Whether you've been in a job search for a week, a month, or a year, you probably feel like it's been forever. For 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!
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