When your job search drags on for weeks and you feel no closer to landing a job than when you first started, it’s easy to get discouraged. But even if you aren’t getting the callbacks you were hoping for, now is not the time to call it quits. To stay motivated and focused during this frustrating time, use these six job-search strategies to regain and maintain your momentum.
1. Treat the search like a job
Unemployment often leads to an aimless feeling. The lack of a routine is a major reason your motivation may be waning, as it’s a constant reminder of your situation. The key is to treat your search like a real job. Wake up at a reasonable hour and get dressed. Create a schedule with set times for phone calls, emails, social networking and job board searches. Make to-do lists and check off each item as you complete it. After you’ve completed your to-do list for the day, “clock out” and take part in any leisure activities you enjoy.
In other words, conduct yourself as if a boss were looking over your shoulder. Stay focused on your daily tasks and avoid playing a quick game of Solitaire or Candy Crush when you’re supposed to be working. Little indulgences may seem like some of the few perks of unemployment, but they can lead to listlessness and a dip in job-search momentum.
2. Put yourself out there
As important as it is for you to be connected online, you also need to make sure you’re occasionally leaving the house. Not only will this help you get out of a rut, but it can also help make you more marketable. Sign up for a class or go to job fairs, workshops, conferences and seminars, where you can meet people and brush up on your skills. Join professional associations and attend their meetings, where you can learn about trends in your field. Volunteer your time and skills with a worthwhile organization, where you can work on your soft skills like written and verbal communications. All of these things will deepen your network and help you find the right job.