Lifestyle

5 Practical Tips To Persevere

New data suggests finding your next job may be tougher than it was even a few months ago. But you can persevere and find your best fit role—if you understand how to shore up your strategies to get through.

News of layoff and the slowing of the economy are hard to miss, but there are still reasons for hope. Unemployment remains low at only 3.7% and certain fields are still increasing the number of jobs they’re posting and opportunities which are available. Perseverance will be key, and it goes beyond just muscling through. It’s possible to be planful about how you tap into your reserves and land a great job.

The Struggle is Real

If you’re feeling the strain, you’re not alone. In a new Harris Poll study conducted in conjunction with Bloomberg, people are struggling:

  • 71% of people say the job search is more complicated than they thought it would be.
  • 63% say they’ve been searching for more than six months.
  • 48% say they’ve applied to more than 50 positions.
  • 66% wish they’d started their search sooner.
  • 72% report companies aren’t responsive—ignoring applications or failing to follow through on interviewing.

And 51% of job seekers are reducing their standards—saying they’ll take anything at this point.

5 Ways to Persevere

Despite the challenges though, you can persevere and succeed. Remind yourself that when things are at their toughest and most disrupted, it can be the best time to unearth a new opportunity you might not have imagined. Perseverance isn’t just slogging through, there are specific ways to tap into your grit and enhance your endurance.

#1 – Perseverance Is About Mindset

The first part of ensuring success is your mindset. Remind yourself you’ll get through this, and that you have the capability, competence and stamina to succeed. Know that you’re not alone. No road is easy and finding a job can be its own job. Others are going through it as well, and there’s nothing wrong with you if you’re encountering challenges.

When you’re getting through hard times, it’s helpful to validate where you are, acknowledge your difficulties and show yourself compassion. Take a breath and give yourself permission to wallow—but only for a short time. Then, get onto action since studies also show when you take action you’ll enhance your confidence, energy levels and chances of success.

As the saying goes, “The wolf you feed is the one that will survive,” meaning the issues that receive your focus are the ones which will take over—so focus on positive activity and on taking the next step.

#2 – Perseverance is About Small Steps in a Long Game

When you’re frustrated, it’s typical to feel tired, fatigued or lacking in motivation. But to persevere you can just take small steps. Success comes from longer more intense investments of effort, but it also comes when you do a little at a time, continuously. Break down the tasks you need to do, make a list and set goals to complete even little portions of the journey.

If it’s too overwhelming to ask 20 colleagues to recommend you on LinkedIn, just start by asking two. Or if doing a search on every new job for a coder is daunting, set a parameter to search for only those within a 60-mile radius, or only those within the healthcare industry for now.

Also ensure you’re keeping a long game in mind. Right now, you’re challenged to find a job, but eventually you’ll have a great role and you’ll be on to the next opportunity for stretch or growth. Remind yourself that today will pass and the lessons you learn will contribute to your success tomorrow.

#3 – Perseverance is About Your Network

You can’t run a marathon without adequate hydration and electrolytes, and it’s tough to find a job without fuel from others. Consider your network in concentric circles. In your inner circle, check in with close colleagues who will remind you of your talents and unique contributions. Look to your family or friends to encourage you and build you up after a bad interview or celebrate after a good one.

Also tap into your secondary network—those people whom you know, but not as well. Statistically, your next opportunity typically emerges from your secondary or tertiary network, because they are made up of people who have access to information you and your primary network do not. So, reach out to the colleague you worked with a few years ago, and reconnect with the neighbor you haven’t spoken with recently. Ask for input and help. People want to assist others, and they can give you intel about the job market, introduce you to others who may have roles available or even suggest options you may not have considered.

In addition, build new connections. Sign up for a class or workshop where you can meet new people. Attend association meetings in your community. Strive for face-to-face interactions to build new bonds. People attend meetings within their communities with the intention of networking, so they will be especially open to connecting and helping you.

And be sure to consider how you can help others in the network as well. Relationships are built through reciprocity—so what you provide for others is as important as what you receive.

#4 – Perseverance is About Creativity

Also be creative in your job search. If you’re knocking on the same door and not getting a response, try the window—by considering adjacent fields. For example, according to recent data, from FlexJobs, the opportunities within the field of education have declined in the last year, but if you love to teach, you could seek out a role where you’re conducting training within an area which is hiring—like finance or marketing.

Also think expansively about what you can do. Avoid defining yourself by a job, and instead emphasize your skills. And find places to stretch. You may not meet 100% of the qualifications for a role, but if you have a majority—70% is a good rule of thumb—then go for it. Employers are looking for people who can hit the ground running, but they’re also looking for great potential, so if you can represent a terrific present and future contribution to their organization, they’ll be positive about you as a candidate.

You could also consider going out on your own—either for the short term until you find a regular full-time job or for the longer term. Here too, think broadly: Perhaps it’s too risky to hang out your shingle independently, but you have a couple great colleagues who are also looking, and you can form a collective by combining forces.

#5 – Perseverance is About Compromise

Also be clear with yourself about what’s most important to you. Happiness isn’t based on having the perfect fit job—those generally don’t exist. Instead, it’s based on the best possible alignment between what you love to do and what you have to do.

Reflect on what’s most important to you and clarify your highest priorities—and where you’re willing to compromise. You want to work remotely, but perhaps you can settle for a hybrid role. You want a director title, but perhaps you could get a job at a manager level and then advance. You want to avoid relocation, but you may be willing to have a longer commute in order to get access to more opportunities.

Remember it’s always easier to get a job when you have a job, so it can be wise to find something which is a close match to your priorities and then continue looking for work which is a better fit—either within your new company or outside of it.

Taking Care Of Yourself

Ultimately, you’ll be most successful when you find the right balance between working hard and nurturing yourself. Roll up your sleeves, dig in and stick with it. But also ensure you’re doing things which nourish your confidence and sense of self. Get outside, because time in nature is significantly correlated with wellbeing. Go to your yoga class. Walk your dog. Binge the newest season of your favorite show (think: Yellowstone).

Do things which help build you up, so you have plenty of energy for the climb.

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