Friday, August 17 , 2018, 10:06 pm | Fair 69º


Karen Dwyer: Staying Encouraged During the Job Hunt

With experts predicting a brighter outlook for 2011, try these tips to keep motivated

While recent unemployment rates have slowly declined, the average job hunt is still lasting six to eight months, discouraging many job seekers. Despite positive reports, such as CNN Money’s recent survey in which economists predict an average of 2.5 million jobs to be added in the United States in 2011, the growth is slow.

Christine Owens of the National Employment Law Project reported on the radio program Marketplace that while the rate decreases are encouraging, the number of discouraged job seekers is growing. Some people on the job hunt have given up altogether, which means they are no longer even being counted as “unemployed.”

As the search for a job drags on, it can be hard to remain upbeat and positive. But today’s job hunt is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s imperative that job seekers not give up and stay motivated. Searching for a job is a job in and of itself, which means the same tips that apply to discouraged and unmotivated employees apply to today’s job seekers.

So, if you’re feeling the strain of searching for a job or know someone who is, take a look at these tips to stay motivated.

Get Organized

After a few months, or even just a few weeks, of calling employers, searching job boards and e-mailing résumés, all your efforts can run together. You are required to track at least some of your job search activities to receive unemployment, but if you’re doing anything additional you need your own tracking system.

Whether you prefer a notebook or a spreadsheet on your computer, keep a list of the companies you’ve contacted, who you talked to, when you talked with them, if you spoke over the phone, in person or through email, what they said and what the results were. Not only will this ensure you don’t contact the same employer too often, but it will give you a sense of accomplishment that you have been trying and doing everything in your power to find a job.

Change Your Surroundings

Sitting around your house at your dining room table or on your couch day after day sifting through the want ads or scanning for jobs online can get old fast. Try going to a local bookstore or coffee shop for a change of scenery. Your public library is also a good place to go, especially if you need a computer for searching job sites or emailing applications. Local meeting places such as these often have bulletin boards where employers post job openings, which are another great resource for your hunt.

Take a Break

Everyone needs a break from their day-to-day activities, and that includes job hunting. If you’ve been job searching for a while, take a day or two off. Work around the house. Go to the park with your family. Volunteer with a local nonprofit organization. See a dollar movie. You’ll come back to the job hunt feeling refreshed, less stressed and with a new outlook. You’ll be ready to start again with new energy, and you never know what networking opportunities you might find on your break.

Ask for Help

With the number of individuals searching for jobs, it never hurts to have as many people as possible helping you market your skills and experience. Make sure all your family members, friends and acquaintances know you’re looking for work. Contact your local staffing companies and give them your information. As a job seeker, you should not be charged, and you’ll gain access to companies and job openings that you didn’t have access to before.

Whether you’ve been searching for a few days or for six months, the job hunt can be discouraging. Experts are predicting good things in 2011. Make it your goal to get one of those 2.5 millions jobs in 2011, stay motivated and keep trying.

— Karen Dwyer is owner of Express Employment Professionals, 1025 Chapala St., Suite 206, in Santa Barbara. Click here to contact her or call 805.965.6900.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >