How to Make Long Job Searches Bearable
Job hunting immediately after leaving your previous company is pretty exciting. Job hunting for weeks—or months—after you’ve left your previous company is less so.
Long job searches are, essentially, a numbers game. There’s no telling when lightning will strike, and it’s easy to get discouraged in the face of continual rejection. But don’t give up hope! Long job searches may never be fun, but they are bearable, provided you have the right attitude.
The Hunt Is the Job
Depending on how financially stable you are, you might be tempted to procrastinate finding new work, opting instead to enjoy your time off. And that’s fine—but if your goal is to land a new gig fast, you can’t take such a lackadaisical approach. Treat the hustle like it’s your job. Sending one résumé a week, or even a day, won’t cut it.
Devote time to the process every day, and ideally, set a concrete goal for yourself, such as sending out three new applications each day.
Learn Where You’re Coming Up Short
Job searches usually take some time, but if you find yourself hustling for months on end with little to show for it, take a step back and think about why.
Is there something wrong with your process? Are you not sending out enough applications? Or could you be aiming too high for your experience and skillset? Do your best to diagnose issues like these. Check your résumé, references, and any other application materials you may send out.
Better still, reach out to the companies that rejected you and ask for tips. If you’re polite, they’ll probably be willing to provide some rationale for why you came up short. Maybe your video connection was poor during your interview (an unfortunate killer of many good candidates) or maybe you simply weren’t qualified.
Either way, this feedback helps you focus your efforts and improve over time.
Dial Back Your Lifestyle
If you don’t have the financial freedom to enjoy unemployment, be careful about spending. Ideally, you’ll have a bit of a cushion to fall back on, but given these tough economic times, we get that this isn’t always feasible. Be extra aware of where your money goes and consider cutting back on non-essential services.
You may also want to be careful about how you conduct yourself during the search. While most of us are getting better at social media security and data privacy, it’s still common practice for hiring managers to check these online resources when available.
Don’t Get Discouraged
“Every day I get a little more desperate, and desperate situations yield the quickest results.”
- Michael Scott, “The Office”
Above all, try and stay positive. All things are temporary, including your unemployment. Of course, the harder you work, the faster you’ll find a new opportunity—but exactly when this will happen is harder to say.
The above tips are designed to help you avoid this type of discouragement. Stay busy, keep learning, and manage your lifestyle to reduce the stress of unemployment. And if you’re really struggling, consider reaching out to a recruiting agency who can do some of the legwork for you.
The opportunities are out there. Go out and get them!