I’m writing this post because someone got to my blog using the words “why can’t I get a job anywhere” and it breaks my heart to know that there are so many job seekers out there scared and frustrated and not knowing what else they can do to finally find work. They hear reports that the employment picture is improving, but not for them. And it sucks.
If you are one of the job seekers feeling beaten down by the whole job search process and the system in general, I want to offer you some posts to hopefully help, even if only to get you some new momentum — which can be a bigger boost than you might think. But first, I just want to talk to you. OK?
What I want you to know about job search
I know many wonderful, talented people who have gone through lengthy job searches that made them start to question their own abilities … and whether they’d ever get a job again. But somehow, even if it takes what seems like forever, they do find work.
Although it is totally understandable, the one thing that can bring a job search to a screeching halt is starting to doubt yourself and what you have to offer. It shows when you network and when you interview. And you lose the extra edge that can get you in the door.
So above all … whatever it takes … believe that you have something special to offer an employer and that the right one will see it. And please don’t get stuck on all the things that you aren’t and all the folks who didn’t call you. Just know inside that somehow you will get yourself to someone who appreciates you exactly as you are.
Whoever you are. Wherever you live. Whatever your background or education. You have skills an employer can use. Please know that – even if the rejections start to make it seem impossible.
You may be surprised, but I’ve been there myself. And, of course, the trick is finally getting the right employer to see what you really have to offer. So let’s talk about how you can help them find you!
Getting yourself to that job you want
Where are you looking?
By the time you’ve reached this point of utter frustration, I’m sure you’ve looked lots of places. But if you’re not finding a job, then maybe, just maybe, there are some things you’ve missed. Here are a couple of posts that may help get you back on track:
♦ Where to Begin a Job Search (see esp. section 4)
What are you telling them about yourself?
Even the best of us have sent out resumes and cover letters that don’t help connect the dots well enough. They have a job they need to fill. And YOU need to help them see that what you’ve done and the skills you have really do match what they need.
Who are you asking for help?
When you’ve been looking for a while, you may feel embarrassed to go back to people you asked for help in the beginning. Or you may not even have wanted to bother them. Plus there are people you might not even have thought of.
Just one connection or even your story shared with someone you meet standing in line at the grocery store can sometimes make all the difference. And of course, you can find new connections via social media, especially perhaps someone from a school you went to, group you belong to, or interest you share.
This is not the time to be shy! Go with a strong sense of enthusiasm and direction (a clear story about what you want and why helps), so they can help you find something or at least someone else to speak with:
Is there a special situation you’re ignoring?
After looking for so long without getting an offer, it pays to examine anything that might be getting in the way of you landing a job. And then do something about it. Some articles to help:
Are you afraid to ruin your resume with the “wrong” job?
A job search that goes on and on may provide an opportunity for you to think about a different direction – at least for now. I get that you might not want to take a job that’s at a lower level than your last one or maybe even off your career path. But a two-year resume gap isn’t exactly going to win you the next job either.
So at least think about what else you can do. Consulting or freelance? Temp work? Something you’ve always wanted to try, despite your career path? Offering an employer who seems hesitant a chance to try you out before they “buy”? Or even volunteer work in your field. All of this not only can bolster your resume and find you fresh connections, but you start to carry yourself differently when you take action and are appreciated for it.
I can assure you that I went off my career path more than once during tough times. And using the techniques in my articles about resumes, cover letters, networking, etc. I got myself back – with a little patience and determination.
Some final thoughts
Many successful people have gone through times that seemed hopeless. Times that knocked them to the ground. But what got them back up was their inner resilience and a decision not to let circumstances and negative voices stop them from getting back up on their feet and eventually finding paths that welcomed them.
Sometimes a turn to the right or left can even open up new possibilities you never imagined. Just remember to keep believing in yourself. And know in your heart that you will find a way – even if you have to rethink some of what you are doing right now.
More articles to help