How to Deal With the Job Search Doldrums

by Maria Rainier

You've sent out hundreds and hundreds of résumés and cover letters. You've been on a handful of interviews that didn't go as well as you hoped. And you're starting to think you should just give up, resign to the fact that you'll never be able to find a job. If you're a recent college graduate, you may be starting to think that you'll have to live with your parents forever. If you're a bit older, you may have convinced yourself that your spouse will have to support you for the rest of your time together. The way you're feeling makes sense. When something seems impossible, most of us tend to want to give up. Not trying often seems better than trying and continuing to fail.

What you may not be aware of, however, is that jobseekers who persevere often do find jobs. Many of them even find jobs they like. If you feel like giving up, don't. Here are a few ways to emotionally deal with job search difficulties, so you can find the strength to keep yourself in the game:
Focus on what you can control
You can't control who calls you back for an interview or who hires you. You can only control the effort you put forth as a jobseeker. So, spend extra time tailoring your résumé for each job position you apply to. Write phenomenal cover letters. Spend a few more hours each day searching for job openings and applying to them. Send thank you letters after your interviews. Take free online classes and classes at your local community college to improve your skills. There's a lot you can do on your end as a jobseeker to improve your situation and chances of landing a job. So, focus on what you can do, not on what potential employers are or are not doing, and you'll probably feel a lot more at peace with your situation.
Don't neglect your personal life
Unemployed people often have a difficult time justifying going out with their friends and having fun. You can't and shouldn't spend all of your time searching for jobs, however. Spending time with your friends and family members and spending time doing things you like to do will improve your mood and outlook. Taking breaks from job boards and cover letter writing will help keep you balanced. Remember that the key to success in most areas of life is thoughtful moderation.
If money is what's hindering you from spending time with your loved ones, let them know you're struggling financially. There are a million free things you can do that will help keep you sane without breaking the bank.
Get out of the house
Sitting on your couch in your pajamas every day will make you depressed. There's a whole great, big world out there waiting to enliven your spirit. So, get up early, take a shower, take a run around your neighborhood, eat a hearty breakfast, and head over to the local library or a nearby coffee shop with your laptop. Being around other people will help you feel less lonely and lost. A recent study actually proved that the ambient noise in coffee shops makes people more creative. Getting out of the house and going to a coffee shop could give you just the creative boost you need to find new job openings in unexpected places and write groundbreaking cover letters.
These are just a few of the things you can do to deal with your job search frustrations. Try them out, and remember that all your hard work and persistence will pay off in the end.