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March 9, 2011
Stay Sane While Looking for a Job

In my work as a career coach, I often talk to job seekers who have been searching for months and getting no results. They've sent out hundreds of résumés, contacted everyone they know, and attended career events without any luck.

To get some relief from the debilitating self-doubt and confusion, you might take a step back to reconsider your strategy.

Often the only strategy is sending your résumé to as many job postings as possible. Logic tells you it’s a numbers game, and soon something will happen. However, that’s not the case in this market. It can make a difference to be more thoughtful as to where and how you apply.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I applying to jobs I’m qualified for?
  • If I’m reaching, am I writing an appropriate and effective cover letter?
  • If I’m overqualified for a job, have I altered my résumé and cover letter to explain why I’m willing to take such a role?
  • Have I run my cover letter by someone else to ensure it’s helping me? 
  • What have I always wanted to do if I had more time?
  • Am I sticking with some semblance of a routine?  
  • How early should I get up to begin my day?  
  • Do I get enough exercise?  
  • Can I find someone I know within a company after applying?
  • Did I follow up with any and all leads?
  • Have I run my résumé and portfolio by people I trust to see if it could use either some tweaking or an overhaul?
  • Am I staying on top of industry news and trends?
  • Am I taking advantage of this extra time to do something other than worry?   

The bottom line: It’s important to avoid letting self-doubt and anxiety take over. Sure, it’s going to come up on occasion, but take action, even if it’s just cleaning out your junk drawer. Do that, and then call a friend to see if he or she wants to go for coffee to help get you out of your head.

You are not alone. Many are experiencing this tough economy without a job and can help you get through it.

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Anne Hubben believes the only thing worse than looking for a job you want is looking for a job you don't want. Anne is a career coach and recruiter for creative talent.  She has been recruiting creatives in the design and advertising industry for 15 years and coaching them internationally for 4 years.  She can be found at AnneHubben.com where she offers free resources and creative career tips. Say hello on TwitterLinkedInFacebook, or Google+

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