Job-Search Insanity – 10 Steps to Break the Cycle

I recently met a new client who has been out of work for some time and has decided to re-energize his search after a period of failure sitting behind his computer. With this in mind I ask you the question “Have you ever wondered why your job search isn’t working?” Every day you get up, sit behind your computer, search the job boards and pray to see something new and exciting that has ‘YOU‘ written all over it.

Each day is the same as the last one, breakfast followed by tired eyes straining at the screen, a quick break at lunch for a sandwich and then back to the screen with increasing desperation and then your partner comes home or it is time for the kids to get back from school and because you are now the ‘at home’ parent you have to take charge of the young ones.

How insane is this, a never ending wheel of depression, never going anywhere or achieving anything, becoming scared and frightened.

The cycle has to be broken because this is obviously not working and in fact is becoming damaging to both your physical and mental health. What to do? Here are tips to help you move forward:

Been turned down after interviewing – Contact the company, speak to the hiring manager and recruiter and see if the hire they made is working out. If the post was never filled for financial reasons there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Build a team – It has been proven time and again that people who work together in a team are more successful than one person alone. Create a team and help each other achieve goals, energize each other, and expand your network.

Expand your network – Sounds obvious but after a time we start to ignore our network or we become embarrassed about going back to people again. Get over it!! Get back in touch with the folks you know and start using your target company list to help you focus. Add professional associations and networking groups to your activity list.

Target company list – If your list is stale then revitalize it, polish it up and start checking out potential contacts through LinkedIn or other networking avenues, have a look at our earlier blog post to see some other possibilities.

Network, network and network – If you haven’t worked it out by now the key to getting your next job is networking and this helps you in two ways, firstly it gets you out of the house and in front of people who can help you and secondly it gets you away from your computer screen.

Internet search – I have never said that using a computer is a bad thing in job search, far from it, but if you are using it to find opportunities use niche sites that focus on your needs as well as the mega sites like Indeed, Linkup, SimplyHired, etc.

Take a break – It’s OK to take a break, exercise, take a walk, meet someone for coffee, play a round of golf, whatever you enjoy, do it. Taking a break reduces stress and helps you become more balanced in your life.

Learn something – Whatever your career entails there is usually something new happening, make a conscious effort every week to enhance your skills. It is not the quantity that matters rather the frequency, imagine going to an interview and being able to throw in a remark about a recent magazine article or book review. By the way all of this information is usually freely available online or through your local library (now there is another great source of information)

Get organized – Build a plan, treat the search like a job, yes I know it’s been said before but this time I mean it. Get up every working day and go to ‘the office’, have a routine that is varied and not totally repetitious and take one action each and every day that takes you in the right direction.

Fix your mind – Like my client, take a step sideways and get off the wheel of depression, make a decision that you are going to move forward, it doesn’t matter how long it takes you are going to succeed.

Good hunting

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5 thoughts on “Job-Search Insanity – 10 Steps to Break the Cycle

  1. Thank you for this blog. I am a career counselor. I’ve been involved in this project from the beginning and am tasked as training coordinator for the new volunteers. Our volunteers are from many backgrounds and dedicated to helping others. However, the first thought they have is creating a resume. I’m delighted to know you come from a counseling background and welcome more advice like this blog. I just participated in a Bolles’ workshop with people from Europe, South Africa and the U. S. I’ve used the theory for years but not the indepth workshop methods. While there is much that is beyond our virtual program, I do think we are shortchanging clients if we do not help them answer the “Who Am I?” and “What Do I Want?” steps in the job search. My other hat is working with diplomats who are retiring from the Department of State — who are certainly well-educated and savy but all too often have no clue what they want. On the other hand, when there is no food on the table there are other considerations. Thanks for listening!! Keep the advice coming. Vivien

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