Looking for a job is stressful. Whether you are new to the job market or have been feeding rejection letters to your paper shredder for a couple of weeks, searching for a job can feel like an unsurmountable task. So what can job-seekers do to reduce some of the stress and negative feelings associated with finding a position? Don’t give in to in to the job-search blues! Fight back with these ways to keep the job search from letting you down:
Realize you are gaining experience. Each time you update your resume, submit a job application, or have an interview you are improving your learning curve. Make notes about your job search to highlight your assets and identify areas in need of improvement.
Stay connected. Fight the temptation to isolate yourself during your job search. Even if you desperately need the money, don’t become so absorbed in finding a job that you neglect your personal and emotional well-being. This is especially important if your job search comes as a result of being let go or if you didn’t land a job you really wanted.
Stay connected in the following ways, some of which can be advantageous to your resume and continued job search:
-Schedule a weekly lunch or outing with a friend
-Keep in touch with former co-workers
-Use social medial to catch up with classmates and industry contacts
-Join a professional organization
-Explore a local community group or organization
-Take a class
Journal. Journaling is an invaluable activity that can save your sanity when the job search is testing your limits. Grab a pen and paper or pull up a new Word document and release all your anxiety and frustration. Do you think that your job search experience could inspire or entertain others? Start a blog to document your employment (or lack thereof) perils. If your content is controversial, you may want to operate your blog under an anonymous account or penname.
Turn to your trust circle. Don’t dismiss a circle of trust as some cheesy concept used at summer camp. Being able to find emotional support when you are stressed about looking for work can do wonders for boosting your confidence and keeping you motivated to find your best job match. Build a support network of family, friends, mentors and networking contacts who can advise and uplift you before you feel let down by your job search.
Track your progress. Documenting your job search progress will help you avoid the overwhelming feeling of applying to a seemingly never-ending train of jobs without success. Whether you create a spreadsheet or maintain an itemized list on your smartphone, having tangible proof of your efforts to find a job will help you avoid job search depression. Keep your tracking system readily available so that you can look at it and quickly validate your job search progress when you are feeling low.
Find motivation in “No.” Rejection will always sting, but you can alleviate the pain associated with being turned down for a job by channeling it into motivation. Each time you are told “No,” think of it as another opportunity for an employer to say “Yes!” Find further job search inspiration following a job rejection by sending “Thank you” correspondence and asking for feedback on your application. Seize every opportunity to grow as a candidate.
How do you keep the job search from letting you down? Share your suggestions!
About the Author: Kimberly Back is the Social Media Strategist and Senior Writer for Virtual Vocations, an online job service that helps job-seekers find legitimate telecommute opportunities while also providing useful and educational resources. Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest , and Google+ .