Staying Motivated and Organizing Your Day During an Extended Job Search

Following are Suggestions from Linked-In Members to the above Title…feel free to add yours… 

  “I know no matter how bad the situation is it will not last forever. Eventually it will get better” C.B.

 “I am an eternal optimist. I remain focused on the things that are within my control. People want to associate themselves with winners not victims and this remains foremost in my mind. I endured 15 months of unemployment in the 2001 – 2002 time period and it was essential for me to feel engaged. I researched job boards each day and judiciously followed up every submission. I maintain a database of all submissions and every associated interaction. My goal is to interact with a human and initiate dialog and when possible elicit feedback regarding my suitability for the position. I was able to keep a pulse on the emerging marketplace, establish a short list of contacts to continuously reach out to. In this current downturn I have been unemployed since November 2008 and the aforementioned methodology has served me well uncovering 4 probable opportunities.” R.L. 

“I do not associate with anyone else who is looking for work. I am sick of playing Oprah to a bunch of whiners” JQ 

“Besides looking for a job and networking on a daily basis, I also volunteer at several organizations and I teach. This gives me a positive feedback on myself and my skills. I also spend more time on my favorite physical activites like running and garden” GN

“1) Exercise early–keep a schedule
2) Good ideas arise while burning off the stress
3) Return home and follow-up on the ideas and/or calls you thought of
4) Review your CV to try and make it more focused on the questions you may have heard at a recent telephone or F2F interview
5) Go to your library and look into self-help section
6) Take out books on tape to listen to while exercising
7) Increase your network by at least a few people each day
8) Review job postings daily
9) Apply for all appropriate positions
10) Keep in touch 1-2 times a week with key recruiters” LP

“Simply block out the negative news (don’t listen to it) and keep pressing on to the goals I have set for myself” SE“What motivates me to get moving each morning is the impact this situation is having on my immediate family. I work 8-10 hours each and every day scouring the job boards, connecting with colleagues and friends, calling recruiters and attending job fairs. I have extended my search to every area of the US and considered other occupations to apply my experience and skills.My family is relying on me and I will do everything in my power not to let them down”. RG

“Every day you’ve got to get up and Play Hard!….stay focused and be persistent in your job search regardless of the slow job market. Companies will start the hiring process for 2010 in the fall.” SF

“While I’m home, I keep busy searching for jobs, exercising, walking around the neighborhood or park, tackling special household cleaning projects that get neglected while working, staying in close contact with friends, offering help, when needed, to family, etc. I try to use this time productively to do things I would not be able to accomplish when working.We have all been through tough economic times, and I’m certain things will turn around as they always have.” PK

“I need to review my accomplishments, my health, family and work career. Remember positive feed backs from the patients, friend, family members and colleagues. Find positive friends and environment, stay and spend more time with them. If that is an obligation to work with the negative work or envorinment, then I read the resume of the people from whom I have been surrounded and then try to find way to endorse, encourage and motivate them so as to provide a breathtaking environment for myself” MAB

”I was an IT desk side support/trainer for over 8 years. When I was first laid off in February I was really gung-ho. Now it is very depressing. The only job related things that I do now are attend meet ups, webinars like yours and accept the few and far between offers that come my way from head hunters.NY State Unemployment has offered to pay for and I accepted going to technical school to get PC and Microsoft certifications. Studying is what motivates me now.”   S.N.

“1. Consulting
2. While “on the beach”, working on keeping up with technology and best practices improvements
3. Maintaining a schedule of enrichment activities
4. Networking
5. Actually getting on the beach (love the Connecticut shoreline!)” AK

“I feel somewhat fortunate in that I can take my time and try to find the right opportunity and not jump into something that I’ll regret later. I’ll admit that everyday I have the uncomfortable feeling of not having a job and not knowing what the future holds for me and my family. I fight those feelings and spend time on the job boards and try to find and apply to several jobs per week. Most of the time, I don’t hear back from the company so the feed back is not very good. I don’t know if there is an issue with me, my resume, my experience, where I live, my age, if its a bogus listing or what. But my understanding, that is not unusual. I press on and don’t take it personally and I always remind myself to be thankful for what I have. The few recruiters that I speak with indicate the my market space, mid-sized ERP software sales is unusually slow and to be patient. I have read that its a good idea not to listen to the daily news because its is depressing and can make you feel more frustrated. I take that advice.

I also keep busy in other ways. I take daily hikes to get exercise and have chores around the house that I have more time and fewer excuses not accomplish.

