We faced an all time high unemployment rate this year, at 14.7% in April, millions of workers found themselves out of work. Hospitality made up the majority of unemployment at, 39.3% in April. We are currenlty at 6.9% unemployment for all industries and 16.3% hospitality unemployment as of October, so we’ve made progress but unfrotunately, a lot of people are still on the job search and have been for quite some time.
It’s not uncommon for even extremely talented individuals to spend months unemployed, especially given the current job market and economic situation. So what’s a former business dynamo to do when the job search stretches from weeks to months? The simple answer is try to stay positive, but that can be easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you during your job search.
1. Begin by never assuming the worst.
The economy and the job market isn’t great right now, but your next job could be right around the corner. It could even be better than your last job. However, you have to believe it. You’ll do what you have to do, if the time comes to do it, but you don’t have to resign yourself to taking a lower paying job, switching industries, moving cross-country quite yet.
2. Get out and network.
Many people hate the term “network.” Sure, it may mean talking to people you’d never otherwise talk to about things you’d never otherwise talk about, but it can pay off when you’re looking for a job. While you can connect with other professionals on sites such as LinkedIn, nothing beats chatting up potential employers or business contacts face to face, or more appropriately, video to video (for now). Join a professional association; attend a seminar or even a trade show. Isolation is rarely good for the spirit. These activities will get you out of the house while you’re making potentially valuable contacts.
3. Find another way to earn.
If your quest for a full time position is taking longer than expected, consider alternatives that will bring in cash while still allowing you to continue the job search. Freelancing or consulting is a viable option for many professionals. Sometimes freelance projects even turn into full time positions. Spend a few hours each day or week doing something that helps pay the bills and you may feel more in control of your situation.
4. 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. Break all the dress code rules. Take a long lunch. Type emails from your. couch. Just make sure you set specific job search-related tasks for yourself each day. Then complete them.
You have skills that employers need. You will find another job. Don’t give up. It may sound cliché, but any psychologist will tell you that thoughts influence feelings. Keep your thoughts positive and your spirits will follow.