It’s difficult to find work these days. As the recession drags on, some people have been out of work for nearly two years and have exhausted their unemployment benefits. In the face of such odds, it is easy to get discouraged and emotionally drained. While it can be discouraging to be chronically out of work, there are some strategies that you can use to help you cope during a difficult job search.
Keep a To-Do List
While you may have been incredibly organized and kept a to-do list while you were employed, there may be little structure if you’re unemployed. If you’re jobless, you’re essentially working for yourself, and are responsible for your job search efforts. If you set goals for the day, you will be able to feel like you have accomplished more. Whether your goal for the day is to improve your resume, fill out twenty job applications, or attend a job fair, having goals and a to-do list will give add a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
It is easier than ever to make (and keep) connections using online tools. Online sites such as Linked-In, Facebook, and Twitter can help you make connections with people in your job field. There may be a group of like-minded people in your area that you can meet with as well. Not only can connecting with people that have similar career interests help you land your next job, connecting with others can help you stay positive, even if your job search is not yielding the results that you would like.
It’s easy to start feeling down when week after week, you don’t get any results in your job search. When you help others, it can help you feel good about yourself. Additionally, helping someone else that is less fortunate than you can help you realize that, although things are bad, you are fortunate in some ways.
Learn Something New
As the job search continues without results, you may begin to get worried that your job skills are becoming stale. Try to spend some time learning something new to help counteract that. Whether this means taking a class at a community college (you may be able to get financial aid to cover it), reading books, or by taking free classes online at places like iTunes University or Free-Ed.net, learning something new will help you keep your skills sharp and your mind active.
Perhaps one of the most important parts to emotionally handling a tough job search is to visualize success. While it may be hard to stay positive when companies aren’t responding to your resumes and job applications, telling yourself that you will get a response will help you stay motivated. When you are called for an interview, visualize beforehand how the interview will go, and that it will be successful. Athletes use visualization before they compete; there’s no reason why you can’t use it in your job search.
Finally, remember that your career does not define you. Times may be difficult, but nothing, not even difficult times, will stay the same forever. Focus on being the best person that you can be, no matter what the circumstances, and make the best of your current situation.