Ideally, everyone would view the job search as an exciting and invigorating opportunity. In reality, the process can be stressful, exhausting and emotionally draining, particularly when coping with rejection, financial hardships or uncertainty about the future.
It’s important to recognize that job searching doesn’t have to be a negative experience. The co-authors of Make Job Loss Work for You, Richard Deems and Terri Deems, believe there are several small steps you can take to conduct a faster, more rewarding job search.
"Candidates who are out on the streets talking and meeting with people are those who maintain their energy and confidence," they explain. "On the other hand, those who sit back at home and merely mail out their resumes are often those who get discouraged. The feedback they get during the job search comes from receiving either no response or some form of a rejection letter. With each rejection letter, the body cringes and shrivels a little bit more."
In their book, the Deems father-and-daughter duo offers some additional tips to help jobseekers boost their drive during the job search:
• Set up some kind of ‘office’ where you can direct your job search. Make this a place where you can take calls, handle correspondence, and keep track of your research and other information. A separate room (such as a spare bedroom) works best, but even a corner in the basement can help.
You will need a desk, chair, phone, computer, Internet access, space to file materials and information, and space to work. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be comfortable and provide you with the privacy needed to direct your plan for action. When you are in this space, you are ‘at work.’
• Maintain your normal schedule. Don’t sleep late. Get dressed each morning, just as if you were going to be out talking to people – because you probably will. One successful person with whom we worked sat down at his ‘office’ every morning at 7:30, coffee in hand, and read the local and national newspapers, just as he had for ten years prior. His reaction: "It really helped!"
• Participate in some kind of physical fitness program. Some people jog, walk, play golf, lift weights, dance, or do other forms of exercise. The important thing is that you’re doing something! Remember, exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety and enables you to think more clearly. Exercise also releases body chemicals that help keep depression away. If you’re a bit overweight, the extra exercise can help reduce the pounds and simply help you feel better about yourself.
• Watch your diet and eat right. Eat balanced, reasonable-sized meals. Excessive coffee can increase tension and appetite. Excessive alcohol can dull your thinking ability (plus add weight). Excessive sweets and sugars can increase tension and irritability.
• View your daily activity as fulfilling your ‘job requirements.’ It is helpful to see yourself as ‘employed,’ except now your job is to find a new position in another company as quickly as possible.
• Set weekly and daily goals in terms of contacts to make and research to conduct. Keep a record of your activity. People who devote four to eight hours per day to their job search become ‘JobGetters’ faster than those who devote only a few hours each week. Take time on Mondays to set up those goals, and review your progress every Friday.
• Maintain your physical appearance. First impressions are important and you will want to look good. For some, this may mean investing in a new outfit for upcoming interviews. An investment in a job-winning wardrobe can often have a tremendous payback in terms of higher salary in the next position. If finances are a major concern, look for the recycled-clothing shops or job-search ‘closets’ that exist in many cities.
Excerpted from Make Job Loss Work for You by Richard Deems, PhD, and Terri Deems, PhD. The book is available on Amazon.com, at all major bookstores, and from the publisher (jist.com or 1.800.648.JIST).
Selena Dehne is a publicist and blogger for JIST Publishing.