Stuck in a job search rut? 5 tips to get unstuck

Searching for a job hunting can be mentally exhausting, and can take a real toll on your health and wellbeing. Many people suffer a crisis of confidence, especially if they have been job hunting for a while and have already experienced multiple rejections.

Sometimes it can feel like everyone else knows what they’re doing, and you’re the only one left looking for your dream job.

Here are 5 tips to help you keep going after experiencing (another) rejection:

1. Remind yourself of your strengths

Be clear on your strengths – not just what you can do, but what you enjoy doing too. Make a list of everything you have achieved so far in your life. Think big and small, old and recent, and things in both your personal and professional life. Keep the list visible and refer back to it when you feel self-doubt creeping in.

Reflect on your values, and what is most important to you in your next role. You may also want to reflect on what skills you have built up, and specific examples of when you have demonstrated these. These reflections will come in handy when you are completing job applications and interviews, as well.

2. Be crystal clear on what you’re looking for

When we’re looking for a job, it can be tempting to apply everywhere and anywhere. However, taking a broad-brush, scattergun approach by randomly submitting a high volume of mediocre applications can lead to lots of rejections, frustration, and no job offers.

Be clear on the exact type of role you are looking for, and at what type of company, and don’t waste time applying to places that you wouldn’t be excited to work for. Write down your preferences (nice to haves) and your dealbreakers (must haves) for your next job – with regards to salary, location, flexible working, company size etc.

3. Connect with others

Networking is a loaded word, and many people cringe when they hear the term. At a basic level, networking is simply about connecting and having conversations with others. It doesn’t need to be scary; you can do it in your own way and on your own terms.

Talk to friends and family about what roles you are interested in, and ask if they know anyone they could introduce you to. Focus on being curious and asking questions to increase your knowledge of the company/role, rather than asking for favours or for a job.

4. Attend more events

There are so many different events to consider attending – from workshops, webinars, or industry and interest meet-ups, to name a few. Some of them may not be labelled as ‘networking’ events, but all events like these offer the potential for creating connections.

Some of these events are held online, but still involve the potential for real-time interactions with people. Networking can happen through any events you attend – whether held in ‘real life’ or online.

Follow-up is crucial after these events. Panellists are often mobbed on the night, but people rarely make the effort afterwards. A personalised thank you note with a thoughtful or considered follow-up question can make all the difference.

5. Find yourself an accountability buddy

Find a friend who is up for having regular accountability check-ins with you. Diarise a regular catch up every two weeks or so, and share your achievements and challenges with each other.

It’s important to leave with a clear list of actions and next steps, to help keep momentum up in between sessions. Make sure you pick someone who is up for the challenge, and will be willing to motivate and encourage you if you don’t stick to your plan!

Written by Hannah Salton – read more about Hannah here:

Hannah is a qualified executive coach, career consultant and former corporate recruiter. She spent the first eight years of her career recruiting talent for top international corporations, including telecoms giant BT and elite law firm Allen & Overy. 

To find out more about Hannah’s career coaching programmes you can visit her website, and for more job search tips you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Her first book ‘Graduate Careers Uncovered: Tools and insights from a former recruiter to demystify your job search’ is available to buy now on Amazon.

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