How to Beat the Job Search Blues

By Jean D , last updated January 5, 2012

Searching for a job in a tough economy can be like searching for a date the day before prom. No matter how much you try, it seems as though you can't get anyone to pay attention and give you the shot you deserve. It's enough to make anyone feel low and depressed. Unfortunately, this low and depressed feeling can make your job search even harder. Employers want people who are confident, happy and ready to leave their past woes behind. If searching for job makes you want to cry, you're probably not projecting this can-do attitude. These tips can help you turn the tide and get the recognition you deserve.

Get Out of the House
If you've been searching for a job for months on end, you may have your routine down pat. You make coffee, plunk yourself in front of your computer and start hammering the job boards. Meanwhile, your people skills and your job skills are eroding right before your eyes. Consider volunteering once or even twice per week. While you won't get paid for your time, you will keep your skills sharp and you'll have the opportunity to network and interact with people who might give you a high-paying job. Also, you'll be doing something positive and active, and this can do wonders for your mood. Instead of living vicariously through Marlena on Days of our Lives, you'll be living your own life.
Unplug From Bad News
Listening to broadcasters talk at length about a tough economy can be hard on anyone's nerves, and you might feel your sense of panic rise. Instead of obsessively listening to and reading these reports, surround yourself with positivity. Join professional groups of other job seekers, and cheer as one when someone lands a job. Read up on successful businesspeople and think of ways that you, too, could be a success. Surrounding yourself with happy tales can help the blues lift.
Take Quality Over Quantity
Each time you apply for a job, you open yourself up for rejection. You may think that blanketing the market with applications could help boost your mood and make you feel productive, but it can also make you feel like a giant loser when no one responds. If you're applying for jobs that you are overqualified for and you still don't get responses, the hurt can be even bigger. Consider each application a major commitment, and don't take that commitment lightly. Only apply for jobs you actually qualify for and that you want. If rejection comes, at least it will come from someone worthy of the hurt.
Set Your Hours
Applying for a job is a major time commitment, but it should also be considered a job that you spend a set amount of time on each day. When that time has passed, it's time to stop for the day. Obsessively checking job boards, reading the paper, calling contacts and knocking on doors isn't healthy, and it can make you seem desperate. Remember that taking time off to eat dinner, go for a walk and get a full night's sleep will help you stay in touch with reality, and it will make you feel and seem much more positive.
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