3 Ways to Refresh Your Job Search When You’re Frustrated

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Phot Credit: Jan Vašek

3 Ways to Refresh Your Job Search When You’re Frustrated

The other day, a client approached me for advice on her job search. Extremely frustrated, but still desperate for progress she explained, “I’m doing everything, and nothing seems to be working!”

We’ve all been there. At some point or another, everyone toils  in vain. I (almost) wish this were a “job search-specific issue,” but it’s SO not.

Colorful examples to prove my point:

  • Every hangry diet you’ve ever been on
  • The terror that is house training a puppy
  • Being good at mental math (No? Just me?)

It’s all too familiar – despite miles worth of time and energy, you just can’t seem to move an inch.

Not even ½ an inch.

But when was the last time you heard someone utter the words, “It was the first apartment I saw!” and actually believed it? Or, “I’d never found a match with a dating app before, but it turns out first time’s the charm for me”?

Capital-L liars; that, and the .001% of people that experience that kind of luck would be shamed to secrecy if they ever dared to boast to friends. The reality is that anything worth having, is going to be a bitch to capture.

It’s rough out there. Rejection stinks. Hunting for the right gig can easily go from simply overwhelming, to making you feel insane. Here’s the annoying, but rock-solid fact: Once you relax a little, things tend to sort themselves out and fall into place.

What to do in the meantime…

Take a break and get outside of your head! Half-hearted efforts will only perpetuate the running in circles. Nurture your soul, re-energize your efforts. Not to mention, you’ll make more connections when you’re in action than you will alone in your living room hitting “apply.”

Stop doing “everything.” Focus on the leads and job search activities that appeal to you most (or that you hate the least). Avoid “spray and pray”; when you apply to gigs you’re actually  interested in, that’s when you’re mostly likely to receive a response.

Hate networking? Find a way to do it on your terms. Look into Meetups in your city (unrelated to career), volunteer a few hours a week, pick up a hobby, join a class or check out informal events. Again, great for recharging your batteries.

Get a second opinion. When all else fails, call in reinforcements! Maybe you’re doing the wrong things. Maybe you’re doing the right things, but could stand to do them better.

Could your resume be laden with typos? Or your prized cover letter reads more like an obituary? Maybe you’ve overlooked contacts that would love to help out? Could you be offering up a limp handshake? No one wants to be greeted with a handful of sweaty flesh. Ick. The end.

Sometimes you just need to vent! There’s a lot to be said for getting your frustrations off your chest and moving forward. Talk it out it out with a trusted friend or industry mentor so you can pick up and move the F on.


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