Sure, the economy’s shaping up and job availability is skyrocketing. Yeah, mastery of social media should find you a job in a nano-second. Yup, who needs job boards when you’ve got the social skills of Justin Bieber?
Um, well, the truth is, even if you have all those things, the job search can get hard. And it’s easier than you’re willing to admit to fall into a job search rut and hit rock bottom.
Maybe money’s tight. Maybe your spouse or even your mom is bugging you. Maybe you’re bored out of your mind stuck at home.
But before you succumb to pajamas, daytime TV, and a Bud Light at 11am because the job search has just gotten too much, know that you are not alone.
Symptoms of the Rut
The job search rut may leave you feeling depressed, apathetic, negative, cynical, isolated, and unmotivated. You don’t feel like you’re supported, and the pressure is just too much. You feel like you’ve lost control, and the monotony of it all has your eyes glazed over.
The Dangerous Part
Self Pity. It is so easy once you’re down to wallow in it. To eat, drink, smoke, sleep, watch TV… and feel bad about yourself the whole time. It’s really easy to just say, “leave me alone,” to anyone who asks. The dangerous part is to stay in this stage of the rut for too long.
Too long and you’ll have a hard time getting back into the job search and a rough time explaining that long unemployment gap to potential employers. Too long and you’ll begin the fatal spiral into full on depression.
It may seem like the hardest thing in the world, but get up from the couch now and get yourself out of this rut.
1. Misery Loves Company. You may want more proof that you’re not alone in this job seeking madness, but be careful of the job seeking networks you join. Many of them are filled with the same negative feelings that will just bring you back down again.
2. Healthy in Body, Mind, and Job Search. Take a run to release the endorphins and eat something healthy to avoid crashing from sugar rushes. These will both get you thinking clearly and more positively. Which will help you more clearly formulate your job search tactics.
3. The Sky’s the Limit. Don’t limit your job search to one avenue. If your eyes are stuck to the same website for hours on end, you’re going to get bored and unmotivated fast. Keep job boards to a minimum and stay motivated by researching careers with companies that sound interesting.
4. Timing is everything. Try to treat your job search like a job and give yourself specific hours to confine your work. If you’re job searching at all hours of the day, you’ll be on your way to a quick burn out. Give yourself a break and take the opportunity to develop some time management skills.
5. Keep an open mind. This is vague on purpose. Keeping an open mind means staying positive. It means talking to the people in your life around you about how you’re feeling and what you’re doing. It means opening doors to opportunities you may never have entertained before.
Over and Out
So yeah, the economy is improving, social media can be very valuable, and networking will often open your door to new opportunities. But when the job search has got you down and you couldn’t care less about any of these things, it’s time to pick yourself up and realize you’re not alone in those feelings.
You are not alone.
So how do you get out of that job search rut?
–Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis