Whether you’ve been searching for a job for just a few days or more than a year, it’s easy to become discouraged. The continual hunt for new openings, tweaking your resume over and over, rewriting your cover letter for the hundredth-time, and going through the roller coaster of emotions is enough to make anyone want to give up. But giving up isn’t how you land a job.
Unfortunately, millions of other Americans have stopped being persistent and have fallen into defeat. This current phenomenon is the focus of a recent Express Employment Professionals white paper. The Great Shift highlights the recent decline in America’s labor force participation rate, which describes the percentage of working-age adults that are either actively searching for a job or currently working. Today, the rate stands at 63.4%, a level not seen since the 1970s. As the white paper points out, that rate means “among the estimated 89.9 million Americans not in the labor force as of July 2013, at least 6.6 million still want a job.”
Those are some pretty bleak numbers. To get the full picture of the situation and learn why it’s happening, you can check out Express white paper.
It would be easy to let these facts dissuade you from continuing your hunt. However there is something that sets you apart from those millions of Americans, and that one thing is you. While you may not be able to give yourself a job, you do have the ability to NOT give up. Staying hopeful and remaining persistent is the name of the game, and there are some practical ways to keep yourself from losing momentum.
Searching for a job is practically a full-time job in its own rite, so treat it like one. Set daily and weekly goals for yourself, such as spending a certain amount of time each day looking through online job boards or applying for a specific number of positions per week. This will keep you moving forward and give you achievable short-term targets to hit along the way.
Review Your Skills
If you haven’t already, take an inventory of your skills. Consider both your hard skills, like education and work experiences, and your soft skills, such as time management and flexibility. Are there skills listed in the jobs you’ve been applying for that you lack? Do you have the top three hard skills employers want to see in a job candidate? If there are areas you need to work on, make a plan to grow those specific skills as you continue the hunt.
Check Your Expectations
No one wants to be in a job they’re over-qualified for, but turning down a job when you’re out of work just because it doesn’t meet your expectations isn’t the best move. In the argument between underemployed and unemployed, underemployed wins out. So don’t derail your job search by saying “no thank you” to a legitimate job and then buying into the idea that there is nothing out there. You can always take the job and still keep looking.
Don’t let yourself become another worker who’s given up and called it quits. Being persistent will pay off in the end. Share your ideas for staying positive and persistent during a job search in the comments section below.