Finding a New Job: Don’t Give Up!

Through no fault of your own, you are now unemployed. All the while, you have bills to pay, children to support, and a waning self-respect as you join the millions of jobless Americans. Let’s be frank, these are extremely difficult times; times like these are ones you would never wish on anybody. So what is a job seeker to do in these times of uncertainty?

First of all, you should never give up hope. As anyone will ever tell you, time heals all wounds, and this is not an exception. You are allowed to grieve and be angry about your current situation, but you are never allowed to give up. As Kevin F. says in 5 Tips for Surviving Unemployment, “Life is more about recovering from failure and maintaining composure through hardship than it is achieving success…all of those factors contributing to your joblessness need to serve as motivators to bite the bullet that much harder.” The sooner you can pick up your feet, the better. So where should you start?

1. Your resume. Let’s get back to the basics. Is your resume in order? Is it current and up to date? Are you confident that this is the best resume that you can present to any prospective employers? If you answered “no” to any of these, we now know where to begin. No, this blog isn’t Resume Writing 101, so I won’t go into the details of how to write a resume. What I will say is that after you are happy with it, find somebody whom you trust to look it over and tell you where you can improve, then make changes and find somebody else to critique it again. Do this enough times until you are certain this is the best resume on the face of the Earth. Now, we can proceed to the next step.

2. The job boards are some of the best sources for finding a new job, but at the same time, they can often be the worst. They are great because they can give you an idea of what current positions are looking like and what is fresh and new on the job market. They are the worst because you can apply to places (sometimes in the hundreds) and never receive a response, making you feel worthless as a job seeker. Fret not; don’t let it discount you as a person. There may be a ton of reasons why you aren’t getting a call back from the company to which you’re applying, so don’t just assume you aren’t what they are looking for. Do your best to follow up with the company. Find out the name of the HR Manager and ask to speak with him or her directly. I won’t say, “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” because it’s very possible that nobody is actually there to talk to you. I will say, however, you shouldn’t balk at the first “no.” If the HR Manager isn’t available, speak with the manager of the hiring department; if that person isn’t available, you could try to be connected with that department in general. Again, don’t give up on finding a new job.

3. Your network. Probably one of the best sources that one has to find jobs is a network. Let your friends and family know that you are job-seeking. They are the ones who want to see you succeed most of all. Just last week, I had a friend announce on Facebook that he had just been fired. To my not-surprise, several people (myself included) commented that they know of openings for which he may be a good fit. There are people who actively want to help you in finding a new job. Don’t ever forget that.

4. Your attitude. Lastly, and probably one of the most important things, is to keep a positive frame of mind. I know, that’s easier said than done. Trust me; I have been in your shoes before. I was underemployed for a year and it took me three years to find the job I was searching for (let’s hope it doesn’t take you that long!). No, I wasn’t positive the whole time. Nobody would ever blame me or you for occasionally letting your hope wane. But, when you notice that it’s waning, you can choose whether to give up or pick up the pieces. I’ll make it easy for you–giving up is not and should never be an option. Once again, time heals all wounds. Give it time and patience and you will find yourself back on your feet.

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