Anyone who has spent time over the last year seeking employment will know how fierce the job market is. Having been in this position myself for the past few months, I speak from experience when I say that the monotonous routine of scouring the Internet and newspapers for hours and hours everyday, just to be turned down time and time again, is a long and often spirit-breaking process. Thankfully, after months of applying for hundreds of jobs, I am finally employed- but there were many times over the last few months when I wanted to just give up, crawl into my bed and accept my terminally unemployed status. This inspired me to put together a survival guide of sorts, to help battle the ‘unemployment blues’ and keep you sane whilst you search for your next career.
Plan your day: This is something I cannot stress strongly enough. Floating through the day with no plan whatsoever will not help you to get a job, and it certainly will not help you to feel better about your current position. What do you want to achieve by the end of the day? Are there specific tasks that need to be prioritised? How many jobs do you want to apply for today? These are some of the most basic questions that I would ask myself at the start of each day, in order to put together a plan of how my day would map out. Having a plan will keep you focused, and give you motivation to keep going with your search.
Know what you’re looking for: Going into a job search with no idea of what you are actually looking for is, in my opinion, counter-productive. Knowing what sector you want to gain employment in will help simplify your search- allowing you to spend more time focusing on your skills and what you could offer an employer.
Apply for positions you are relevant for: There is nothing more disheartening than the dreaded ‘Your Application Has Not Been Successful’ email. Applying for positions that you are relevant for in terms of qualifications and experience is a full proof way of limiting such emails. If an employer is asking for a certain amount of experience, or a certain qualification that you do not possess, applying for such positions is a waste of your time. Apply for positions where you fit the criteria and know that you can offer the employer what they are looking for- and your chances of success are much higher.
Don’t beat yourself up: Whatever the reason for your unemployment- do not beat yourself up. Look forward to the future and let go of the past. Focus on your next position and the new life that you can create for yourself, instead of focusing on any negatives that may lie in the past. Apply for as many jobs as possible, but also make sure that you take time for yourself.
I can only speak from my own experience, but keeping these points in mind definitely helped me when applying for jobs and dealing with the unfortunate depression that can come from many months of trying but not succeeding. Good luck with your search!