –– so it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly why you you haven’t gotten yourself a job yet. Maybe a company has already fixed its mind on a particular individual for the position. Maybe the position simply received too many qualified applications.
But, in some instances, factors within your sphere of influence might be impeding progress. Such a scenario requires you to deconstruct all of your application documents and identify the problems. If you’re not getting enough interview calls, meet a qualified placement professional and review the résumés and cover letters that you’re sharing with firms.
If you’re getting plenty of interview invitations, but having no luck progressing beyond them, then maybe your interview skills could be improved. Practice interview questions and answers with a fellow professional or a trusted friend. They might be able to provide you a few tips on how to go about answering differently in the future.
2. Look Beyond the Ideal
There is, at least, one conclusion to be drawn from the fickle nature of the hiring process: People tend to apply for jobs that they perceive to be ideal for them, and maybe some other positions which are pretty close to what they consider to be the ideal. By applying for only those jobs, people frequently overestimate their chances of landing them, just like they fancy themselves to win the lottery after buying a few tickets.
So, in the future, you should seriously consider applying for a greater variety of jobs. You’ll increase your chances of getting an offer.
At this point, you might think it would be futile to apply for a job that you might hate. But stories of people from around the people prove — time and time again — that pursuing your passion is not of paramount importance; it is about being able to sustain a high level of energy in your job, day after day.
Also, it is not mandatory for you to accept every job offer you receive. If you feel strongly that a particular job is simply not for you, you can always turn it down. You’ll, at the very least, be boosted by the fact that you can attract offers from anywhere.
3. Stay Switched-on
When you hold a job, time flies by in a blur. When out of work, the days seem to stretch on forever — mainly because your mental capabilities are barely used. While a jog in the park or playing video games will get you through a couple of weeks, they are not ideal for keeping you switched-on during your job search. You can do yourself a whole lot of good by constantly placing yourself in situations where people might entertain the notion of hiring you.
Signing-up with temp agencies, which provide jobs for skilled workers to fill-in at companies for a brief period, is an excellent way to put yourself in scenarios where hiring managers are more likely to notice and interact with you. Alternatively, you could volunteer to work at an organization that requires an individual with your particular set of skills. Work of this kind, even for a couple of days per week, can build up to provide significant value over the course of a prolonged job search by keeping you on your toes.
4. Remember Your Support Group
Most importantly, remember that it is not you (alone!) versus the world, that you have a wonderful bunch of friends and family members standing in your corner, rooting for you.
Frustrated job seekers tend to deal with their stress and bouts of depression in isolation, far away from their social group. Please don’t follow their lead. Share your feelings with the people who matter to you the most, since a long job search will almost certainly contain days where you’ll need their support and love. There is only so much you can do on your own to keep your spirits up.
Despite what your inner voice keeps telling you, you are not a burden to the people who love you. If the tables were turned, you would surely support a loved one during their own job search. And once your search is over — trust us when we say it will definitely end — you’ll have plenty of opportunities, and the resources, to make it up to them.