1. Take a Break
Searching for a job is stressful, and you may be exuding much of that stress in your interviews without knowing it. While not everyone can afford to take a vacation in the middle of their job search to rejuvenate or re-center themselves, even taking a day off can change your perspective. But make sure when you’re taking a break that you not just allowing yourself more time alone to be frustrated or bored–focus your attention on doing something nice for yourself and reinforce your self-worth. Help out a friend, attend a social activity, or visit a museum, anything that will take your mind off the search and focus it onto something positive.
Make sure you are taking care of your mind and body during your job hunt. Exercising your brain power with puzzles and reading can help to keep your mind sharp and focused. Physical exercise has a plethora of benefits to aid you. First, you’ll feel better about yourself overall as you stay in shape which will help your confidence in an interview. Additional benefits include added energy and increased clarity of thought. You might even consider taking up an activity like Yoga which can combine the mind, body, and spirit to get connected with yourself weekly and allow the good energy you build to flow into your job hunt. Many people have also found new passions while exercising that have led to careers they never imagined pursuing while they were employed.
When you’re searching for a job it’s easy to feel isolated and down in the dumps. Surround yourself with positive people who reinforce and remind you of what you have to offer a potential employer. Ask friends and family you trust for their input on your search and to serve as moral support. Refrain from engaging in behaviors that may make you feel worse about your situation like excessive drinking, complaining, or arguing with others who might nag you about your search. Let people know what you are doing so that they can hold you accountable in positive ways like setting times to conduct mock interviews or discuss potential opportunities over coffee. By being honest, open and proactive about your search you can put to rest some of the negative feedback that can come from acquaintances about not doing enough to help yourself. Also, network with others who are also job hunting to share stories and strategies and to remind yourself that while the search may be difficult, you are not alone. Networking via any means can also be a source for new opportunities, so don’t be afraid to reach out and broaden your circle of support.
4. Shift Gears
Most people have heard the line about insanity being defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If you’ve been sending out the same resume with no response or approaching all the same job boards or sites, it may be time to stop and take a closer look and develop a new strategy. Maybe recruiters have become desensitized to your resume because they’ve seen it so many times or you’re saying something off-putting during your interviews and you’re not getting a call back. Get a second set of eyes and ears to help you revamp your approach. Try to find new avenues of applying for jobs or building your online presence so recruiters can find you. Make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the interview. Think outside of the box and see if there are other industries where your skill sets and experience may be transferable that you could look into. If you ever wanted to try pursuing another career path, there’s no better time than the present.
5. Define Goals
Just as in most people have in their work, it’s important to set goals for yourself in your job search. Whether it’s small deadlines for sending out 50 resumes or firm goals like setting a date for receiving an offer, make them realistic, mark them down on your calendar, and hold yourself accountable. Set weekly goals to keep yourself motivated and track your progress daily to see what is working for you and what isn’t, so you can adjust your tactics. By having goals, you keep yourself on track and avoid the pitfall of a haphazard job hunt where you feel helpless and don’t know what your next move should be. Break down your big goals into several milestones to make it more achievable and manageable.
A job search is an important time to re-engage with yourself and connect with who you are and what you want. It’s important to continue to evaluate this time and again as your search progresses. Develop your plan of action to avoid getting burned during the process, and remember, it’s okay to take a step back and re-evaluate what you want and what you need to do to get there. Each time you do, you’ll be one step closer to landing that interview that will lead you to your next career move.
Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.