Job Search Blues: How to Maintain Confidence and Stay Focused During a Less than Perfect Job Search

Melani Ward

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"Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it. " - Theodore Roosevelt

Q: I have been searching for a job for months. I have been sending resumes and letting everyone I know that I need a job like all of the career books recommend and yet I still have no prospects. Part of me just wants to take the next job I see, no matter what it is. What am I doing wrong?

A: I am glad you asked this question. It is a very common concern and it has lead more than a few people to take less than desirable jobs, maybe before it was really necessary.

The Job Search

There are so many things that one has to consider when executing a successful job search and when it seems as though you are doing everything right and there are still no potential offers on the horizon, it can be very disheartening. The critical thing to remember when you reach this stage is that every step along the way has value.

Signs that You have the Job Search Blues

You wake up and decide you are not going to waste your time searching anymore.

You sit on the couch all day and watch bad TV wondering why it seems like everyone on TV is much happier than you and in far batter jobs.

You seriously consider taking a job that would result in a drastic pay cut and that requires you to do something you hate or something for which you are grossly overqualified.

You imagine yourself in a variety of less than desirable jobs and feel trapped in your own miserable existence.

You glorify the job you left and you wonder why you ever decided to leave.

What Not To Do

Lose hope. The average job search can last between 3-6 months and sometimes longer for executives. Many result in positive placements.

Stop researching the job market and fail to stay current on what is happening in companies in your industry.

Stop sending out resumes and stop building your network.

Take the first job you are offered because you are afraid it will be the only one.

Take a job that is strictly for bringing in a paycheck and then deciding to stay put because you hate the job search process.

Lose confidence in your abilities and lose sight of what you have to offer an organization. The length of time a job search takes, the number of rejections you get, and the number of interviews you secure is directly related to your level of confidence and feelings of self-efficacy. Remember that interviewers will pick up on any feelings of inadequacy you may have and this will only hurt you.

What To Do

Do something every day that propels your job search in a positive direction. That may mean setting up another informational interview or asking someone in your network for the names of 2 other people with whom you might want to talk.

Strategize and evaluate what you have done. Document what has worked and what has not and make adjustments as needed.

Continue to build your network. Be as relevant as you can when you are talking to people and telling them what you are hoping to accomplish with this job search. The more relevant you can be, the more likely you are to get connected to people who may be able to help you.

Stay positive. Create a vision for yourself and imagine yourself fulfilling it with your new job.

Remember to spend some time each day doing something you love to do and surround yourself with positive people who are supportive of your journey and who will listen to you if you need a shoulder to lean on.

Work with a career coach to help you re-evaluate what you are doing and what other avenues you may consider utilizing. A career coach could help you with your resume or help you refine your interviewing skills. She may also be able to suggest some ways to continue building your network. Most importantly however is that a good coach can help you stay on track, support you when you feel like giving up, and help you stay connected to what you want to do and how you want to manifest your career goals.

Melani Ward is a career and life coach and entrepreneur. She coaches people on career discovery and development, resume and interviewing strategies, relationships and achieving work and life balance. She is the founder of Mountain High Career Coaching and Relationships on the Rise. To read more tips like the ones in this article go to or If you would like to ask Melani a question, visit her blog at


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