Job Search Survival Guide

Your job search has been going on for months. After turning in hundreds of applications, you only landed a handful of interviews. You made it into the final round on a few occasions but have yet to receive an offer.

Looking for a new job is a lot tougher than you imagined. Initially, you were hopeful but now you feel lost and discouraged. You hear news of the job market opening up which only adds to your despair. Trust me, you are not alone.

I realize this is a small consolation. However, it is really important to remember that looking for a new job is a tough process. I don’t know anyone who thrives under financial pressure, enjoys being in a state of limbo and relishes the sting of rejection.

Unless you just won the lottery or inherited a fortune, giving up is probably not an option. Like it or not, the hunt for a good job must go on! Here are three tips to help you survive your job search.

Take a Break

Job seekers who are dealing with health issues tend to flounder the most. It is difficult to focus on job search activities or make positive networking connections when grappling with anxiety, depression or serious physical conditions.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is put your search on hold. Depending on your circumstances, this could mean a week, a month, or perhaps longer. You may need counseling support or you may simply need to give yourself a break from the stressors of life.

During this time, you will not scan job boards, go to networking events, or even peek at LinkedIn. Instead, put your health and wellbeing first and fill your calendar with enjoyable activities. You might add a few house projects to the list if that seems therapeutic.

Once you are stronger and more confident, you can step back into the job search process with renewed energy and hope.

Get Clarity

The second biggest hindrance to job search success is a lack of focus. Job seekers who struggle the most often confess to being unsure about what they want to do next.

When you lack clarity, you are going to pale in comparison to more focused, enthusiastic and determined candidates. Your networking tribe will struggle to support you in your search. Simply stated, it is mighty difficult to be compelling when you are confused.

You may need outside support. Visit a workforce center, utilize alumni career services at your college or seek out a job search coach to help you gain the clarity you need to move forward.

Reset the Strategy

Finally, many job seekers struggle because they do not know how to conduct an effective search. Landing a position in today’s marketplace requires a fresh strategy and a different set of job search skills than in the past.

Today, you need so much more than a polished résumé. Landing a great job and managing one’s professional growth requires a career marketing plan. If you have never heard of a career marketing plan, you have some homework to do!  If you have one, start executing it with determination.

It’s a jungle out there. In order to survive, self-care is key. You also need a clear focus, updated job search skills and a strategic career marketing plan. If you are still feeling lost and unprepared, find a group of other job searchers and band together. The journey is much easier, and hopefully more fun, when shared with fellow travelers.