6 Tips for Staying Sane During Your Job Search

By: Mary Sherwood Sevinsky (Edited by Samuel Garcia)

If you have been unemployed and looking for work for any length of time, the chances are good that you are Frustrated at not having a job by now and tired of hearing the “How’s the job search going?” question from well-intended friends and family.

Need help staying sane during your job search? Follow these tips to keep your sanity and loved ones off your back:

  1. Treat Your Job Search Like a Job:

Set your alarm, get dressed, and go to your “office” every weekday. You don’t need to dress in a suit, but at least brush your teeth and hair and change into clothes you don’t sleep in. Let your immediate family or room-mates know that you are adopting this approach and won’t be available for the most part during these times. No, you won’t be able to run errands, pick up a friend’s dog, run to the grocery store, or babysit (except in a true emergency or pre-scheduled exceptions).

  1. Schedule Your Job Search Tasks:

Nothing will drive you crazy quicker than sitting at home all day, every day submitting online applications!

  • Day One: Review and apply to jobs online and from the paper.
  • Day Two: Make telephone calls to those employers that request a call or to obtain more information.
  • Day Three: Apply in person, return calls of employers who called, attend any meetings/participate in groups.
  • Day Four: Cold call employers and practice interviewing; review other job search or career articles.
  • Day Five: Make follow up calls with any outstanding employers, job service, job search from the prior week.
  • Day Six: Call friends and employers who are hiring. Call and follow up with Staffing agencies you are registered with
  1. Update Friends & Family on Your Progress:

Share some frustration, fine, but you don’t want people to run the other way when you walk in! Think about something positive to share every day, even if it is a brief summary of the latest job search article you read. Don’t get bogged down in details and don’t wait to be asked.

Try something like, “Hey, how are you? I am still looking for an administrative job in Baltimore; if you come across anything, keep me in mind. I have a number of applications out there and I am making job search my full-time job for now.”

  1. Be Open to Help from Others:

People like to feel helpful – it makes them feel good about themselves. If anything, this is probably the reason your friends and family DO ask you how the job search is going. Tell them how they can help. Periodically ask if the company they work with is hiring or if they have heard of any openings.

It is okay to be selective about who you ask for help. Use your best judgment! Ask for feedback on your interview answers, resume, or cover letter. I often ask clients to have colleagues review resumes we are working on for further input.

  1. Put Your Best Foot Forward & Stay Positive:

Like often attracts like. If you are putting on your sad face and moping around complaining about how hard it is to find a job… Well, this might not be working in your favor!

Having a schedule like the one above will help. You can also volunteer with the disadvantaged or disabled, join a group, go to church, subscribe to inspirational quotes online… All of these will help to keep you in a more positive mindset and keep you moving forward in your job search.

  1. Finally: Have a Goal:

Have a job target. Decide on the job title and company type where you would like to work and apply only for jobs for which you are qualified. But even if you are looking for ANY job, don’t allow this to be your career goal. Instead, spend time dreaming and then planning for your long term career goals.

If you don’t have short- and long-term plans, it is difficult to tell if you are on the right path or, even, if you have arrived!

So, then: How is your job search going? Let us know!

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