Managing The Job Search Rollercoaster

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Don Benenson, SPHR, is the owner of MVP Resumes. He has over 30+ years of corporate HR experience and happily helps clients with resume preparation and interviewing skills. He can be reached at 
631-428-5877 or at
mvpresumes@yahoo.com

Like a rollercoaster ride, a job search in today’s ultra-competitive market can make you queasy. Hopefully, you will experience more ups than downs, but truth be told, for all too many job seekers the ride is far more exhausting than exhilarating.

Manage Your Mindset
Managing your mindset is the most important goal to achieve.  Have you ever met anyone who derives pleasure from feeling ignored and being rejected?  Job #1 is staying mentally tough when you have every right to feel anger, frustration and annoyance. When you’re tempted to throw in the towel, do your best to focus on a statistical truth….every resume you’ve submitted that has been ignored is bringing you one step closer to the one that will generate a phone call back.

Simple Plans Are Easy to Execute
You can’t eat an elephant in one bite and you can’t effectively execute an overwhelming job search plan. I encourage you to have a master plan that covers a lot of activities. Then break it down to manageable tasks that you know you are committed to. For example, if you decided to identify all the executive recruiting firms that work within the NY-metro area, then go a step further and make your objective to identify at least 25 a week. If you remained steadfast in your resolve, you’d have been able to send your resume out to 100 firms within 30 days. Focus on getting a few tasks accomplished daily at a very high quality level versus working through a lengthy to do list. 

Avoid Spray and Pray
It may take between 4-9 months for a job seeker to get the role he wants. The “spray and pray” tactic certainly occupies time and enables the job seeker to feel good that they worked for 10 hours and applied to numerous positions. Unfortunately, this approach typically doesn’t get the phone to start ringing which further exasperates the emotional rollercoaster involved in a job search.

Avoid the Crash and Burn Stage
When you’d prefer having a tooth extracted than applying to another job, you’ve reached the crash and burn stage.

Build frequent downtime periods into your overall job search. Make believe you’re working Monday-Friday from 9 to 5. Go at it hard, but when the day is done, relax and try to completely forget about finding a job. Don’t sacrifice your family time to hammer out another resume submittal. 

If you don’t “get off the grid”, all the negative aspects of looking for a job become even more frustrating and eventually, you will reach a point where you can’t seem to motivate yourself to do anything at all.

Stay balanced and mentally strong. Remember that this is a numbers game and like Lotto, “you got to be in it to win it”.