It can’t be easy to stay positive if you’ve been searching for a long time, and have been unsuccessful in finding a new job. Despite the feelings of frustration and constant worry about paying your bills, there are ways to make your out-of-work time more tolerable.
1. Keep looking: Don’t get discouraged and give up. It just could be that the job of a lifetime will open on a day you’re not online nor on the street searching. You can believe in the old saying: Be there at the right place at the right time.
2. Update your resume and application letter: Don’t just keep sending out the ones you’ve been using without changes for the past months. When you see or hear about a specific job, customize your information so that your qualifications are just right for the job.
3. Keep calling on friends, family, career counselors, union representatives and other sources to help you find an opportunity. By your persistence and continuous contacts, they’ll think of you immediately when something occurs.
4. Consider an employment agency: If your specialty and salary levels are beyond entry level, and/or you’re willing to travel, a professional agency can cover local and faraway job possibilities you may not be able to do for yourself. Of course, be prepared to pay an upfront fee and a percentage of your first paychecks in the new job. However, if the job you get is the right one at the right salary, your fee will be worth the cost.
5. Keep your daily routine going: Don’t get so discouraged that you’ll drift into being a day-long couch potato. Keep up your exercise habits, put in productive hours during the day and keep your computer and telephone busy in your job hunt.
6. Expand your search, including part-time and temporary jobs. If you get one, it will keep you from sitting at home, and may tide you over financially until something permanent and full-time comes along.
7. Learn new skills: If your unemployment time is stretching out from weeks to months, sign up to improve your qualifications. Even if more education doesn’t improve your employment chances, it will fill in the blanks on your resume. Instead of needing to explain: March 1 to date: Unemployed, you can list: March 1 to date: Earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration, or volunteered for a community project.
It won’t be easy to stay positive when you’re unemployed for a long time. However, it should give you the extra incentive to continue and intensify your job search.