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In a Long Job Search? Tackle Job Search Frustration


I know it’s not easy. During your job search, you apply, apply, and apply. The hope is that if it all matches up, you’ll get the call back. However, days, weeks, and then months can pass and you’re still not hearing anything back.  It’s understandably frustrating when you feel that your efforts are not amounting to any quantifiable results. All of this can lead to feeling a lack of control, a broken spirit, and strong frustrations.

Yet these very traits become the ones that repel employers, and the job search process gets further impeded – It all becomes a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. And it can be.

Learn how to take the reins of these frustrations into your own hands, and become better at managing job search frustration.

1. Allow yourself to express these frustrations.

  • Be honest to yourself, face it, and accept it. “I’m unemployed, it’s frustrating, and I hate it.” Write it out, talk to a friend – be able to express the frustration.
  • Then accept it. “I am frustrated, but I’m not the only job seeker who feels this way.”

Avoidance will keep you from doing the things you need to shake the frustration.

2. Explore what makes you feel productive.

  • Don’t stop doing the things you love. Set aside time to watch your favorite shows, take a walk in the park, etc. Make sure that you continue exercising, eating right, and relaxing.
  • Volunteer or take a class. Volunteering can boost your confidence and remind you that you’re valuable. Taking a class can increase skills that attract a future position.
  • Challenge yourself to do something new. Try a mini project where you explore something new each day. Maybe it’s trying out the delicious looking café down the block or learning a new sport.

3. Set good habits and keep bad habits away.

  • Set an alarm. Wake up and sleep at the same times each day. Don’t allow yourself to sleep in because you’ll wake up feeling as if most of your day has passed by aimlessly.
  • Organize your day. It’s easier to feel a sense of control over your life if you establish a routine. Set up hours that you will work on your job search (applying to jobs, responding to emails), exercise, eat, sleep, etc. The key is to stick to a consistent schedule.
  • Be aware of habits that would worsen your job search. These can include over-eating, excessive shopping, gambling, or excessive drinking. They help you temporarily feel better and cope with the frustrating job search, but can increase negative consequences (debt, health issues, etc.)

4. Make a plan to tackle your job search and keep revising this plan until success.

  • Examine your tactics. If you’ve been unemployed for a while now, maybe there is something you need to fix about your approach. Take a look at revising your resume. Are there any grammatical errors? Is there a better format?
  • Start getting feedback: After a failed job prospect, ask the employer for feedback. While they may not always give you details, sometimes asking can give you a glimpse of constructive criticism that you can benefit from.
  • Sign up for free automatic updates through StartWire. Know the status of your job applications so that you can gauge your expectations and know when to move on if the job has been filled.


“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott


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