Don’t give up! 5 Encouraging Tips to Stay Focused During Your Job Search
Not long ago, things felt normal. Then again, we weren’t living through a pandemic. It’s hard to imagine that our unemployment rate was just 3.6% in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest data shared in September says that we are toppling 7.9%! Holy cow! No wonder so many people are frustrated and just plain tired of trying to find a new job.
Now is the perfect time to offer some help and ideas on how to stay the course and not give up. Here are five strategic tips to stay focused during your job search:
1. MAKE A PLAN
I think Napoleon Hill said it best, “Plan your work and work your plan.” By now we all know that goals and plans help us achieve the best results. However, often we only think about making them for big milestones and achievements. By making a plan for your job search you are creating a roadmap that can guide you when things become uncertain.
Start by estimating the amount of time it will take to find a new job taking into consideration economic conditions, unemployment rates, industry and geographic area. Next, research top employers in your desired field and make a list of at least 10 that you would like to pursue. Add additional items like your favorite job boards, how many applications or resumes you’ll submit each week, and your desired pay range.
2. FIND A COMMUNITY
Tough stuff is just a little tougher when you go it alone. Finding a community of people who are sharing in your experiences is great for keeping you motivated. Additionally, a peer community provides you with a network of resources to make your job search go faster and smoother. Depending on your goals, you may even find a group that focuses on your specific job role, industry, or even company. Both Amazon and Zappos have community just for job seekers who want to join their team someday. Also, LinkedIn is perfect for this. With its fast growing network, you are sure to find the perfect peer group.
3. GET HELP
Remember the quote, “you need to spend a little money to make money?” Well, that may apply to your job search. Finding great resources to make updates (or freshen up) your resume is money well spent! Not only are they a new set of eyes, but they also have the pulse on the job search climate. If it’s been a few years since you have updated your resume, it may be dated by poor formatting or stale wording. Just like fashion, resumes go out of style. Having a fresh, relevant resume will help your job search go faster — and that my friends, is also good motivation!
For 3 tips to writing your resume for remote work, check out my article here!
4. FIND A MENTOR
A mentor is like a best friend on steroids. Not only do they like you, but unlike some of your friendships (just being honest!), they want to see you succeed! Mentors have “been there, done that” and they are happy and eager to share their experiences to make your life better. Who wouldn’t want someone like that in their life? During a job search, your mentor will tell you the tough stuff that your family or friends may not have the courage to say to you. Additionally, they will stretch you out of your comfort zone, help you network and, just maybe, open a few doors.
5. TAKE CARE
Job hunting is hard work! Heck, most of the time it feels like a full-time job. It is stressful, complicated, and incredibly vulnerable. All those things wreak havoc on our bodies and minds. So, be sure to take care of yourself. Eating plenty of good, whole foods, staying hydrated, staying active, and getting some sleep.
Also remember, as part of your plan, to schedule downtime. Don’t forgo hobbies or other leisure activities. Spend time with friends and family. And, lastly, keep a positive outlook. It’s ok to feel frustrated on occasion but don’t lose sight of the end goal and envision what your life will look like once you get your new job.
With the right plan, the right attitude, and the right people, your next job search won’t have to be a drag. Just remember to stay the course and stay positive! You’ll be celebrating your new job in no time.