How to Revitalize a Stale Job Search

Whether you've been in a job search for a week, a month, or a year, you probably feel like it's been forever. ForOverwhelm most, job searches are no fun – they are hard work! But more than the work, it's the overwhelm due to isolation coupled with periodic rejection that compels many job seekers to lose self-motivation to persevere. So, what  can you do to refocus and re-tool your job search? What can rekindle your energy to keep you moving forward to attain success?

The biggest energy boost of all comes from human contact, especially if it is coupled with acknowledgment, recognition, and support. This is why so many job clubs have been launched since the recession began with all its layoffs. Most job clubs cost you nothing to attend. Many are held in church basements or activity rooms and are led by caring community members who volunteer their time. Depending on a job club's purpose, you may get peer reviews of your resume, discussion with peers and local guest experts on how to hone your job interviewing skills, perhaps even a presentation on improving your social networking skills, and more. All of this career advice is great and you would be wise to pay attention. Of course, you will need to get it all organized, scheduled, and incorporated into your job search plan. (You do have a job search plan, don't you?) When you Google 'job club' you will get a large number of sites to explore.

If there's no job club close to you, then look for another person who also is in job search mode to become your buddy. Take on the role of each other's booster. Talk daily – or at least weekly – to share your goals, successes, and rejections. Learn from each other about what works and what doesn't. However, if you begin to notice your conversations turning into "pity parties," STOP – take the time to correct the situation or replace your "buddy."

While having a spouse or partner to share everything with may seem ideal, it really isn't. Of course, your significant other will want to know and help you the best they can, but remember, they have a vested interest in the outcome of everything you do in your job search. What will work better for you is a more impartial individual who will put your needs first. Many relationships can't survive the stress caused by a layoff. Please reserve your relationship time for sharing your "normal" life activities with your loved one.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the best option for getting the job search support you need – hiring your own career coach. As a trained and credentialed professional, this individual can help you keep your job search on track, will listen without judgment to everything you say, offer sound advice, and challenge you to stay focused on doing the job search activities critical for success – in other words, getting the right job offer! Sure, you will need to invest in this service, but you wouldn't go to court without a good attorney or build a swimming pool in your backyard without a reputable contractor – or would you? Career coaching services are an investment in your future. An experienced career coach can help you reduce your job search time. After all, what percentage of your first year's salary would some career coaching actually be?

So, here are some options for getting your job search rekindled. Do you have other ideas? I'd love to hear them in your comments – please share!

Wishing you career success in 2011!


Career-Collective-original-small SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of careers experts who each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Please follow our hash-tag on Twitter – #careercollective - as well as follow each expert's individual tweet on this month's topic of "How to Re-tool or Refocus Your Job Search." You'll be amazed at all the free career advice and knowledge that is available to you from these professionals in the careers field!

Personal Branding to Fire Up Your Job Search, @DebraWheatman

Succeeding in a “Final Jeopardy!” World, @WalterAkana

5 Steps to Retool & Jumpstart Your Job Search, @erinkennedycprw

Your Job Search: Let's Just Start Again Shall We? @GayleHoward

Checklist for Spring Cleaning Your Job Search, @careersherpa

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Job Search, @heatherhuhman

Ten Surefire Ways to Organize Your Job Search, @KatCareerGal

Put Spring Into Your Job Search, @EliteResumes @MartinBuckland

Toes in the Water, @ValueIntoWords

How to Revitalize a Stale Job Search, @KCCareerCoach

How to re-think your job search, @Keppie_Careers

Wake Up and Smell the Flowers: Spring Cleaning Your Resume, @barbarasafani

Spring Cleaning and Your Personal Brand, @resumeservice

Spring clean your mind clutter first, @DawnBugni

Managing Your Career 2.0: On Giving Something Up To Get It Right, @Chandlee

Clean up, Chin, up, Shape up, @LaurieBerenson

13 thoughts on “How to Revitalize a Stale Job Search”

  1. I tend to agree with you Meg about hiring a professional to help with your job search. While networking groups and free resume programs are helpful, there is no replacing a highly trained professional for help carrying out a sound career plan.
    As you said, when you consider the price vs the outcome in terms of future salary, it is well worth it to go to an expert in career services.

  2. Meg – Having support is so important, although I would caution not all amateur help is always on target! I hate to see large groups of job seekers being advised to follow out-dated advice about networking, pitching, resume writing and interviewing! That’s why I believe hiring a professional is a better bet — as long as the person has maintained updated training and knows how to find a job TODAY. It’s well worth the investment. Thanks for being part of the Career Collective!

  3. Thanks for your comments, Debra. Unfortunately, many people are trying to cut costs these days by cutting out those career services that can best help them return to their “normal” way of life. I’d love to be able to help all job seekers for free, but then I wouldn’t be able to put macaroni & cheese on my own dinner table! Without our career services, many job seekers can expect to extend their job searches.

  4. Meg,
    All good tips – and you are so right that the ‘overwhelm due to isolation coupled with period rejection’ are issues that deflate job seekers. Other human beings — especially those who truly show caring — CAN boost job seekers’ attitudes, compelling them to new levels of perseverance.
    We are NOT islands, and we must take care to nurture ourselves with positivity and resources outside of our online discussions and research. I also like how you advise job seekers to find a ‘booster buddy,’ but not to remain in a situation that turns into a pity party. Moving through job loss requires surrounding oneself ONLY with the most positive of people and resources – there is no room for negativity dwelling!
    Moreover, you and I both know, first-hand from helping job seekers, the value of career coaching services – I’ve witnessed YOUR helping job searchers land more quickly over the years, turning job loss into job victory!
    Thanks again for another heartfelt and pithy Career Collective contribution!

  5. Thanks, Jacqui, for your comments. Isolation can become the downfall of a job seeker. In order to interview for a job, social skills must be sharp. If spending all his time in front of a computer and not networking with people, a job seeker won’t be ready to face any interviewer.

  6. Miriam, you are so right on about the quality of advice job seekers get from those who are not qualified career professionals. There is a strong need for our services. And it is a great investment in one’s future career!

  7. Meg, I completely agree with the idea of joining a job club to combat the blues,generate some fresh ideas, and find comraderie during a job search. Virtual clubs exist as well if there are no local options.

  8. Meg,
    Great points you are driving home! Don’t “go it alone”!
    I think one of the other things that happens to job seekers is that they begin to lose self-confidence (due to all the reasons you mentioned).
    I value your information and am so glad there are professionals like you out there!

  9. Nice article, Meg. People should not lose hope when they are being rejected. They can also experiment and try different fields because maybe there is there luck. Just be connected also with other people and have connections because later on they can help you in your job search.
    And one important reminder when applying for a job. Have the best resume in able for you to land a job interview. Résumé is the first step in the process of a strategic career move. The résumé is an essential piece to all types of job searching approaches, as well as playing a crucial role through the interview and selection processes.

  10. While a great resume is very important for every job seeker, I believe the first step is to have a clear job target. It’s impossible to create a narrowly niched resume without a target. Thanks for your comments!

  11. It can be beneficial to hire a professional, but if you can’t afford one you hired personally, remember that your tax dollars have already hired professionals in your town to help with employment services!
    Take a look at some of the great — and FREE — Department of Labor resources, including the “Career One-Stops” all over the country… For more info, check out:


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