About banner

I Still Can't Find A Job!

Job+Stress

I Still Can’t Find A Job! (managing anxiety while job searching)

Many of us at one time or another have found ourselves without a job. I’ll admit, the prospects of a vacation sounds great! However, once the unpaid vacation bleeds into the second, third, and fourth month, even the most stable among us can get rattled. In order to keep on track and solidly manage the job hunt, here are three important areas of focus:

Managing Anxiety

This is by far the hardest thing to do while you’re on the hunt for the next best career. Job searching can prove to be an extremely demoralizing experience! All of our insecurities rise to the surface: “Why don’t they want me?” “Am I not smart enough for that position?” “What happens when my money runs out?” Going down this line of questioning is NOT helpful…unless you’re talking to your therapist. What IS helpful is recognizing your strengths and accomplishments. Look at your last job and the successes you had there. Focus on your relationships which you manage on a day to day basis. Find ways to draw your attention away from negative thoughts which pull you down and turn them towards positive thoughts which will keep your attitude up. When you have a positive attitude, you are more likely to attract positivity in your life.

If you’re not currently in some sort of therapy or support group, get there! An individual therapist, life coach, career counselor can help you work through current anxieties and develop healthy alternatives. Many groups are available for job seekers. Search “job search support groups in (your city)” online and you will undoubtedly find quite a few resources including meet up groups, therapy groups, and more.

Next, you need to schedule your day and stick to it. A big downfall for those who find themselves unemployed is that they enjoy the “vacation” at first but fall into the trap of checking out. Set your alarm in the morning, get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast and get your day going! I would recommend you begin your “work day” with job searching up until lunch. After lunch, hit the gym or some other form of exercise. This will release those positive endorphins which relieve stress, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep. Plus, you’re working on your overall health which will also contribute to you attracting positive energy. Next you could do some chores around the house or run errands. In the afternoon, I would recommend you get back to your job searching for two to three more hours to round out the day. Keeping a routine will keep you sharp while ensuring that you’re following through with your goals.

Brushing Up On Skills

Now that you’ve got nothing but time, take that class you’ve always wanted to take. Brushing up on skills doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to work on skills in your direct line of work. For example, learning a foreign language will make you more marketable as well as connect you with other people which may lead to potential jobs. Almost all community colleges offer non-credit courses free of charge. Some of these courses include Computer Basics, Web Design, Accounting, Nutrition, English as a Second Language, and plenty more. Another valuable resource is searching for city and county resources for job seekers. Many free programs are available which provide job listings, career counseling, and job placement services. Most likely, you will be able to access resource centers which have computers, telephones, fax machines, and copy machines all free of charge.

If you have a skill set which needs to remain current, you might want to consider volunteering in your area of expertise. This will not only allow you to keep your skills up to speed, but it will also help you network with potential employers. If you’re lucky enough to land a volunteer position with a potential employer, you better work your fingers to the bone so that they realize they can’t live without you!

Effective Job Searching

In order to job search effectively, you need an updated resume and cover letter. Resume and cover letter styles are as varied as the individuals who write them. However, make sure your resume and cover letter has the best layout for the positions in which you’re applying. For example, if you’re applying for a business position, you don’t want a design or font which looks too relaxed. Just like if you’re applying for a service related position, you don’t want a resume and cover letter which is to scripted or stiff. Ensure that if you have a large gap in your resume, you include any volunteer positions you’ve held during that period. I would also strongly recommend you update your LinkedIn profile.

Inform your friends, family members, old co-workers, neighbors, mailman, pretty much everyone you come in contact with, that you’re looking for work. When an employer posts a position online, they get hundreds (if not thousands) of resumes. Therefore, if you apply for a position as well as have a friend put in a good word for you to their boss, your resume immediately moves to the top of the pile! Another reason you want to inform everyone you know that you’re job searching is that now, instead of just you looking for work, you have several sets of eyes looking in all directions!

 

I’ll admit, looking for work can be a mood killer. However, you are the one who ultimately decides your mood. With a good outlook on life, brushing up on some skills, and few changes in the job search you’ll find that perfect career in no time!