How to Avoid Feelings of Job Search Failure

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

A job search is no small undertaking. It can be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating.

And if you’re not careful, it can quickly become overwhelming.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to have regular check-ins with yourself. Ask yourself how you feel about your job search and if you’re still excited about your prospects.

If your motivation is dwindling, take a step back and reassess your approach.

You might find that taking an organized approach and strategically including specific components of your search will deflate some of your anxiety and help keep your job search on track.

Avoid Job Search Collapse

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A job search is probably not on anyone’s list of favorite ways to spend their time. But it doesn’t have to be miserable either.

By following some simple tips, you can stay on track and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

1. Don’t Procrastinate

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Job hunting can be daunting, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. But putting off your job search will only make it harder to find a job that you’re passionate about.

This is especially true if you weren’t anticipating having to look for a job. The longer you take to absorb your new status, the higher the chances you’ll succumb to anxiety and overwhelm.

Rather than taking a few days to acclimate, use those emotions to gain momentum and dig into finding new opportunities.

Then, once you find jobs to apply for, don’t simply put them on a sticky note. Instead, add them to your spreadsheet or jobs tracker to ensure you’ll feel in control and follow up appropriately.

2. Get Organized

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Along those lines, your first step should be to ensure that you have a clear plan.

What kind of job are you looking for? What are your goals for the next 30, 60, and 90 days? Having a clear objective will help to keep you focused and on track.

It’s also important to decide what type of flex you’re looking for. Are you interested in full-time, remote work or possibly a hybrid role? Having guidelines around what you’re looking for will help you narrow and focus your search.

And being organized can ensure that you’re following up with recruiters promptly, which is often crucial to landing the interview.

3. Balance Your Perspective

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Even though it can seem like it at times, your job search won’t last forever, and there are ways to keep a balanced perspective:

  1. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your job search. For every rejection, find one way you can improve and view it as one step closer to finding the right job.
  2. Take some time for yourself every day. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, use that time to do something you enjoy outside your job search. Whether reading, taking a walk, or talking to friends and family, giving yourself some time to relax will help you recharge and maintain your energy levels.
  3. Remember that your job search is just one part of your life. Try and make sure you’re treating it that way. Don’t forget to schedule days off and even short vacations if it stretches out for a bit.

In short, don’t let it consume you. Maintain a healthy balance between your job search and the rest of your life.

You’ll be better equipped to present yourself as a balanced professional to recruiters and avoid crippling your job search momentum.

4. Prepare for Rejection

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Rejection is difficult to swallow, but it’s an inevitable part of the job search process. Even the most successful leaders face rejections when they’re not an excellent fit for an organization.

It’s imperative to continue looking for a job even if you have a promising role in your sights. Many things outside your control might factor into a rejection, so preparing for it is essential.

If you receive a “thank you, but we’re moving on” email, don’t let it throw you off track. Keep in mind that there are many other job opportunities out there.

Remember that a rejection is not indicative of your worth as a professional; a rejection is simply a logistical roadblock you’ll ultimately overcome. You’ll eventually find an ideal role with the right attitude and persistence.

5. Equalize Your Approach

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One of the best ways to maintain your positive outlook is by being proactive as well as reactive. Instead of only spending your time and energy on job search responses, balance with tasks that build your hireability.

That might include networking, gaining industry certifications, and streamlining your online presence—all of which are aspects of your personal brand.

Your personal brand is the image you project to potential employers, and it can make a big difference in whether or not you get hired.

Make sure that your resume and online presence support each other and reflect the professional image you want to project. Pay attention to the language you use, the photos you post, and the way you present yourself online.

All of these things will play a role in shaping a hiring manager’s perspective of you. If you put in the effort to create a solid personal brand, you’ll be more likely to attract employers looking for candidates with your skills and experience.

6. Seek Input and Support

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It’s helpful to have a team of supportive people to help you through job search challenges.

These could be friends, family members, or professional contacts. They can offer advice, moral support, and practical help proofreading your resume or practice mock interviewing with you.

Consider investing in professional career coaches who can give you actionable feedback to help you stand out from the competition. Having a supportive team in your corner can help you maintain your positive momentum.

7. Put Your Best Foot Forward

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Finally, it’s important to remember that quality is more important than quantity when applying for jobs. Instead of panic-applying to a ton of jobs and hoping for the best, take the time to research companies and tailor your submissions.

This will demonstrate to potential employers that you’re invested in the opportunity and have the skills and experience they’re looking for.

With a little effort, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Keeping Your Job Search on Track

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A successful job search takes planning, preparation, and some dedicated and focused work. Because our jobs affect so many different aspects of our lives, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and anxious when staring down a job search.

However, by implementing a job search plan and keeping your professional image up to date and clean, you’ll find and attract opportunities in no time.

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