I don’t know if I’m answering your question but you have been so good to me allowing me to attend your webinars that I felt you deserved an answer.” BB

“I just ignore the news and go about my business.
Hope all is well with you.” NL

“Weekends are still weekends, longer breakfast and sleeping in only on Sat/Sun/Holidays. Mon-Fri up early and still eat same breakfast as when I was working. Have job search hours Mon-Fri to be determined on jobs I find and network contacts I talk with. Weekends generally are down time, no job search unless I get a good tip. Network contacts continue to lift my spirits though they may not always have the time to talk with me when they are working.” CA

“Stick to a regular morning routine PC search on sites I have made searches (Indeed. Simply Hired) If that turns up anything apply to the company thru their website or draft letters and mail them. Cultivate my Linked In contacts and their contacts (the local chapters ) and look for a way to get a communication to them.If I had to give up my cell phone or PC….it would be my cell. I have SOOOOO many emails from people I have contacted or vice versa (about 2000 emails) that they could never be reconstructed). Please let me know of your results here. Thx” CB

“For one, I don’t read or listen to the negative news. It just drags you down mentally and emotionally. Second, I make sure I’m reading, watching, etc. motivational content. Lastly, I make sure to laugh as much as possible.Organization wise, I’ve started using Google Docs (their spreadsheet equivalent) so that I can access that information from anywhere, any computer. The alternative being an Excel spreadsheet residing on my computer at home, and only accessible as such” CZ

“It is tough. I have built my job pipelines up 8 times already in the past 6 months, only to have them plucked away individually, one after the other. I’m in Marketing, so fortunately I am seeing things thaw out. Companies are no longer “spooked”. At least that is my perspective.”To your question — I have no choice. This is the 4th quarter of the longest game in my life. I am a bit cynical at times, but am certainly not going to let that on to anyone. I don’t focus on the noise, just on what companies say and do as they respond to me. That’s all that matters. If nothing else, it has taught me that I need to become more independent. Hence I should start my own business. But you need $$$ to do that!” CF

“I just work at keeping a positive mental attitude. That is not to say I don’t have my down days but fortunately they have been few and far between. One thing that helps is the knowledge that I am not unemployed due to any circumstance that I contributed to. It is just unfortunate that it happened. One other thing I do is I have a list of to do’s around the house and try to accomplish or at least get started on these things. It can give you immediate gratification and you know you have at minimum accomplished something even if it’s not finding a job. That being said you must stay focused and spend sometime each day in your job search. Currently the above is what keeps me going. Each day may be different timing I usually like to get into emails and correspondence first thing in the morning and then onto tasks but it varies by day” MH

“Steer away from negative news
Take walks for fresh air
Have the belief that there is a perfect fit somewhere for me
Have gotten a lot of responses and interest already in 5 months” BB

“Since I semi-retired, I’m probably not a good candidate to answer this question. While I would like to find some work close to home, I am resigned to what will be. If I don’t find an assignment, I still have my pension and Social Security to fall back on, as well as my wife’s. I check the major boards and work with a bevy of recruiters. Also, every two to three weeks I refresh my resume. However, it is discouraging to see how one’s worth has deteriorated. I have gone on job interviews for approximately 2/3 of what I made previously in 2008 and I still did not get the job. I was number two. I presume the “winner” was willing to work for less. I hope this has helped.” ME

“After recieving a rejection letter last week I went back through all the business cards and other materials that I received when I volunteered @ the biotechnology symposium last October and spent 5 hours going through them and looking to see if the company had any openings. (I know I should do this more often) I also go through my list of job websites on a weekly basis (some are daily) and check to see if there are any openings that might be right for me and my qualifications. In the mean time I have been substitute teaching as much as possible to keep busy along with taking 3 bike rides weekly and working in my small garden. To stay motivated I rely on my friends both on LinkedIn as well as Facebook. Without their encouragement and support I would not be as positive as I am today, knowing that it has been 6 months since I last had “full-time” employment. My goal this week is to go back through the USA Jobs website and try to apply to anything I might remotely be qualified for in hopes that maybe one or two position is real.” KA

“I keep focused on the job search. Always looking for job opening, leads, referrals, and networking.
treat the job search just like a job. Keep at it, something will turnup.
It may come from an unexpected place. Never stop looking and asking for help.” JH

“I find going to the gym for mental and physical well being is the best medicine for me to remain motivated and optimistic as well as keeping in touch with friends and making the time to network online and in person.” MP“I’ve had good feedback with my resume that has gotten me a steady flow of interviews based on job boards and through recruiters. Even though I have not gotten to the offer stage, I’ve gained confidence that I have been able to do this despite the rough economy. Thus, I’ve continued my job search with applying to job boards and continuing to network with recruiters and something is bound to happen eventually.” JM

“Good question. My answer is family support and rouite exercises.” JB“By thinking and acting like a winner instead of a loser and surrounding myself with other positive people. It’s all about attitude!”  AD