Staying Motivated During A Frustrating Job Search

Robin Schwartz

Staying Motivated During A Frustrating Job Search

Whether you are in the market for a new job opportunity or stressed because you are currently unemployed, searching for the right job can be a long and frustrating process. We read dozens of job descriptions and job postings and think, “that’s perfect for me!” only to never hear back after sending in our resumes for consideration.

The longer this goes on, the more infuriated and strained the process makes us feel. We can’t control the hiring process of a company, but we can focus on what we are able to control.

Make Specific Goals

Instead of spending endless hours searching job boards and hoping you receive a call back, set specific job search-related goals to meet every day or every week.

Examples might include reaching out to two former colleagues a week or introducing yourself to one new industry member every month.

By giving yourself concrete objectives to strive for, you can continue to feel like you are making progress in your search instead of feeling frustrated you have not yet secured a new job. Developing and meeting set goals may also allow you to visualize your search process and determine if there are any gaps which need to be addressed.

Develop Your LinkedIn Presence

If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, create one. Even if you have an aversion to technology or don’t think yourself to be savvy enough, developing a professional social network in this day and age can give a huge boost to your job search.

If you don’t feel comfortable going into detail about your employer or specific duties, leave some of those items out of your profile. You want to make yourself searchable to recruiters and hiring managers who are seeking passive candidates with the right skill sets.

Connect with current and former co-workers on the platform. Don’t hesitate to reach out to connect with other industry professionals and leaders in your area of expertise, even if you don’t know them. You want to create opportunities to reach out about possible job openings in the future.

Seek Feedback

Those who often support you will likely be willing to provide you the constructive feedback you need should you ask them to. The co-worker you are close to, the sister-in-law in HR or even a spouse or partner may be valuable resources to tap.

Ask them to look at your resume or practice going over standard interview questions. If you ask those you trust to provide some critiques you can use to better yourself, they will deliver.


If you have the opportunity, join applicable professional organizations in your area to meet others in your industry. Often, these organizations hold happy hours or events where the sole purpose is to mingle and discuss your job and career path.

You can guarantee there are always a few mangers or leaders looking for new talent!

If you don’t think of yourself as a very extroverted person and introducing yourself to strangers isn’t in your comfort zone, talk to those you already know and feel comfortable around.

Open up to your family and close friends about your career ideas and let them know you might be considering other opportunities. You never know if they have contacts that might help you if you don’t tell them you are looking!

Get in touch with a few former colleagues you respected and invite them to catch up over coffee. You can talk about where your careers have gone since you last worked together. It’s a great opportunity to sow the seed that you might be looking for a new position.

Your former colleague will probably keep you in mind if he/she hears of anything.

Celebrate Small Victories

Instead of waiting until you land the job of your dreams to pop the champagne, celebrate the small victories during the search process. Landing a phone interview or in-person interview with an elite organization is not something to dismiss.

Even if it did not translate into a new job opportunity, acknowledge how difficult it was to even get your foot in the door or have a conversation with the hiring team. Take the time to appreciate the efforts you are putting in and reward yourself for them.

Take Some Time Off

Applying to jobs, editing resumes, drafting cover letters, interviewing, etc. can be exhausting. It’s important the job search doesn’t take over your entire life. Limit yourself to the amount of time you search online job boards every day and edit/submit resumes for consideration.

If possible, give yourself a couple days off from thinking about your job search each week so you can refocus your efforts.

Getting discouraged early in the process will only make your job search even more frustrating. Realize that your job search efforts will eventually pay off; you just need to be patient and proactive.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz has nearly a decade of experience providing HR expertise to employees and management in higher education. Her broad experience includes benefits, compensation, performance management, employee relations, payroll, talent acquisition and management. She received her masters degree from American Military University and maintains a PHR certification.

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