Finding a job after years of unemployment or trying to change careers can be a daunting task Oftentimes, looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself and it may take some time to see the fruits of your hard work. However, all the effort will be worth it and there are many tools available to help you in your job search.
First and foremost, having a positive outlook and attitude can go a long way, especially in terms of having the motivation to do the hard work looking and applying for jobs. If you are having trouble keeping a positive frame of mind, try one or more of the following:
- Practice positive self talk
- Exercise regularly to form a sense of accomplishment
- Read motivational books
- Join a club or group, such as a volunteer organization
At the outset of your job hunt, it can be very beneficial to figure out your career goals. Having a clear vision of where you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 years can be effective as you determine what you want to do and the jobs that can get you there. When setting your career goals, consider the following:
- Write it down – once you write it on paper, it becomes concert and brings your goals closer to reality
- Be specific – you won’t accomplish your goals if they are vague or unclear
- Be realistic – understanding your own skills as well as the labor market will help you set goals that are achievable
- Collaborate – surround yourself with others than can provide critical feedback and positive support
- Focus – you must make your goals a high priority to succeed; people often fail to achieve their goals because of a lack of drive and commitment
Searching for a job can be very tedious, but luckily, there are many ways you can find jobs. Online job boards and postings on company websites are the most common ways to find a job, but do not forget about job fairs and networking. Many times its who you know, not what you know.
It may also be beneficial to create a job-search plan. Create a calendar for each week, dedicating time to searching, applying, volunteering, and taking care of yourself. By organizing your activities, it provides a visual roadmap of your work and also holds you accountable for your own success. In addition to a plan, keep a log of all the jobs you applied for and are interested in. Be sure to identify the job title, date of application, any contact information, and the result. You may be surprised to see patterns in the types of jobs you are getting interviews for.
Lastly, there are many online resources to help you along the way. New Jersey Career Connections, created by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, has tools and resources for all aspects of your career, from identify your strengths, to writing powerful resumes, to honing your interview skills, to advancing your current career. At the personal level, there are 23 Jersey Job Club locations across the state that provide you hands on experience writing resumes, practicing your interview skills, and networking.