Let it be said. Job seeking is difficult. It’s easy to be overwhelmed with feelings of despair and frustration. It’s a constant challenge to not second guess yourself and maintain your confidence when your thoughts are hijacked by those self-loathing voices that creep into your head from time-to-time. As a job seeker, you need to know it is very common and natural to experience this range of emotions.
Successful job seekers develop strategies that allow themselves to remain positive, focused, motivated and energetic in their job search. Successful job seekers recognize that there’s a certain amount of rejection that comes with the job search process, but that does not take away the skills, experience and value they have to offer.
Here are a few strategies to help you remain motivated and optimistic during the job search.
Setting goals is an instant motivator. Sit down today with a piece of paper and write down five goals for your job search for the day and then for the week. What are your ambitions? How many resumes will you send out? How many phone calls will you make? How much courage do you need to ask for an informational interview? What are three new job-seeking tactics you can do to improve your chances? You might set a goal to limit your time on the computer and instead dedicate your time to another job-seeking activity.
Setting and achieving your goals gives you a triple win – when you meet them, you not only feel good about the achievement, you’ve progressed your job search in a positive way and you’ve become a better job seeker, which gives you more confidence and motivation moving forward.
If you are having a hard time maintaining confidence, remind yourself that you have skills, talents, experiences and expertise that employers want and need. Take ownership of your work history and your accomplishments and keep focused and remind yourself how you could add value to a company. Replace any fear, anxiety depression or frustration with a renewed energy, determination confidence that is based on everything you have to offer.
Often it might simply require a change of environment. Get out of your office and take a walk outside to clear your head. Call up a friend and get a pep-talk. If you have people in your life that are not encouraging, surround yourself with friends and allies that will give you a jolt of confidence and motivation.
Get out from behind your computer.
The Internet can be very helpful in your job search but it can also be very addictive, a huge energy drain and give you a massive sense of false hope. Job seeking requires regular one-on-one engagement with other people.
Spend only a couple of hours per-day on the Internet searching for jobs and only focus and apply to job postings that are aligned with your relevant skills. Devote your time in front of the computer to researching these companies and getting to understand how your background and expertise is tied to their mission and then develop quality and customized resumes and cover letters tailored to clearly connecting you to the job posting and the company.
A big chunk of your day and your week should be used for making phone calls, setting up and attending meetings and informational interviews with contacts and networks and attending career and professional development networking events.