How To Deal With the Job Hunt Blues

It is common to feel discouraged, even hopeless, during a job hunt that runs longer than you would like. So here are some tips to keep in mind when the job hunt has you feeling low.

1. As they say, a job hunt is easily a full-time job. Don’t make it more than that. Put in your time job-hunting, then be sure to take some time for yourself.  Don’t give yourself a hard time for taking time off. If you don’t take down-time, the stress will wear away at your mental health, leaving you in no shape for interviews.

2. No stewing over your termination from your last job. Layoffs are ongoing, and these days, you haven’t had much of a career, if you haven’t been laid off at least once.  Take whatever lessons you can from your last position, looking for areas of improvement, and then move on. Period. You are human, you make mistakes, we all do. Forgive yourself for any mistakes, then work on them.

(And your ex-boss? She’s human, too, even though sometimes that seems questionable.)

3. If you’re really stuck in a rut, take some time to do work around the house that you’d never had time to get around to. Schedule those doctor appointments that you’ve been missing due to your busy schedule. Think of this as an unplanned leave of absence, and see the benefit in the time that you’ve been given. Your wife will thank you.

4. Make up a new plan of attack. Plans can be invigorating, and with the time that you’ve had to reflect, you may come upon new plans of attack. Now may be a great time to head your career in a new direction. With your last job, you gained experience that you didn’t have previously.

Really search the market and see what’s out there. Look for areas of growth and opportunity, and really try hard to see your skills and abilities as freshly as if you’d never seen them before.

5. Take a class, read a book, expand skills that will aid you in your job search. Take the time to get a certification if it’s likely to pay off.

6. When the stress is overwhelming, take a mental health day, and just soak in the tub with a good book and some merlot. Go for a walk. Rediscover the world as it is when you aren’t wearing stress blinders.

7. Get out there and meet people. Join clubs, especially those associated with work interests, go to university lectures. Even a hiking club might well provide you with the contact who gets you that next job. Remember, who you know is at least as important as your training. The main thing a boss is looking for is reliability, and they get that assurance from acquaintance, however slight or second-hand, with your character.

8. Don’t take it personally when you don’t get the job. It’s not a personal rejection, you just aren’t what they need today.

About the author

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Erin Kennedy

Erin Kennedy, CPRW, CERW, BS/HR, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services. She is a nationally published writer and contributor of nine best-selling career books.

3 Comments

  • As we have been seeing job seekers looking for work for more than 12 months at times, it really is a good idea to stay busy, to keep skills up to par and to network heavily while waiting for that new opportunity to come around. While it is hard not to entertain negative thoughts during the search, sometimes there is comfort knowing you are doing all you can instead of doing nothing. So job seekers and graduates: just keep at it and don’t let your confidence slide for one moment…you are not alone.

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google and Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

  • Here in San Diego we are lucky to have the Padres. Even if you can’t afford a premium seat there are ways to seek cheaper tickets to Petco Park, and nothing beats a Sunday afternoon with a light early supper or barbecue and the sound of Jerry Coleman in the backround. Or combine this with a trip to the beach and a portable radio and you’ve got an inexpensive one day summer vacation. I don’t know as much about sports as my son or his dad, but just the sound of the announcer brings back the simpler days of my childhood in Southern California and fills me with a sense of peace that refreshes me for Monday morning when the job hunt begins again!

  • Erin:

    Great advice for any jobseeker.! It IS a full time job and regardless of how beaten down you are – you must keep your attitude in check. Your energy level and up-beat attitude will be noticeable at your next interview – and if you display negative energy – that will stand out like a sore thumb. Keep pushing – and never give up. Never!

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