Job Search Tips Work-Life Balance

Cheer Up Your Job Search

Avoid Job Search Blues
Written by Miranda Pennington

At The Huffington Post Blog, author Mary Eileen Williams has tips for surefire strategies to help boost your job search over some of its biggest hurdles. Looking for work is discouraging and stressful–but it doesn’t have to be a dismal business.

Avoid Isolation:

As a natural introvert, when I was first laid off I thought having time alone to decompress and job hunt in peace would be a good thing. But before my first two weeks of unemployment had elapsed, I was feeling lonely and forgotten by my working friends. Williams suggests you get right back on the horse–network with new friends, keep up with old friends, and stay busy. She proposes you look into joining professional associations, volunteer in related fields, find job-hunting running buddies to keep each other company, and build up morale.

Practice Proactive Stress Reduction:

I’m a first class wallower when it’s time to brood over bad news or unfortunate timing. Don’t be afraid to indulge in a little time off. But I knew my stretch of unemployment sulking was about to turn around when I started finding low stakes projects around my apartment. Clean out your closet, organize your desk, stock up on job hunting supplies like resume paper, pens and a portfolio. Accomplishing small tasks gives you momentum and builds esteem for tackling the bigger objectives. Vent to your friends, but keep your correspondence with potential professional contacts upbeat and lively.

Set Yourself Up For Success:

One of the hardest things about being unemployed is feeling like you have no control over your job situation. But the tools you do have at your disposal can help you regain a sense of balance. Take a class, pursue a certification, ask for some informational interviews in industries or at companies you’ve been interested in. There are dozens of resources online and at your alma mater’s career center that can get your wheels moving. You won’t miss a beat when you’re back on the job.

Remember to practice non-tangible self-care too–speak gently to yourself, even when you’re frustrated, and make sure you’re eating, exercising and sleeping appropriately. Your job search may not turn around overnight, but if you put all your focus and enthusiasm into the hunt, you’ll find ways to make even the smallest accomplishments feel like progress.

About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.