As Christine Owens, from the National Employment Law Project, reported on the radio program Marketplace, while the rate decreases are encouraging, the number of discouraged job seekers is growing. Some people on the job hunt have given up altogether, which means they are no longer even being counted as “unemployed.”
As the search for a job drags on, it can be hard to remain upbeat and positive. But, today’s job hunt is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s imperative that job seekers not give up and stay motivated. Searching for a job is a job in and of itself, which means the same tips that apply to discouraged and unmotivated employees apply to today’s job seekers. So, if you’re feeling the strain of searching for a job or know someone who is, take a look at these tips to stay motivated.
After a few months, or even just a few weeks, of calling employers, searching job boards, and emailing résumés, all your efforts can run together. You are required to track at least some of your job search activities to receive unemployment, but if you’re doing anything additional you need your own tracking system. Whether you prefer a notebook or a spreadsheet on your computer, keep a list of the companies you’ve contacted, who you talked to, when you talked with them, if you spoke over the phone, in-person, or through e-mail, what they said, and what the results were. Not only will this ensure you don’t contact the same employer too often, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment that you have been trying and doing everything in your power to find a job.
Change Your Surroundings
Sitting around your house at your dining room table or on your couch day after day sifting through the want ads or scanning for jobs online can get old fast. Try going to a local bookstore or coffee shop for a change of scenery. Your public library is also a good place to go, especially if you need a computer for searching job sites or emailing applications. Local meeting places such as these often have bulletin boards where employers post job openings, which are another great resource for your hunt.
Take a Break
Everyone needs a break from their day-to-day activities, and that includes job hunting. If you’ve been job searching for a while, take a day or two off. Work around the house. Go to the park with your family. Volunteer with a local non-profit. See a dollar movie. You’ll come back to the job hunt feeling refreshed, less stressed, and with a new outlook. You’ll be ready to start again with new energy, and you never know what networking opportunities you might find on your break.
Ask for Help
With the number of individuals searching for jobs, it never hurts to have as many people as possible helping you market your skills and experience. Make sure all your family members, friends, and acquaintances know you’re looking for work. Contact your local staffing companies and give them your information. As a job seeker, you should not be charged, and you’ll gain access to companies and job openings that you didn’t have access to before.
Whether you’ve been searching for a few days or for six months, the job hunt can be discouraging. Experts are predicting good things this year. Make it your goal to get one of those millions of new jobs, stay motivated, and keep trying.
Gillian M. Moreira is the owner and general manager of Express Employment Professionals in Easton. She purchased the regional franchise Express office in July 2004. Her passion is finding the “right fit” for people in various positions and all skill levels for her clients. Since opening her business, Gillian has helped thousands of Lehigh Valley residents find jobs. She has also assisted various businesses and organizations in the Lehigh Valley improve profitability through better use of their human resource and workforce development strategies and programs.