How to Fight Discouragement During a Job Search

How to Fight Discouragement During a Job Search

Martin Yate, CPC

Discouragement can quickly derail a job hunt. The longer a seeker goes without finding employment, the more difficult it can become to push forward with the attitude necessary to land a job.

Hiring budgets are usually staggered throughout each quarter when a company is going through a growth phase, and replacement hires can happen at any time.

Even in the depths of the recession there wasn’t a month where we didn’t see at least 4 million jobs posted on the Internet. We live in a huge economy, so there are always jobs available.

Cultivate Family Networks

Friends and family really want to help but many don’t know how. Many of them have known you since you were a little kid and still think of you that way.

The people in your family networks often don’t have a good grasp of what you do in your professional life. But, even if they have nothing to do with your professional world, they know people who know people.

When you enlist the help of friends and family, some, like your elderly aunt, will not understand the particulars of your profession, so breaking your networking needs into just three simple statements gives your immediate circle something they can really work with:

1. “I am a computer programmer, I work with computers and write the instructions that help them run.”

2. Likewise, she won’t understand the kind of company you want to work for, so just say: “It would be great if you or your friends know anyone who works with computers.”

3. Then, close the conversation with: “I want to talk with anyone you might know who also works with computers.”

Develop Your Mind

Accept that discouragement is normal, but understand that it is a mood and that, with a degree of self-awareness, moods can be managed. If you allow yourself to wallow in negative thoughts, it will be very difficult to fully engage in an effective job search. Avoid letting the anger and frustration from your employment situation spill over into your personal relationships. Take time-outs to nurture your psyche. Talk to someone you trust about your worries. Do something nice for a family member. Read for pleasure. Nurture Your Body You may experience fatigue and lack of motivation, but the worst thing you can do is become sedentary and develop unhealthy eating habits. This will cause you to feel sluggish, harm your sense of self-worth and lead to health problems.

However, increase your activity level, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water, and you’ll feel energized and boost your sense of self. You don’t need an expensive gym membership; you can achieve this by taking regular walks or riding a bike around your neighborhood. Don’t forget to take care of your skin, hair, and personal hygiene; this too will boost your self-esteem and keep you better primed for job interviews.

Increase Your Job Search Skills

Show me a struggling job search and I’ll show you a troubled resume supported with no plan of attack. So, when discouragement looms, invest yourself in studying how to write a resume and conduct a job search most effectively.

Martin Yate, CPC, author of Knock 'em Dead: Secrets & Strategies for Success in an Uncertain World, is a New York Times and international bestseller of job search and career management books. He is the author of 11 job search and career management books published throughout the English speaking world and in over 50 foreign language editions. Over thirty years in career management, including stints as an international technology headhunter, head of HR for a publicly traded company and Director of Training and Development for an international employment services organization.

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