With employers hiring at a slow rate, coupled with them receiving hundreds, sometimes thousands, of resumes for one open position, many job seekers are experiencing long-term unemployment. This situation can be frustrating and take a toll workers’ confidence, further discouraging them to find their next job. How do you re-energize your long-term job search?
Live for now as you can’t change the past. Your situation is challenging, but you can’t change what’s already happened. Learn from the situation and use what you’ve learned to plan for your future.
Think of the positives in your life. To help avoid negative thinking, make a list of your skills and successes and reread these over and over. It’s especially important to replay these positives in your mind before you apply for a job or go on an interview.
Re-evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Even if you’ve done this earlier in your job search, take another look at what you do well on a job and what you don’t. Be honest with yourself, as you may need to develop your skills further. Continuing to educate yourself will show employers that your skills are fresh. This may mean returning to school or simply upgrading your skills through an online course often at no cost or a low cost.
For example, WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA (WCF) offers no-cost online tutorials to help you increase your computer skills in topics such as basic computing, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. For information on WCF’s online learning, visit any WCF or JobVantage office.
Many associations also offer regular professional development opportunities at a low cost. Search online for an association in your field.
Broaden your job search. Expand your search beyond the industries you’ve worked in the past. Consider looking at temporary jobs as well as temporary agencies.
Consider changing careers. If you’ve been out of work for a long time, there is the possibility that your field is no longer in demand in the region. Consider looking for work out of your expertise or going to school for a career that is in demand. To learn about growing industries, the highest paying jobs in Central Florida and other information to help you determine a new career direction, visit the WCF Tips, Research and Resource Center.
Also, consider taking a career assessment to help you choose a career path that fits your interests and skills and abilities.
Don’t forget to build your network. After months or years of being unemployed, it’s easy to isolate yourself and lose your professional identity. Now more than ever you should socialize and network to help build your self-esteem and learn about new opportunities. Visit past coworkers, touch base with old friends and attend association meetings or events that pertain to your career.
Volunteer in your community. Find an organization to volunteer where you have the opportunity to network and show your skills. This will help you rebuild your confidence, increase your skills and network with new people. It also shows employers that you have not been inactive or lazy and that you are using your free time to help others.
Re-establish a schedule. If you haven’t already, set a schedule and keep a calendar. Check it every day. Although it’s been a long search, job hunting is still your full-time job.
Utilize the no-cost services offered to you at WORKFORCE CENTRAL FLORIDA. WCF offers many services to help you with your job search such as an online job bank, job fairs, internships, training and financial aid, workshops and career one-on-one counseling to provide resume, job search coaching and job leads. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, visit www.WorkforceCentralFlorida.com.