If you’ve been job searching for an extended period of time without measurable results (six months or more of anemic job search activity) you risk discouragement that leads to a total breakdown in your search. According to the Economic Policy Institute, there are 5,950,000 missing workers—potential workers who are neither employed nor actively seeking a job. The longer you must look for a job, the more debilitating it becomes mentally and physically as well.
As has been established previously, conducting a vigorous job search that produces measurble results along the way starts first with having an understanding of how an effective job search works. To augment that understanding, following are ways to stay motivated and maintain momentum throughout your job search:
AVOID TOXIC PESSIMISTS
A client related how a friend advised her that no one would want to hire her “because she’s old.” The client said that whereas she hadn't been concerned about her age to that point, now she is! There will always be folks who not only worry about the sky falling…they will also be indefatigable in trying to convince the rest of the world to worry as well. Stay away from those folks! If unavoidably exposed to them (like chronically gloomy Aunt Verna at family picnics), be vigilant in shaking off their mental toxins double-quick so they don't adhere.
SHAKE UP YOUR JOB SEARCH PERSPECTIVE
Perhaps you’ve fallen into the rut of doing the same things either because you don’t buy into other techniques or you’re nervous about stepping out of your comfort zone. For example, mature job-seekers—relying on how things used to be—might be less likely to utilize LinkedIn in their job search. Expanding your perspective is crucial towards maintaining job search activity that leads to hiring success. Consider the following:
- Expand your criteria. Only considering full-time employment? Contract positions are the trend right now. Looking at only large corporations? Smaller companies provide more options with greater opportunity to interact with top management.
- Go on informational interviews. Even if the job isn’t a good fit, the experience will help you to exercise your wings and build your interview experience.
- Create/Review your LinkedIn profile. More and more employers and recruiters are turning to LinkedIn for qualified candidates. (There are plenty of articles and discussions on the LinkedIn website on how to make the best use of the site.)
JOIN OR CREATE A JOB-SEARCH “SQUAD”
This isn’t a support group, which is what some job search groups risk becoming. Support groups have their place, certainly, but are not best utilized for getting a job. The undoing of typical job search groups, if they are not directed by a defined agenda and facilitated by focused leadership, is that they tend to dissolve into nonproductive pity parties. Warning: Stay away from those!
A job search squad (interchangeably called a job club; mastermind group; job search core group) is comprised of no more than 3 or 4 job-seekers for the primary purpose of providing Accountability defined by non-negotiable ground rules:
#1: Creating an active target company list
#2: Increasing networking contacts
#3: Developing conversations with decision-makers
#4: Sharing job leads
Joining or initiating such a group, by the very nature of its purpose, will surely keep you motivated.
GET A MENTOR
Family is important for providing moral support and affirming your value during job loss. In most circumstances, though, family members are less able to provide the business guidance you need to bring focus and direction. For that it’s better to have recurring discussions with a respected business contact who’s held, preferably, similar roles as yours and who also has a healthy perspective on life.
EXPAND YOUR NETWORKING CONTACTS EVERY DAY
Unlike the job search process of years gone by in which we simply applied for jobs until we were hired, today’s job search is driven by developing strategic connections within targeted companies. That’s because we now live in the environment of the “buyer’s market” in which the supply of jobs compared to the number of unemployed has dramatically shifted.
What frustrates us in the process of looking for a job is that we are up against a lot of competition. Developing conversations with new strategic connections will elevate you to a place of lessened competition for the job.
TREAT YOURSELF WELL
Who is it that’s riding shotgun with you on this job search odyssey? That would be… you! Don’t neglect taking care of the chief player on this ride. Exercise, read, listen to music, have inexpensive lunches with friends, hang out with bowling buddies. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. So don’t be a martyr. Take care of yourself!
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