While going through a lengthy job search process, discouragement creeps in – sometimes. You can do as you’ve been advised as a job seeker – research, apply, reach out, and interview – and still not get the desired result right away.
Why is it so hard to land a job?
Certainly, the job market is different nowadays. Hiring processes have also changed over time.
Even when you focus and target, job hunting is challenging because there’s so much competition for jobs.
Discouraged by Job Searching
In today’s job search, when you’re actively seeking employment but don’t secure a job offer as quickly as planned, discouragement seeps in.
How do I know this so well? This has been my experience as a job seeker.
I’ve experienced bouts of discouragement throughout my prolonged job search (and still experience them sometimes as have been noted here on the blog previously.)
For me, discouragement didn’t come right away.
In the beginning stages of my job search, I was energized and ready to look for my next position.
I did everything I was supposed to do as referenced above. With the passage of time and still not landing a job offer, gradually, discouragement crept in.
I found it harder to engage in my job search activities. I felt I was going nowhere in my search – despite my best efforts – and questioned the point of it all because of a lack of success.
Each time I experience a bout of discouragement during my job search, however, I know I can’t stay there. I always fight it because I know the point of it all is to secure a position meant for me – in whatever form it comes, so I choose to refocus and keep moving forward.
Now to you: I know it’s easy to lose any and every piece of motivation you have while job searching, but I encourage you not to slack in putting forth your best efforts. Right now, it seems as though you’re getting nowhere in your job hunt, but don’t lose hope.
Keep moving forward!
Dealing with Discouragement in Your Job Search
As you move forward, consider 12 suggestions for handling your discouragement below from Career and Job Search Experts:
Chaz Pitts-Kyser, Careeranista.
“Understand the Job Market. ‘…keep in mind that the job search process can be a long and tedious one for both the recent graduate and seasoned professional.’ Since these and many other factors are beyond your control, it may take you months upon months to land the type of job you’re job searching for.”
See More In Her Book: The Careeranista: A Woman’s Guide to Success After College.
Harrison Barnes, His Website.
“Plant Yourself in Good Soil. If you are tempted to give up on your job search, or if you think you cannot do something, do not associate with people who will support this negative outlook or you will surely go nowhere. Find people who will push you to do better and to improve–not people who will encourage your self-destructive behavior.”
See More: Plant Yourself in Good Soil.
Kimberly Kisner, Laid Off, But Not Laid Out.
“Remove negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones like, “I can do this!” or “This too shall pass!” or “Tomorrow is a new day.!” This really does work.””
Gillian M. Moreira, Lehigh Valley Woman’s Journal
“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.”
See More: Staying Encouraged During the Job Hunt.
Dan Miller, 48 Days.
“Evaluate Your Life. Take advantage of these transitions to take a fresh look at your life. What is unique about you? How important is time flexibility? What income do you want? See this as a time to move up and forward; not down.”
See More: Discouraged Yes – Down and Out No.
Mary Jeanne Vincent, Career Coach MJV.
“List five things for which you are grateful. Do this every night before you go to sleep. It’s easy to focus on the negative and take what you have for granted. Remember to count your blessings!”
See More: What to Do When You Hit the Wall.
Hallie Crawford, Her Website.
“Get support. It’s easy to get discouraged by the frightening statistics about the job market. At this time more than ever, you need to surround yourself with positive and optimistic people who will support you during your transition.”
Heather Huhman, Glassdoor.
(Believe You) “will find a job. Throughout your job search, you’ll experience a roller coaster of emotions. Some days you’ll move forward in your job search and there will be others where you take one step backwards. However, what’s important to remember throughout your entire search is the fact you will find a job, even if it takes longer than anticipated.”
See More: 5 Tips for Job Seekers to Stay Positive.
Val Matta, Career Shift.
“Set a stopping point. When you reach a point in your job search where it’s going downhill, this should be a sign for you to take a break. This doesn’t mean to quit your job search completely, but it does mean take some time to focus on the important elements of your search.”
Lily Zhang, The Muse.
“Celebrate Little Victories. If you find yourself getting discouraged as you’re crafting a cover letter or following up on an informational interview request, take a step back and write out all the things you’ve been doing right for your job search. While none of these things are the same as having an offer in hand, each step does bring you a little closer to your goal and should be acknowledged.”
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Career Rocketeer.
“Find Stories of Success. Another idea is to search for people who have been in your position and now have the jobs they wanted. There are bound to be stories online of people who were laid off, and after a long search, now have the opportunities they had most hoped for. Feel encouraged by the lessons they learned and what you can learn from your circumstances. Then know that your great job will come—just as theirs did.”
Annie Fisher quoting Jayne Mattson, Vice President of the Coaching Firm, Keystone Associates, Fortune.
“Don’t beat yourself up. ’I have clients who say things like, ‘I’ve been on x number of interviews and still haven’t gotten any offers — what’s wrong with me?,” says Jayne Mattson. “The answer is, nothing! A long job search is an emotional roller coaster, and it’s important to acknowledge that you’re going to have good days and bad days. The bad days are a normal part of the process. They’re not your fault.’”
See More: 10 Ways to Beat the Blues in a Long Job Hunt.
From Me to You: Looking for a job is no fun, and you experience discouragement in your job search. However, I hope the tips above encourage you as you move forward. Hang in there!
Disclaimer 1: I am not an HR or Career Professional by training. When I write on job search topics, I write from the perspective of a job seeker with experience in job searching.
Disclaimer 2: This article contains outgoing links and words of others on the websites and in the book listed above.
P.S. How do you deal with discouragement in your job search? I’d love to hear your response.