Beat the Job Search Blues
by Robin Ryan
Summer is only a memory and as autumn rolls in you can get depressed about the lack of results from your job search efforts. Summer is a mixed blessing — great sunny weather, exciting vacations, and employers frequently put off any new hiring until those pleasant days end. The tough part is that while you, too, enjoy the summer’s respite, fall brings back the urgency of wanting — or needing — to move on to a new position.
Okay, admit it. You hate job-hunting. Lots and lots of people feel that way. Too often, discouraged job hunters project their gloomy attitude to those around them, while unresolved depression can add to your feeling that career options open to you are bleak. NOT TRUE!
Face facts. Most job hunts today last six to nine months. For high level executives it can be over a year. Be on the look-out for these things that contribute to the blues:
- negative self-talk
- uncontrolled fear and anxiety
- on-going depression
- devaluing yourself and/or reinforcing low self-esteem
- unsupportive or dysfunctional personal relationships
- moping — feeling sorry for yourself
Here are four action steps that will enable you to fight back and take control over your future, and to get rid of the job search blues:
- Concentrate on promoting Brand You. Your career identity – AKA personal brand – must define your strengths, your innate talents, and illustrate the results you can achieve by using these on the job. Your resume, cover letters, and all employer conversations must emphasize how you can contribute to the company. Cultivate opportunities and get the necessary training to develop your talents in new and more useful ways. Building your future on your strengths is the fastest way to achieve great success.
- Try a new approach. If something’s not working, don’t just mope around. Try something new. Begin your day with at least one hour of exercise – walking is a good way to start the day. This gets your endorphins going and lifts your mood. When you are working out listen to feel-good music; it’s a universal mood improver. Then tackle your job search activities for the day. Be sure to customize your resume and target your cover letters to really address the perspective employer’s needs. It’s the only way to stand out in such a crowded job market. Be very specific and note your proven strengths and document the results. Practice interview skills so when your chance comes, you’ll excel. But remember, when you are unemployed you cannot spend every waking hour job hunting or you will get very depressed. Spend 25-30 hours each week on the search; then tackle some other constructive projects. Tasks where you feel you’ve accomplished something — painting a room, redecorating, putting photos in an album — will help you to feel that you are making progress even if the job search is slow.
- Implement Internet Know-how. Bookmark the best websites which are company sites in which you have an interest. Niche sites – such as those specific for your field, or association sites are terrific to explore. Restrict your web surfing to only about an hour per day. Use the rest of the time to NETWORK! Talk to everyone you know. Ask specific questions to find people who can direct you to others inside companies that could possibly hire you. Getting an internal person to forward your resume is an ideal way to get your search moving into high gear.
- Develop a Can-do. Will-do. Done! Attitude. This is the attitude so many CEOs live by: Can-do – meaning they believe they resolve problems; they’ll find a way to do it, or they will find some expert to direct them to the solution. Will-do — they implement the action steps to achieve a successful outcome. Done! — they accomplish the goal. Follow the lead of successful people. Write out your goals, read some articles and books for new ideas. Visualize success for yourself. Thinking about success really does create it.
Remember, hope is only a wish, unless it is backed up with a solid enacted plan that turns your dream into a reality. You have great talents to offer an employer, so begin today to repackage yourself. Go in with a success attitude that will make others want to hire you. Great opportunities are out there and one has your name on it!
© Copyright 2008 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah and Dr. Phil and is considered to be America’s top career coach. Robin has a busy career counseling practice providing individual career coaching, resume writing services, interview preparation, salary negotiations, and outplacement to clients nationwide. She is the best-selling author of : "60 Seconds & You're Hired!," "Soaring On Your Strengths," "What to Do With the Rest of Your Life," "Winning Resumes," and "Winning Cover Letters." A dynamic national speaker, Robin has spoken to over 1200 audiences sharing her insights on how to improve their lives and obtain greater success. Contact Robin at: 425.226.0414, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website at www.robinryan.com