On the Hunt: 10 Ways to Break Out of a Job Search Slump

Thursday, December 9th, 2010 9:00 am

In case you couldn’t tell by the voice of my last post, I am in a funk. For all my fellow dieters, I’ve reached my plateau. I was making progress in my job search, but now I don’t really know what my next step is going to be. So this week, I’m working on ways to get out of this slump! Here are my top 10 things I’m trying; some are personal and others came from the many career advice blogs I’ve been following.

1. Take a Break

Last week I was so worked up that the only way I knew how to come down from it was to not think about the job-hunt for an entire weekend. So, Friday through Sunday, I didn’t think about it. I didn’t visit job boards or look at my bank account. I simply enjoyed a nice weekend with my family putting up our Christmas decorations. Monday, I felt rejuvenated instead of defeated.

2. Change my vocabulary

“I feel like a failure” has been my motto for the past couple of weeks, and friends and family have been quick to correct me. From now on, failure will no longer be in my vocabulary. Along the same lines, I’m going to try to keep a positive attitude. I certainly don’t want future employers to be swayed by any negativity I may put off.

3. Change my routine

This article really spoke to me. I currently have a routine that is not only NOT working out for my job search, but not healthy for me personally. I wake up and go to bed later than I use to and some days don’t even get out of my pajamas. I need to set a routine so I’m not staring at the computer nine hours a day getting sidetrack because “I’ll have time to do that later.”

4. Stop worrying that I’m bothering people

I know how busy people are and how often they are probably contacted about a job, so I don’t like to be that pesky person that keeps emailing and calling until they don’t reply anymore. Usually I leave the ball in their court. If I send them an email and they don’t respond, I chalk it up to they are going in a different direction. I submitted an application last week and didn’t hear anything back. So, in an effort to get out of my funk, I emailed again asking the status of the job. This time, she replied back telling me she’ll pass my resume and writing samples on to her boss. This may seem like a no-brainer for some, but for me, it is a big deal!

5. Just start writing

I do love to write. I don’t do it very often, so to get out of my funk, I’m going to make it a goal to write something every day. Whether it’s a restaurant review on my blog, a chapter in the next great American novel I want to write or a Letter to the Editor of one of my favorite magazines.

6. Have daily goals

In the book A Piece of Cake, the author Cupcake Brown talks about her drug addiction. She said to get through it she had to take it one day at a time. I think if I start having small daily goals (say applying to five jobs in one day) my long-term goals will be easier to achieve.

7. Try to get in contact with people whose job I want

This could be a subheading of No. 4, but I’ve got to start talking to people I admire. I like to do things in person, but I shouldn’t be so shy. Advice is free, and most people love to give it!

8. Try bulk up my “Skills” section

This may seem like a gimme, but why not use this time to improve on my skills or learn something new. I took a class on HTML in college, but haven’t used it since. Now’s the perfect time to build back that knowledge.

9. Learn how to use social networking sites better

Yes, I’m on Linkedin.com, but I’m not sure how it is suppose to help me in my career. So, I’m vowing to learn to use these sites to help me.

10. Enjoy the holiday season

I may not be living in New York this season, but I cannot let that affect my spirits. This is such an important time to spend with family and I need to remember to be thankful that I get to spend it with mine. Plus, because I have more time, I’m now in charge of baking the Christmas cookies!

Samantha Hyde

Samantha Hyde graduated from the University of Texas in 2009. During her time spent in Austin, she interned and contributed to Austin Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Highways magazine. She served as president of the magazine club and editor-in-chief of a college magazine, burntORANGE. Her issue, “How to be a Longhorn,” won second place in general excellence at the 2009 AEJMC awards.

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