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.