Frustrated with how long your job search is going?

Here are some thoughts based on my having gone through many searches of my own (one lasted 2 years!) and witnessing the searches of many others:

  • You will find a job. It is assured as long as you keep at it – meaning taking action. It’s not a question of “if” you get a job but a question of “when.”
  • You get to have your feelings, just don’t base your actions on them – meaning keep applying to jobs and going on interviews, even if you think it’s pointless.
  • Job search is in large part a “numbers game.” You need to apply to a lot of positions and go on a lot of interviews to find the “right fit” job.
  • Your chances of finding the “right fit” job increase exponentially by getting specific about what skills you want to use and matching that to job openings.
  • Networking is the key to finding a job these days.  It may be difficult to do, and you may not want to do it.  So start with people who make sense and are easy to approach.
  • The more you network / interview / write cover letters, the better you will become at doing these things.  Practice leads to improvement.
  • The road to the “right fit job” is a circuitous one. You will explore many options, trying them on and seeing if they fit. This is how it happens – it’s not a straight line to a job.
  • As you search, you are changing internally, preparing yourself for the next job. Pay attention to those small shifts. They are the foundation for the next gig. For example, I had to become a leader before anyone would hire me as a leader.
  • Take some time off.  See a movie. Walk on the beach or in the woods or around the block.  Read a book.  Listen to a podcast.
  • Try another avenue, such as seeking consulting work or temp work or pro bono work or volunteer work – anything that shakes up your routine, gives you something meaningful to do, perhaps a little money, and definitely more contacts.
  • Take a class either in a skill you’ve always wanted to develop, a skill that’s in demand in your field, or something you think would be fun.  Use a different part of your brain.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Take the actions and let go of the results.
  • Be grateful you didn’t get that job you thought was the perfect job – because if you didn’t get it, it wasn’t perfect for you.
  • Ask someone to rehearse interview Q&A with you so you can get used to giving short, concise and natural answers to common interview questions.
  • Know that you will find a job that’s right for you.  Really, there is no other option.  So have confidence that every step you take is leading you closer to your “right fit job.”

How have you coped with frustration?