Still Standing: How to Stay Motivated During a Job-Search Slump
By Mandy Willingham
It seems like you've done the necessary preparation. You've researched prospective employers, updated your resume and cover letter, replied to numerous job posts, and maybe even gone on a few interviews. So why, you may ask yourself, haven't you landed the right job?
Searching for a job can be a challenging, stressful, and ultimately necessary part of any career. Sometimes even the most determined job seeker can have difficulty staying motivated when he or she receives little response from prospective employers or, sometimes worse, polite rejections.
Here are some keys to staying motivated during a job-search slump:
The stress of finding your next job can seem even more overwhelming when you're still working at your present one. Despite the numerous responsibilities that accompany this challenging time, staying focused can better enable you to balance your duties at your current job with the time and effort required to find a new career opportunity.
One way to maintain your focus is to keep a schedule of your job-search activities. Designate a certain amount of time—whatever is appropriate and won't interfere with your present work responsibilities—for conducting research, applying for new jobs, and going on interviews. It's also helpful to keep a list of which employers you've contacted, when you sent them your application materials, and all responses you may have received.
One of the easiest ways you can show an employer you're diligent and interested in a particular position is to follow up. If it's been a couple of weeks since you submitted your cover letter or resume, a short, courteous, and well-written follow-up email can help you stand out from the other applicants. In addition, you can also make a follow-up phone call to the appropriate contact to let him or her know you are interested in a particular opportunity.
It is especially important to send a thank-you note or email after you've had an interview. You may also want to send a brief email or make a phone call if you haven't received a response from the interviewer within the time he or she said it would take to make a decision.
Use it as a learning experience.
Sometimes it's difficult not to take the job-search process personally. After all, you're investing so much time in presenting your experience and skills to an unknown hiring manager or human resources director. The process can be even more nerve-wracking if you're applying for your dream job or for a position at a highly sought-after firm or company.
It can be challenging not to take a lack of response or a rejection personally, but keeping things in perspective and learning from the process can help you stay positive and focused. There are numerous factors that go into a hiring decision, and not being considered for a position doesn't necessarily mean you are an unqualified candidate. After all, there are numerous qualities you consider before deciding to apply for a particular job.
Consider professional assistance.
If your job search is in a rut and you're not getting the results you want, consider contacting a professional. There are numerous experts who specialize in areas like resume writing, interviewing, and career development.
Legal Authority is one valuable service that assists legal professionals with nearly every step of the job-search process; it helps members identify their career goals and create winning resumes and customized cover letters that are addressed to all of the employers on their targeted lists.
While the search for the best job can be challenging and sometimes uncertain, it doesn't need to be a solo endeavor.