R&R Focus: Staying Motivated During A Job Search

This week I went to two job search clubs- networking clubs which usually feature a job etiquette expert who is well versed on a topic that is pertinent to job searchers. These were two different clubs in two different areas but I took away the same thing from both of them. Lots of people are frustrated and losing hope in this job market which seems to get tighter by the day. Listening to all of the stories that were told about the games HR people play and the myriad of obstacles to getting a job can be pretty disheartening. I think that staying motivated is going to be the key for a lot of people to get back to (or in the case of recent college grads, begin) their careers. Here are some things that I have learned along the way of my own job search.

Find as many job search options as possible

I recommend that you get a copy of The Job Hunter's Survival Guide by Richard Bolles (Ten Speed Press, $10), especially if you've come to a point where you think you've exhausted all of your search options. There's a pretty good list of possible search options, such as using the phone book to find companies to query. Also, try doing a Google search to find job boards that are specific to your industry/field. And as scary as it sounds, it has been recommended to me multiple times that going door to door and trying to get your resume package in front of an actual person may be the way most people are going to have to go.

Take care of your health

Make sure that you are exercising, eating right, and getting enough rest. I know that sounds obvious but it's very easy to become so discouraged that you start to let yourself go during times like these. When the offers do come, the last thing you want is for some health crisis to pop up and give you no choice but to forfeit the opportunity. Making sure I make it to the gym everyday has really helped me to keep my thoughts positive about jobs.

Treat yourself

Again, it's easy to get in a depressed state and stay there for long periods of time when you are under the stress of a job search. This is why you have to treat yourself once and a while with something simple, like a favorite meal or a trip to the movies or the spa. You don't have to max out your bank account with anything that's super expensive but you'll be surprised how far little treats go.

Make sure you have a solid support system This can also help you as you network. Let loved ones and friends know that you are looking for work. They may know of positions to recommend to you or maybe they can pass your resume on to someone of influence. You'll need people that you trust that you can vent to, bounce ideas off of, and hopefully celebrate with once you finally get into the field that you desire.

Don't be afraid to take a break from all the networking and job searching for a little while if that will help you keep your sanity!