Being in a job search can be difficult, especially if it goes on for a long period of time. While it seems that jobs are easy to find, many applicants can send out countless applications and never are discovered. The Internet has made job searching easier, but it is just as easy to get lost in the thousands of applications being received by employers. Online job application forms may be more complicated than necessary requiring pages of information to be filled out and duplicating resume information already uploaded. Doing this for one company is one thing, but by the time you’ve hit 100,000 job applications, you’re looking for the email address for the saintly company who just would like you to email them your resume and give them your phone number.
Unemployment doesn’t have to be a time of hopelessness. There is plenty of time to learn, network, and do things during the day which you may not have had time for before. The first few months can be new found freedom, but it soon gets old and can lead to despair. With too much time available during the day, a job seeker is left to figure out what to do. Reinventing each week with long-term and short-term goals helps to keep motivation up and a positive spirit. Here are a few ideas to ‘make it through’ the most difficult of days:
- Get up reasonably early to find new energy with an entire day ahead of you.
- Create a schedule. It helps to switch gears and have time limits set to accomplish tasks.
- Make a goal list of what new skills you want to learn.
- Practice and learn new skills each day. Create new work to add to your portfolio.
- Make exercise as a mandatory part of your day.
- Set aside time for prayer and meditation.
- Listen to music.
- Listen to motivational speakers.
- Network with others who are in your field, as well as friends and family members.
- If you become frustrated or lack motivation in your search for work, as is the case on some days, then give yourself permission to stop and do something completely different.
- Take advantage of the time off to enjoy the outdoors, take a trip, explore and do things during the day you typically would not be able to do.
- Find a hobby that you can enjoy. Check books out from the library.
- Find another source of income with a part-time job or start your own business.
- Change your environment and work elsewhere. Find new energy working at the library, a coffee shop, or another place.
- Reward yourself with what is within budget. Treat yourself to a .50 cent soda, a slice of pizza, a bag of chocolate from the dollar store, or scavenger hunt at the stores for other discounts. For larger goals, make plans to treat yourself once you accomplish them.
- Add “house projects” as part of your schedule—those projects you’ve been putting off.
- Clean and organize your house, storage areas, and car. It will make you feel so much better and help streamline your time when you are employed again.
- Search for local events and workshops to attend.
- Set aside job applications which are overly frustrating. These are the ones which are too involved or ones which are a struggle to fill out because the data fields do not easily take information. Set them aside until later or bypass them all together.
- Be sure to plan for unemployment calls which have intricate voicemail systems or long hold times. Set aside time when you are doing something else and don’t mind holding on the phone. Make it a time to relax with a favorite drink or by the pool when you aren’t rushed. These types of calls can cause undue amounts of frustration and add to an already existing feeling of despair.
- Remember that as important as finding employment is, your value as a person is not determined by your search or by others. Be diligent, but think of the bigger picture when hopelessness and despair starts to creep in.
By doing these things you can encourage yourself and fight the job search blues!
Do you know someone in a job search?
Offer positive words to reinforce their value and give them hope. Spending time with a job seeker doing something low-cost or free can help break up the monotony of being in isolation and give them new energy. Keep your ears open for job leads which you can pass on to them.
Search for books online!
Knock ’em Dead Resumes: A Killer Resume Gets MORE Job Interviews!
by Martin Yate CPC
Encouragement: The Unexpected Power of Building Others Up
by Larry Crabb and Dan B. Allender PLLC