When the going gets tough...how to maintain momentum in your job search

Written by
Changeboard Team

20 May 2011

20 May 2011 • by Changeboard Team

Dealing with setbacks in your job hunt

How can you stay resilient in the face of refusal? I firmly believe that the key to finding another job is a game of two halves. The first part is the easier of the two, this involves getting your structure and processes polished and squeaky clean so they sparkle to prospective recruiters. For example re-drafting and updating your CV, targeting the right agencies, getting good RSS feeds set up etc.

The second half is often harder to achieve. This involves staying up beat and continually positive, to keep job searching when you really don’t feel like it. 

This a comment from a client who has just landed a job that I have been working with: ‘I must admit the whole process took me a lot longer than I first thought it would, and I found it difficult getting continuous knock backs with little or no feedback as to why somebody else was selected over me.’

So what can you do? Here are 5 steps to help keep you on track and feeling resourceful.

Enlist a team of supporters

If you are no longer working suddenly the structure of work has gone and you no longer have people around you. So recruiting a team of your own personal supporters is needed. These can be friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, in short anyone who you can rely on to have a chat to, give you some honest feedback, and even buy you a beer or a glass of wine when it's most needed.

It's very easy to let the whole thing get you down and this can lead you into the spiral of self doubt. People you know will want to help, so let them. Sometimes a friendly word makes all the difference.

Manage your performance

Great athletes know that they can’t perform at 100%, for 100% of the time and neither can you. Through practice they have perfected the art of warm up, peak performance and cool down. Adopting these tactics can conserve your physical and emotional energy. 

So identify the best time of day for you, this is when you work at your optimum levels. Are you an early lark or a night owl? Use your best time of day for your peak performance work, these are the tasks that require high concentration and energy levels for example telephone interviews and applications.

Build joint ventures

I encourage clients to identify, build and most importantly keep their network in place.

Steve who is in IT said: ‘this helped me to get job leads and assisted with presentations for interviews, and let me keep abreast of the commercial world. I also kept in touch with other folk who had been made redundant at the same time as me, it was often good to talk to people who knew exactly how you feel. We would give each other job leads and point recruiters in each other's direction if we weren't interested ourselves’.

Get your head in gear

How we manage our inner strengths and the little chatter box voice that we all have, the voice that talks to us day in day out, will often be more responsible for us getting a job than our skill set. 

Taming your chatter box and making it work for you, rather than against you takes practice. Start by listening to what you are saying to yourself. What do you hear? Are you talking positive or negative?

Reflect, learn & move on

While your overall goal is to land a new job, chunking down the tasks you need to complete to get you there makes it seem manageable.  ake some time each Friday to reflect back on your week and answer these questions:-

  • What have you achieved? 
  • What has taken you closer to your goal?
  • What has moved you further away from this?
  • What can you learn from the experience to make sure it isn’t replicated next week?

Nobody enjoys being rejected, so recognising in advance that it is potentially going to happen and thinking about how you will handle this if it does. Combining this with some proactive steps will provide you with some valuable learning that you can use to make your job search more effective, it can also stand you in good stead for when you move forward into your new role.