JOB SEARCH / APR. 08, 2014
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How to Keep Your Morale Up When You Can't Find a Job

Looking for work can be brutal. Recruiters receive an estimated 250 resumes for every corporate job opening, and they receive the first one within 200 seconds of the job being posted. With numbers like that, it’s not surprising that finding a job can take months. In fact, the industry rule of thumb is to allow one month for every $10,000 of the salary you want to earn. So, if you want to earn $40,000, you should expect your job search to take about four months. It can be tough to keep your morale up when you feel like you’re never going to find a job, but positivity is critical to your success.

No one is going to hire an applicant who seems frustrated or defeated. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to boost your morale:

Don’t Spend Unnecessary Money.

It’s normal to feel anxious when you don’t have any money coming in. But don’t turn that anxiety into panic by keeping your old spending habits. Cutting back where you can helps you weather unemployment and gives you back a feeling of control.

Set Daily Goals.

Speaking of a feeling of control, one way to accomplish that is to set daily goals. Whether it’s spending an hour seeing what your contacts are up to on LinkedIn, sending out a certain number of resumes, or making some phone calls, accomplishing something concrete is a huge morale booster.

Brush up on Your Skills.

Is there a particular skill set you always wanted to learn but never had time for? Now’s your chance to do so. Depending on what it is, you might not even need to spend any money. You can find tutorials for just about anything online, and a lot of them are free.

Stay Current With What’s Going on in Your Industry.

Things change incredibly fast these days, and, when you do have an interview, you don’t want to seem out of the loop. Hootsuite is an awesome tool for staying in touch because it lets you set up streams for keywords relevant to your career or industry. So if you’re looking for a job in marketing, you could set up streams for #marketing, #advertising, #socialmediamarketing, #contentmarketing, etc. You’ll find out what others in your field are talking about, and you’ll get links to lots of informative articles.

Exercise

Exercise has been proven to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, both of which are common in people who are unemployed. Not only does exercise release endorphins that boost your mood, it gives you something productive to do with your time, makes you healthier, and helps you sleep better at night. You don’t have to run marathons; a brisk walk around the neighborhood will work just fine.

Volunteer

There’s no better time to volunteer than when you’re looking for a job. Not only do you get the morale boost that comes from making a difference, volunteering also helps you feel productive and learn new skills. And there’s always the chance that volunteering will lead to a job.

Have fun.

Sometimes people who are having trouble finding work feel guilty if they take some time to do something just for fun. Don’t fall in this trap– it could be years before you have an opportunity like this again. Don’t spend money unwisely, but make the most of this chance to do things you’d never have time for if you were working. Read some good books, take up painting, do projects around the house, or get in shape. You don’t have to be miserable when you’re looking for a job. As long as you’re staying on top of the job search, there’s no reason you can’t have a little fun.

Your chances of landing your dream job are much higher if you’re not biting your nails to the quick and downing a pint of ice cream every day. Employers hire people who are confident and upbeat. Keeping your morale up is as critical to your job search as diligence, research, and networking.

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