Job hunting can be a tenuous, frustrating process. Endless rounds of leads and interviews that never go anywhere are exhausting.
How do you keep going when you’re feeling constantly rejected?
Here are 10 tips for job seekers:
1. Determine the worst-case scenario
How bad can it get? If you think it over, in nearly all cases, this outcome is not as bad as you initially thought.
Think out a plan to overcome your potential obstacles. Determine the rewards of your desired outcome and strive for them by executing your plan through both the ups and downs.
2. Don’t make it personal
It’s easy to start thinking it’s you, not them. You wonder what others have that you don’t. You wonder what you need to fix that others don’t.
Try to keep your perspective, and remember that there are many reasons it may not have worked out. Maybe the position was filled by an internal candidate. Maybe your interviewer had an off-day, which tainted his or her opinion of you during the interview.
“No” isn’t a judgment against you – it’s just something that happens.
3. It’s a process
The idea that someone is going to pick you off the street and hand you a job in which you will make tons of money and be perfectly satisfied is a lovely idea. However, it doesn’t generally work like that. It’s a process.
Commit to take meaningful steps through that process, including applying for jobs both in and out of your comfort zone, working your contacts and being prepared for rejections.
4. Build your enthusiasm for each job
Ask yourself one question when you’re scanning job listings – can I get excited by this job? If you’re not excited or confident about your ability to produce great results for potential employers, do not expect them to be excited and confident about potentially hiring you.
Employers are looking for problem-solvers who can help their firms make and/or save money. Honest enthusiasm will help fuel your pitch.
5. Give yourself a break
It can feel oppressive if you’re under pressure to find a new job. The constant strain can affect the way you sleep, the way your body digests food and your emotional state.
Give yourself permission to take a night or weekend off from applying. Dig into a favorite book or movie, and return to the job hunt rejuvenated.
6. Overcome your fears
If you are afraid of blowing the few job leads you may have because you do not know what to say to a potential employer, are not confident in your abilities to generate value and so on, do not use these fears as reasons to do nothing. You can overcome these worries with some practice.
For example, identify 5-10 companies you would never work for and use them to practice creating your own job market. If you can build up a reasonable argument why these companies should hire you, you’ll be ready for the companies that do want to hire you.
7. Adjust your strategy
If you’re not getting good results, try changing your strategy. This could mean developing an alternate resume or cover letter, or hiring someone to write one for you. You can also spread out into professional groups and do more face-to-face networking.
8. Combat isolation
An unexpected impact of a long, tough job hunt can be isolation — feeling distant and alone in your struggles while your friends and family go on with their regular lives.
An important part of finding your way through the job hunt is realizing that you don’t have to do it alone. Try bouncing some cover letters around with friends or old colleagues. Maybe ask someone to make an introduction. Look into meeting with a career advisor.
The important thing is to make connections.
9. Exercise and give back
Job seekers should exercise to counter stress, bad moods, low energy levels, and potential depression that can result from the job search.
Also give back by helping others or volunteering. The benefits of volunteering include a reduction in stress, physical pain and depression. It also increases the endorphin level, which helps people literally feel a rush of joy inside.
10. Take care of your finances
Sometimes, the only way to reassert control of your life is going out and spending money. That’ll end badly if you’re between jobs, though.
Don’t ignore a worsening financial situation; suck it up and deal with it. Look at how you can downsize, or consider getting a short-term job to keep your finances ticking while you keep looking for something long-term.
Keeping the basics covered in your life will help you stay as relaxed as possible and keep your mind on the job hunt.