It’s very common to feel a little exhausted and down at some point in your job search.

Usually a little “job search fatigue” sets in after a few months into your search. You get your hopes up then dashed, raised again and disappointed again. This often leads to a little desperation, a little depression, some anger, and even bitterness.

Following this may come some lowering of your expectations and putting your priorities in a slightly different order, based on the feedback you’ve gotten from the job marketplace. Perhaps you revise your resume, refine your cover letters, and get back in touch with the people you contacted months ago.

Many people then surrender to the reality that “this job search stinks” and ultimately “I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” Because what other option is there?
It’s then that:

  • You begin to remember people in your network who might help you.
  • You become more open to attend networking events, industry conferences on your own dime, job fairs, and other gatherings where you can meet people and be less isolated.
  • You may start to ask folks for a recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Perhaps you realize that you need to be more assertive and persistent in your communications with potential employers.
  • Maybe you begin to see that you are not talking about yourself very effectively, that you don’t project confidence in your abilities or that you don’t completely “own” your past achievements.
  • Or you realize you need to get some job simply to make money, increase your self-esteem, and keep your skills sharp.
  • That may lead to talking to people about consulting or short-term gigs, as well as doing volunteer or pro bono work.
  • You might investigate new job search tools and ways to market yourself, e.g. Twitter and VisualCV.

Job search is a process with ups and downs, ins and outs, highways where you can go fast and byways that seem to lead nowhere. If you know where you want to go, it will be a whole lot easier to get there. And by having a destination in mind, you can use the compass of “is this leading me closer to or farther away from my goal?” as you evaluate your activities every day.