If you have searched for jobs for over a year without any success; or you were downsized, right sized, laid off, or whatever name was given to it, then I guess you would relate to the despair that pops up at some points.
I write from personal experience, after I was laid off after being loyal to my employer for 6 years, and the stress it took me to get the job. It was a difficult situation as I was trying to adjust to the job search game, especially with the slow economy. I had totally lost hope of ever landing a good job, after the search went into long period of months.
After some point, I decided to have a change of perception and it truly changed the story for good. If you have been a job seeker for years now, or you had a job and lost it, then this post is for you. I will share with you the things you can do and remain positive, while you continue your search diligently. What are the ways to remain diligent during a job search? See the 5 ways below.
It might not pay the bills, but it gives you a better mindset to think out of the box. Research has shown that the brain thinks well, when the body is refreshed. I had always used “I don’t have the time” as an excuse for not exercising. When I got unemployed, I started off slowly and steady. Not only does exercise helps you lose weight, research shows that it releases endorphins, which helps in the reduction of stress, pains and feeling of depression. It equally helps to boost self-esteem. Look for a physical exercise that you can fit into, and start doing it.
2. Catch up with your favorite activities
As a Human Resource person, I always try to know more about my industry. I love reading, but the stress back then never allowed me finish up any book. At this point of unemployment, I could dust off all the books I never read and complete it. Doing and completing things you love doing would give you a feeling of accomplishment. Whatever is your favorite activity, try as much as possible to do it and complete it.
3. Learn a New Skill or Improve the Current One
Now this is the most important thing in this list. You haven’t been able to get a job or you lost your former job maybe because the skill you have could be replaced or wasn’t needed again. You have to sit back and evaluate some hot skills in your industry, go after them and fire again. I added a PMP and an Excel certification while I was at home, and the result was that I landed a better job 3 months after completion of the courses. Employers are in need of those with good skills, and that might be the reason you are yet to get a job for yourself.
4. Join a Group and Meet New People
Joining a quality group is one of the fastest ways to network and meet influential people. Personally I will recommend if you can join a paid group, where members pay subscription fees. Most free groups have nothing to offer, and most influential people don’t belong to free groups. You can search out for most of these groups online or ask for recommendations from people, depending on your interest – which is the most important.
Nothing is more fun than meeting with new people or hanging out maturely with co-workers for dinner or other fun activities. Ideas might pop up, or recommendations might surface. Whichever one, you might just end up being lucky. Don’t shut yourself out all day in your room and scream “there are no jobs in the country”.
This wouldn’t pay the bills in the short term, but it will surely pay in the long term. Volunteering will keep your CV active, while retaining and practicing the skills you have already. If you have the time – which you should have, you can pick up a volunteer job and get started. All you need do is to write several companies around – I suggest you target small and medium firms, as they are more likely to accept your invitation. If you perform well on the job, then that is a big opportunity for you – who knows?
Losing a job is painful; searching for a job without success for a long time is depressing, but the above points should keep it at the minimum. These are some of the things I did that helped me stay positive till I got a higher paying job.
Negative energy, despair, anxiety, desperation can be easily detected during interviews, so you need to find your feet and channel out positive energy during this job search. Till we meet again, I wish you the best in your job search.