Whether you’re working full time while looking for new opportunities or you’re unemployed and hoping to get back in the game, the job-search process is tough. Really tough. As business writer Brian O’Connell writes for MainStreet.com, the stress and frustration lead many Americans to start their own business and go back to school, but many keep plugging away. Anyone feeling especially discouraged would do well to read O’Connell’s “5 Sanity-Saving Tips for the Frustrated Long-Term Job Seeker,” a terrific round-up of advice summarized below.
1. Solicit Feedback — Being repeatedly turned down for jobs is par for the course, and it’s not necessarily a reflection on you, but there are always ways to improve your interview skills and the ways in which you present yourself to potential employers. By asking for constructive feedback from trusted colleagues — former bosses, recruiters, etc. — you’ll get a sense of areas you might be lacking in. “Their feedback could mean all the difference, and the positive comments they will share are a nice boost to your confidence,” says Sarah Connors of the Boston recruitment firm WinterWyman.
2. Stay Connected — By checking in regularly with people in your professional network, you’ll get a sense of what’s going on the industry, and that might leave you feeling more relaxed about your search and inspired to continue. “General market advice and hearing what they are experiencing on the front lines could be just the spark you need to shift your approach and pick up some momentum,” says Connors.
3. Stay Social, Too — These days, scrolling through job boards and sending resumes is only part of the battle. You’ve got to build and maintain a strong LinkedIn profile and stay active on other social-media platforms. And since employers will go online to get a sense of your work, it helps to have a website highlighting your accomplishments, if applicable.
4. Try to Relax — Being unemployed certainly isn’t ideal, but it has its upsides. For example, you have time to work on projects you’re passionate about, as well as reconnect with friends and family members you may not have had time for while doing the 9-to-5 thing. However you spend your time, be sure to relax every now and have some fun.
5. Have Some Patience — Looking for work is “a process, not an event,” according to Messiah College director of the career and professional development center at Pennsylvania’s Messiah College. Remember that finding the right job takes time, and if you can keep a positive, patient attitude, you’ll make it through the weeks or months (or however long) with your wits intact.