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JOB SEARCH: Dealing with Setbacks

Written by Shilpi Banerjee, Employment Specialist with Next-Steps Employment Centre – Scarborough

It is very normal for most people to have multiple setbacks during their job search (unless they have friends & family in higher places!). And that’s why the Next-Steps Employment Centres are here for you!  Job searching can be an overwhelming and frustrating process.  It is important that you identify when your job search setbacks occur, and to have a strategic plan to continue moving forward.

Some common setbacks that can occur while job searching:

– Loosing motivation
– Starting a job search without any planning
– Refusing to seek help
– Having unrealistic expectations
– Unclear career direction
– Fear of failure/rejections
Here are some solutions to help overcome these setbacks:
  • Before you start your job search, prepare yourself by making sure you have the right tools. This includes an updated Resume, Cover Letter, References, and a folder to keep all of your files when you go to interviews and professional meetings. It is also good to define where you will job search: at home, going to a library, or visiting a Next-Steps Employment Centre to access a computer, printer, photocopier and other resources that will help in your job search.
  • Set goals for each day that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Reward yourself when you accomplish your daily goals. Once your job search momentum picks up, you will continue to be motivated and undaunted in the face of challenges.
  • If you are only focused on trying to achieve the same level of seniority & salary as in your last position, you may be eliminating many great unexplored opportunities. You might get stuck in the job search process for a long time and your frustration level will rise. Therefore it is crucial that you have clear & realistic expectations of your job search outcome. Taking a reduced salary in a new position can often lead to a rewarding career with the possibility of future promotions within the company (once you have established your credibility).
  • Feeling lost and randomly applying to jobs can affect your job search productivity, so find support and seek out guidance. Staff at Next-Steps Employment Centre can help you understand the labour market, your employability & transferable skills and to decide on your career direction.  Check out our FREE monthly workshop calendars for upcoming employment workshops.
  • Evaluate your outcomes. Are you applying to jobs with no response? It’s possible you need to change your resume or try new methods of job search. Getting interviews but no job offer? It might be helpful to attend Interview workshops and a Practice Interview to get feedback. The more focused and strategic you are in your job search, the greater the chances for success.
  • Often our ego and self-pride holds us back. Instead of self-doubting & feeling alone, finding out what you need and getting support is a proactive approach to achieving your goal.
  • Try not to take rejections to heart.  Instead believe in yourself and don’t take it personally.  Keep your spirits high and be persistent.  Resiliency is the key.  Learn from your experiences and update your skills as you continue new strategies in your job search.

Remember that you don’t have to do it alone! Want to get some help with your job search? Check out our monthly calendars to see upcoming events and workshops, and register at one of our 7 GTA locations. From one-on-one sessions to group workshops, our knowledgeable staff can help with your job search needs. All services are FREE!

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