If you were a robot job seeker, you could spend all eight unemployed hours everyday churning out resumes and cover letters, and probably have a very productive job search that didn’t bother you a bit. However, robots we aren’t, and the emotional toll of a job search needs to be taken into account. Looking for a job can be discouraging and the gloominess grows as the search lengthens. This is terrible for the productivity of a job search— not to mention your personal life— and should be avoided at all costs. Earlier this summer we talked about some great changes to make in your routine in order to avoid job search depression. Now, here are three things you can do right now to make you feel better about punching out one more cover letter.
Set up a reward system for yourself. I often set up a schedule where I fill out one job application, and then I watch one episode of a TV show. On the days when I really stick to this all day long, by the end of the day I’ve filled out between 5 to 10 applications. Have I also watched a lot of television? Well, yes! But if I had just sat down and tried to fill out 10 job applications without small breaks I probably would have clawed my eyes out. Switch up rewards often. Try going for a walk, reading a book or even working on another project. I’ve been painting a room in my house and that also serves as a great break from job hunting (and still very productive).
Do something nice for someone else. Job hunting can be a horribly self-involved process (understandably so!). This is especially inconvenient because you might be going through a tricky time right now. Take some of the pressure off by focusing on someone else. Surprise someone you live with by making a nice lunch for them, find a volunteer project or even bake homemade treats for your puppy. Not only will reaching out to others increase your popularity, it will also help you make some connections you might not otherwise have made.
Incorporate games into your job search. Who says job hunting has to be boring? The Star Journal suggests that you can make your job search as fun as possible by incorporating frivolity into the drudgery. Make a scoreboard for yourself, and anyone else you know who is also looking for a job. Get some colorful markers and keep track of applications, interviews and offers. If you know someone else who is searching for a job, have contests to see who can complete the most applications in a day. Winner doesn’t have to buy the drinks. Combat disappointment by taping rejection letters to a dart board, or having a group bonfire. (Safety first on both of those things!)
It can be difficult to stay positive during a job search, but by punctuating the hard work with fun and charity it may not seem so bad. Best of luck—I’m pulling for you!
How do you beat the job search blues? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb #searchingsucks
IMAGE: Courtesy of Wikipedia