A rejection call, a failed online application, a disastrous interview – you can never quite tell what could be the last straw that finally causes you to throw up your hands and say, “I’m done!” The job search is not a walk in the park, it’s more like climbing a mountain. After building a solid foundation on a professional resume and a stockpile of cover letters, the climb begins with hours of scouring job boards, continues with piles of application, eventually leading the way to high-pressure interviews, each different and demanding in its own way.
Days, weeks or months of climbing towards a new career summit can leave job seekers exhausted and desperately looking for reasons to keep moving forward.
If you’re feeling fatigued, don’t give up hope! Here are a few reasons to not abandon the job search just yet:
It Takes Time
In a perfect world, the day after you step away from one position, hiring managers from your next dream job would be calling you directly with offers. In reality, the average job search can take about 43 days. Six weeks might seem manageable, but this number can also vary depending on your industry of focus. The biggest lesson to take away from this statistic is the fact that every search is different.
If you don’t find your next opportunity right away, don’t panic. Instead, start setting small, manageable goals for yourself in order to keep motivated in the short term. For example, challenge yourself to send X number of applications one week, then increase this number in following weeks. By making steady progress on the way to a major goal, you can keep your thoughts focused on positive achievement.
There are More Ways than One
It’s true that searching for a job is a job in its own right. Just like any other job, it can be easy to slip into a repetitive routine that wears on you. Waking up at the same time every day, researching and/or applying on the same websites and talking with the same people can lead to burnout quickly if you’re not careful.
If you’re caught in a rut, consider switching up search tactics! If the day-to-day drone of online searching, also known as job board hypnosis, is wearing you down, consider getting offline and meeting employers in person at career fair events or informational interviews. Same old resume got you down? Consider a new format! There are countless ways to refresh your routine, so try something new that works for you and your schedule.
You’re in Control
You’re the boss of your job search. Unlike previous positions you may have held, you are in complete control of your daily responsibilities and the success of your efforts. If something isn’t working for you, that’s okay! Take charge and start searching on your own terms. Confidence means everything when working towards a new opportunity, so make your career search unique to you!
You may be in control of your job search, but you’re not alone. If the urge to give up is shutting down your progress, consider seeking help from trusted people in your network. An extra set of eyes on application materials can open up your mind to new possibilities. A friend you haven’t met with in months might mention a new opportunity over lunch. And, sometimes, a sensitive ear is all a job seeker needs in order to let off some steam and recharge mentally.
Searching for a job isn’t easy. If the climb towards the next peak of your career has got you down, it’s okay to take a breath, rethink your course of action and prepare mentally and physically for what’s ahead. Do you have any tips for remaining positive on the job hunt? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!