Question: “Sital, how do I maintain momentum and just “keep going” with my job search when I’m faced with constant rejections, negativity and non-response…?”
1. Don’t take it personally
• Some people won’t reply to your emails.
• Some people won’t return your calls.
• Some firms won’t reply to your job application.
Don’t take it personally. Develop a thick skin. Keep building a pipeline of opportunities, a wider set of connections, and just move on. It’s their loss, not yours.
2. Define your “why”
Why do you want a new job?
What happens if you don’t secure that job in the next 3 months? What are the implications?
The true reason is almost always a personal reason and not a career related reason. For example, needing the income to spend on yourself and/or your family, building a better lifestyle, securing a better work-life balance, improving your confidence, etc.
Getting clear on your “why” gives you the motivation and fuel to keep going on a week-to-week basis.
3. Get out more
Many job seekers spend most of their time hiding behind technology, such as laptops, job sites, and LinkedIn.
But technology, jobsites and social media platforms are just tools.
You need to get out, have more conversations, network, socialise and stay in contact with ex-colleagues, clients, friends and recruiters. From these will flow referrals, ideas, suggestions and new contacts.
All of which gives you the drive to keep going on the ‘bad days’.
4. Set yourself weekly activity targets
•Apply for 5 jobs online.
• Speak to at least 1 recruitment firm.
• Meet 3 contacts for coffee or lunch.
• Book coffee or lunch dates with 3 other contacts over the next month.
• Go to at least one social event with friends (e.g. dinner, party, drinks, movie etc.).
All of the above activities help you identify opportunities, stay connected with your network and maximize the chances of finding roles and opportunities, so choose a set of targets and activities to suit your situation.
5. Celebrate the small wins
Make a call you’ve putting off for weeks, submit your CV for a new role, meet an ex-colleague or two for lunch or take the time to improve your LinkedIn profile. These are all small activities which won’t secure a job tomorrow – but they will all play a small part in getting you there.
Unless you pat yourself on the back and celebrate the small win – you’ll find it hard to keep going. What were your 3 biggest ‘Small Wins’ last week? What can you do reward yourself for them?
6. Build a support team
To get through a job search campaign, you need good friends, family, colleagues and fellow job seekers to lean on.
•Some of them will provide ideas and inspiration.
•Some will be a sounding board when you’re down.
• Some will give you chance to play and have some fun.
You need all of these. So don’t withdraw – let these people into your world and allow them to help.
7. Keep learning
Keep reading career websites and blogs. Watch YouTube clips or newspaper articles on job searching.
They’ll help you find new connections, and help you find that one idea or insight that will move your search onto the next stage.
To get you started, here’s a great blog you should be reading for career advice and job search tips.
8. Find something else to focus on
Learn to play an instrument, do some charity work, start writing that novel, enter a 10k race or maybe start a side business to run from home.
Whatever it is – find something which that has nothing to with job searching. Something you’ve always wanted to do – but never got around to doing.
It will help keep your mind fresh and also give you something to talk about – both socially and at interviews. And, of course, give you another opportunity to meet new people and build your network.
9. Lose the guilt
You’ll forget to follow up on a lead, you’ll waste a whole week and not make any progress, you’ll make some mistakes when networking or interviewing.
It happens. So don’t beat yourself up. Just move on and tune into your “why” from point 1 at the top of the page and set yourself some activity targets for the week ahead.