No we are not kidding…our ‘research’ has shown that not having a job and facing rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection can actually have a negative impact on your mood.
What are the job search blues?
Medically speaking the ‘Job Search Blues’ are distinguishable as one, or all of the following symptoms which are presented by the patient and accompanied by lack of gainful employment. The most common symptoms of the condition are,
- General feelings of mournful despair
- Headache, from metaphorically banging your head against a brick wall
- Dramatic drop in self esteem
- Constant reevaluation of life goals
- False sense of being the only unemployed person in the world
You get the drift.
Unfortunately though, having the job search blues is no laughing matter. Indeed if left unchecked it can begin to have a real, negative effect on many aspects of your life, including your ability to effectively seek employment.
The danger is that you will fall into a vicious cycle of applications and rejections, so to counter this we have put together our top 5 tips on how to reboot your job search and shift those job search blues.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, volunteering can have a very positive influence on your job prospects.
Not only can it help you to develop extra transferable skills but it can present the image of a proactive job seeker, who is engaged in their pursuit of work, identifies the benefits of giving their time and efforts in service of others.
But much more than this, volunteering can help lay waste to your job search blues by providing a more structured routine, instilling a sense of purpose and preventing your from getting stuck in a ‘rut’. “But I don’t have time to volunteer, I need to search for a job” I hear you say. In the vast majority of cases this is arrant nonsense since you would probably have more than enough time to do both if you took a more structured approach to your job search. Volunteering can create a drain on your time which requires you to be more efficient with your job search and as a result can lead to a higher chance of success.
Take a break
Whilst this advice might seem somewhat counter intuitive, the benefits which can come from giving yourself a planned break from job seeking can vastly outweigh the time which you have lost.
This can be a particularly important step if you have been spending the majority of your waking hours working attending to your job search day, after day. In this situation job searching can feel much like a full time job in itself, except you do not take a break as you would every 4-5 days in employment but rather continue a marathon of applications, cvs, interview preparation and job boards. Couple this with the fact that the majority of people conduct their job search from their own home and this becomes a recipe for disaster.
Taking a break for a few days can really help your outlook on the situation and allow you to approach the task of finding a job with a renewed vigour and energy when your break is over. If you are spending much of your time at home you should be sure to avail of this opportunity to get a change of scenery, do something that you love to do and for a few days forget that you are a ‘job seeker’.
Create a routine
One of the main issues people face when looking for a job is that their days become a crawling, unstructured mesh of applications, CVs, procrastination, social media, cups of tea and snack breaks. This daily set-up, once established, can be very very hard to escape, but there are a number of things which can help.
- Make a physical timetable of what you plan to do each day. Divide the day into half hour / 1 hour time slots and allocate certain times to certain things depending on how long you reckon they will take.
- Treat your job search as though it were a job with set beginning, end and lunch times to help get you into the mindset of working.
- Where possible, work only during the times that you have allocated as ‘job search time’. You need to make sure that you are giving yourself enough rest and must avoid letting your days becoming one long job hunting activity from dawn till dusk
Seek help (or help yourself)
Although this might seem like a rather basic piece of advice, you would be amazed how many people never take it into consideration.
Over the course of your job search you can sometimes become blinded to the reason why you are not finding a job, or can simply ignore a problem that you know is there.
For example, if you know that your interview techniques are letting you down, it can be really easy to simply shrug rejection off and say to yourself ‘I will do better next time’ when in fact what you should be doing is seeking out ways to improve this aspect of your performance and stop it from holding you back.
No matter what the issue with your job search is chances are there will be someone who is willing to help you or has the information that you need.
The internet can be a great resource (TheEmployable especially) as it is crammed full of useful tips on every aspect of employment and finding a job that you could possible ever wish for. If you are unable to find the advice that you need, you can reach out to someone online who might be able to help you or at least point you in the right direction.
It can also be a very good idea to seek out some face to face advice on how to improve your employment prospects. This can be done through your local jobs and benefits office who will be able to inform you of what training and advice they are able to offer. They will also be able to point you in the direction of organisations offering advice and support for people in your situation.
Get yourself a hobby
There are few good things about being unemployed, but having some extra free time is definitely one of them!
You should make full use of this opportunity by taking up a fun new hobby. Not only will this help to create a broader sense of structure within your day, but can provide a well earned treat if it is something that you particularly enjoy doing.
Remember, you might be a job seeker, but you are many other things as well and therefore you need to make sure you have other things in your life besides job seeking.
If you found this article useful then you might like to take a look at some of our other rather marvellous posts on searching for a job!
Top CV mistakes that you should avoid
Improve your CV– Basic top tips
Top 5 Interview Mistakes