5 Ways to Avoid an Overwhelming Job Search

We know how tough it can be right now in the current economy and with the unemployment rates, to find the job you are looking for. The job search itself can be daunting and overwhelming. The stress alone can cause one to simply give up. Don’t let this happen to you. There are ways to avoid an overwhelming job search and in this article we divulge a few crucial tips to do just that.

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You need a plan if you are going to have an efficient job search that will allow you to keep from becoming overwhelmed. A good plan and a solid focus will simplify things very much. There are things you should do and things you should not do to have an effective and non-panicky job search.

Avoiding an Overwhelming Job Search

Here are 5 basic areas you need to consider during your job search.

1. Stay Positive

Do not underestimate what you are worth to an employer. You have to know your worth and be confident in it. Consider this: What are you good at and who would want those skills? What are your achievements? Are they quantifiable?

Set a goal. Your goal is not to get a job. That goal will lead to feeling overwhelmed and that will lead to burnout. Focus your goal on something else. Your goal might be getting interviews in the location where you want to work, or in the field you want to work in.

Another good goal could be getting a certain percentage of interviews for the number of applications you put in, or it might be getting a number of completed applications done in a certain time frame. Focusing your goal on your applications or interviews will help you focus on the process of job searching, and not the end result you want (getting a job).

Keep track of your progress and celebrate weekly.

2. Plan Your Search

A plan will help you understand where you should be and when. It’s much like a map for your goals. Get your notebook (or open up a word document) and start writing your job search plan. Include your goals, what types of jobs you are going after, what job you are willing to accept, and what location your job needs to be in.

Next, write down your best skills and quantifiable achievements. It should lay out where to look for job opportunities and where to do research on job applications and job boards. It includes whether you should use a functional or chronological resume and how to follow-up follow up.

Remember that goals have to be realistic and measurable. Use weekly as your measure.

3. Stay Focused

Maintaining your focus is a vital aspect to prevent an overwhelming job search. The key is all about what you are focusing on. Focus on each aspect of your job search for a given period of time, and then move on to another aspect. You will circle back around to each of the aspects and do them more than once or twice during the process.

These are the pieces of the search to focus on:

  • Research job opportunities, job boards, and job application sites.
  • Tailor and customize your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for.
  • Research and practice interview skills.
  • Follow-up on interviews
  • Network – Chamber of Commerce, Professional Affiliations, Friends and friend of friends.
  • Personal Websites and social media – make sure these are up to date, professional and relevant. Make sure your social media sites do not have anything negative on them.

Focus equals 37-40 hours per week spent on your job search. Focus means you treat your job search as if it were your full time job. You get up every day and plan that day just like you would on the job.

Some time is budgeted to paperwork, research and office time while some other time is dedicated to interviews and networking. If you are not interviewing then you need to be networking.

 4. Do Something Else

This may sound like it contradicts the last item in the focus section but it does not. Even if you spend 37-40 hours per day working on your job search, there are still a lot of hours left in the week. Treat the job search like a job and work on it Mon-Fri for 37-40 hours unless there are networking activities in the evenings or on the weekend.

Do something else with your evenings and weekends. Do not spend 60 hours a week on the job search. This will certainly become overwhelming fast. Take time for physical activity. Go to the gym. Play on softball teams or go bowling. Whatever it is does not matter. The fact that you engage in some sort of physical activity is what matters.

5. Reward Yourself

Set some rewards for yourself throughout the process of the job hunt. You can vary the rewards, but keep the rewards attached to the different aspects of the process. Not only will this keep you from burn out, it will also help you to focus on the process.

Reasons for rewards could include: A certain number of applications researched and submitted; a certain number of interviews completed; a number of networking opportunities identified; a number of networking opportunities taken; certain number of job search business cards given out at networking opportunities.

Make a list at the start of the search of the rewards you are going to allow yourself and what you might have to do for it. Rewards can include anything you enjoy, and can be as simple as a five minute celebratory dance. Keep the rewards healthy.

Create Job Setting Goals and Map Out a Plan

Avoid an overwhelming job search by following these steps laid out above. Create some goals, write out a plan, do something else, and reward yourself. Job searching is a job in itself, and needs to be treated as such. With your plan you’ll complete your job search and reach your goals.

What techniques do you use to cope with an ongoing job search?