While the national unemployment rate has dipped recently, there are still millions of Americans searching for jobs. In some cases, people have given up, feeling frustrated because they have not been able to land even a temporary position to hold them over.
So when is it time to give up?
While it can get very frustrating at times, the worst thing you can do is quit the job search. Often finding the right gig boils down to being in the right place at the right time. You may have been searching for a position for 51 weeks now, but you then decide to quit. As it turns out, a job might be a good fit for you in week 52, but you are no longer searching. It is okay to take a break here and there and scale back the search, but don’t throw in the towel altogether.
Of course you need to guard against break turning into a full-blown sabbatical. Continue to treat your job search like a job. This doesn’t mean you have to send resumes, make phone calls and network from nine until five. On the contrary, embracing the freedom you’re currently enjoying is one of the best ways to keep your spirits up. Sleep until noon if you want. Break all the dress code rules. Take a long lunch. Leave the bathroom door open. Type emails in your underwear. Spend an hour playing Farmville. Just make sure you set specific job search-related tasks for yourself each day. Then complete them.
If the phone hasn’t rung in weeks, maybe you need to review your tactics. A lot of the time the reason for not getting interviews and offers has to do with your approach. Is your resume as good as it could be? Did you rush your cover letter and include some inadvertent typos? Are you careful to include the same words that are included in the job description for the robots who now read your resume? Are you using Rich Text format so the computers can read your resume? What could you do better regarding your interview skills and overall appearance when you go on interviews? There are many things that go into achieving your ultimate goal of landing that job. Take a breather and review your approach, including having an unbiased individual critique what you are doing.
Tweet and post professionally. While your unprofessional party photos and snarky posts could cost you a job, sharing appropriate articles and white papers about your industry can raise your professional profile. Go through your Facebook page and delete anything that might be offensive to anyone. Unfriend people who post offensive photos and links. Start posting inspiring stories and quotes. Blog about your field of expertise. If you want to make social media work for you, work it.
At the end of the day, the question simply becomes are you willing to keep searching for a job or are you ready to throw in the towel? The answer should obvious- keep moving forward!