Hunting for a new job is often not a fun endeavor. You must handle being continuously ignored, repeatedly rejected and often passed over in favor of applicants with a fraction of your talents and experience. The job search can easily knock the wind out of your sails, and if you’ve been looking for work for a while, the feelings of failure can become so potent that they affect your confidence - create a self-fulfilling cycle of disappointment. If you’re experiencing job search malaise, it’s important not to drive yourself into the ground with frustration or to throw up your hands in despair. Take a break, regroup and remind yourself how amazing you are with the following tips to get your hustle back.
1. Buy a go-to interview outfit. Money is tight when you are job searching, but splurging on an affordable interview outfit may pay off big time in the long run. If you are self-conscious about your appearance during an interview or feel you aren’t dressed correctly, your worry can manifest as a lack of confidence about your ability to do the job itself. However with a sharp, commanding interview outfit, you’ll feel ready to take on the world. Chances are, you’ve been cutting back on nondiscretionary spending (like clothes) since you’ve been unemployed. Give yourself a break, and invest in one amazing, flattering interview outfit that is suitable for your industry – you’ll have one more base covered so that you can focus on other interview preparations when you do have something scheduled.
2. Avoid pessimistic friends and socialize with people on the career path you desire. Now, don’t go ditching all your friends without a job – but realize that when you hang out with people who believe the glass is half empty, their pessimistic outlook will rub off on you. Chances are, you know people right now who are succeeding in their careers and on the way up. Call them up for a lunch date or chat over coffee – not only will their success encourage you with possibilities, they may even know of an opening in your area.
3. Let go of fear. If you believe there are no jobs and you will never have a fulfilling career, then guess what? There will be no jobs and you will never have a fulfilling career. If you catch yourself in a circle of negative self-talk, you must take concrete measures to counteract the subterfuge by your subconscious brain. Repeat after me: I will find an incredible job. It’s just a matter of time before my career is back on track. I am a smart, talented go-getter who creates amazing opportunities. Read these affirmations every day or tape a copy to the top of your computer monitor.
4. Take a break. Perhaps you cannot currently afford the dream vacation to Italy, but there’s probably a beach, public park or mountainside nearby where you can sink into nature and forget your worries for an afternoon or long weekend. Ignore the urge to check your smartphone for messages – no seriously, put your freaking phone down - and remember to make technology work for you instead of being a slave to every new social media update. Taking breaks is important, even when you’re unemployed, so that you can return to the job hunt invigorated with new energy and inspiration.
5. Don’t take rejection personally. If you get your feelings hurt every time you send a resume that is met with radio silence, you aren’t going to get very far in life. Gut up, put your big girl panties on and realize that every hiring employer is dealing with an onslaught of highly talented candidates. There is no such thing as a dream job – every career has its drawbacks – so don’t let the ship go down because you’ve pinned your heart to working for a certain company. Be resilient and learn to move on quickly to the next opportunity.