long job search

Navigating a painfully long job search? You’re not alone.

In the current hiring market, many candidates are suffering through a long job search. The process can easily become all consuming, wreaking havoc on your self-esteem. It’s natural to be disappointed when you don’t get an offer for a job you had your heart set on. But when you have found yourself in a trend of rejection that lasts for months, it’s all too easy to start wondering if something is wrong with you or your experience. So here are 5 things you need to know about your painfully long job search:

1. Taking a Break is OK:

When your job search isn’t going well, the tendency is to keep at it. But taking a break is a very necessary part of job searching. It helps recharge and allows you to gain some perspective. It can be for a weekend, a week or a month, but decide on a time frame that works with your needs and step away from job boards and all other job search related activities.

2. Your Worth is not Defined by Your Job:

We all know this intellectually. But after a few months of rejections, you may not be your most rational self. We have a natural inclination to interlace our self-worth with what we do for work. Being desired by employers boosts your self-confidence. So when we experience a wave of rejection, or worse, don’t hear anything after submitting resume upon resume to various jobs, it’s easy to take it personally. Remind yourself of all you’ve accomplished and that the right thing just hasn’t come. It’s like finding a life partner. It can take a good deal of time.

3. It’s OK to Say No to a Job You Really Don’t Want:

Our desire for change when we’re not happy in our current situation can be very strong. But don’t allow that desire to overshadow your decision making. You may be tempted to accept a job you don’t want or to start applying for other types of positions simply because you think you have a better chance of being hired. While it all depends on your personal set of circumstances, trust that eventually the right thing will come.

4. Stick to a Job Search Schedule:

You may be in relentless pursuit of a new opportunity, but that doesn’t mean you should stay glued to your computer researching jobs and organizations. It’s best to set a schedule for yourself so you don’t get overwhelmed or consumed by the process. Also remember that sometimes less is more, especially if you’re currently working. Get organized and set job search goals such as submitting to five quality jobs a week or networking with two new contacts a week. This way you remain focused, but still leave yourself time for other activities.

5. Networking is Going to be Critical:

Most people understand that networking is a key part of any job search. What they don’t understand is how to do it properly. The good news is that writing a response worthy networking email isn’t as hard as you think.

While your job search may be longer than you’d like, remember it is temporary. Do what you can to stay positive and surround yourself with a good support system. Change is inevitable, it just takes time.