When Your Job Hunt is Stalled

Give up your job seeking--for a couple of hours. Then hunker down and intensify your hunt.

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Karen Burns
After you’ve been on the job hunt for a while, you may start to think nothing will work. You may start to feel very negative about your prospects. You may even want to give up.

Unfortunately, you still have bills to pay, and you still need to find a job. So here are two suggestions on how to persevere:

First, Do Less.

Pick a day, any day. On that day, stop looking for a job. Instead, take a little morning or afternoon trip to somewhere you’ve never been. This doesn’t need to cost money. It can be as simple as hopping on a bus to a part of the city you’ve never visited, or taking yourself on a long country walk. The point is to put yourself in new surroundings. When we visit unfamiliar places our brains are freer to think unfamiliar thoughts. We get “brainstorms.” We gain perspective. We feel reenergized.

Second, Do More:

Let’s face it. Job hunting is a numbers game. The more connections you make, the more letters you write, the more networking functions you attend, the more cold calls you make, the more interviews you go on, the more likely you are to find The One. Of course you feel you are already doing a lot in your job search. But chances are you’re not doing enough. So do all these things more. More, even, than you think is “reasonable.” Because the more you try, at anything, the more you increase your odds of success.

Hang in there. Be kind to yourself. Keep trying. You can do it.

Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009 (but available now for pre order at Amazon!). She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .