"I feel overwhelmed every time I think about my job search. I start and stop, and I haven't had a lot of success. I feel like giving up. Can you help with this?"
This is common for many job seekers whether you're just graduating from school or you're currently working and looking for a new opportunity. The job search is a process, and with some planning, you can make the job search much easier. Here are five key strategies you can use to stay committed to the job search.
The job search can be an overwhelming process because there are a lot of moving pieces. Make a list of things you need to have ready so that you can be proactive in your job search. Key things to do include:
- self-assessment of what you're looking for
- getting your application materials ready such as a resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, work samples
- making a list of who you can network with to learn about more opportunities
- submitting applications
Designate Specific Times to Do Your Job Search
One of the reasons why job seekers find the job search overwhelming is you do the job search haphazardly when you feel like you have time or when you're inspired. This can leave you feeling guilty about not doing enough or having enough time to do the job search.
To help better manage the process, designate specific times in your schedule that you know you can commit to the job search. For example, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 7–9 a.m. This guarantees that you will dedicate six hours weekly and will for sure get things done.
Count Your Wins
Sometimes when you don't hear back from employers or you get rejection letters, it can feel like your failing. This can kill your morale and make you lose motivation. Focus on what you can do that is within your power and count the little wins.
If you submitted an application, that's a win. If you followed up on an application you've submitted, that's a win.
Hearing the word networking can make you feel icky, and it is a critical part of the job search. It's rare that someone can offer you a job, so don't go into any situation to make that ask. Informational interviews are one of the greatest ways to build your connections and to learn about opportunities. Focus on what you can learn and make a good impression.
When you don't feel like you're making progress, it's easy to throw in the towel. When you're feeling like quitting, remind yourself that rejection and not hearing back is part of the process. Give yourself a quick break. Then go back and remind yourself of all the little wins you've had along the way, and that you're one step closer to your goal. Keep going until you reach your goal.
Top image: Getty Images photo.
About the Author
Samorn Selim is the CEO and Creative Joy Director of Career Unicorns. She is a lawyer, speaker, and author of Belonging: Self Love Lessons From a Workaholic Depressed Insomniac Lawyer. She is a board member of the American Bar Association Career Center and a frequent speaker.