by Grey Maixner, Head Editor, INALJ Vermont
Keep On Keeping On: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Job Hunt
As we all know, it’s never fun to be without a job. Even when we do have one, if it’s not the one we want, or the one we imagined all those years ago while in library school, it can still be a real downer in your life. So what do you do? You sit down once every week, or two to three days, or everyday (show-off!) to cruise the job boards, retool your resume, and rewrite your cover letter.
Then, you keep doing doing this, day in, day out, checking the inbox, waiting for a notice of an interview, a letter of confirmation, anything! The job hunt can be a truly grueling and disheartening experience.
But, my friends, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of ways to help alleviate the stress and anxiety of the job hunt and make it just a little more fun. Today, I’ll be sharing some of those things.
Experiment with your cover letter: It’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t work with a cover letter. The information that exists in job-seeking literature and from your friends and colleagues can be contradictory, and even the basics can have conflicting opinions – length of a cover letter is a good example. It’s important to try out all of this advice, and eventually you will find a method and format that you feel confident about.
How does this make the hunt easier? It gives you a metric to measure. If you have more interest from a specific style of cover letter, you have a way to link what you do with your success. It can also teach you quite a bit about your writing style and how you present yourself.
Volunteer: This one is self explanatory. Volunteering for a library organization not only gives you something to add to your resume and cover letter, but also helps you build connections and allows you to learn some new skills.
How does this make the hunt easier? Along with the aforementioned benefits, it simply makes you feel good, knowing that all the study and work you put into your specific skill set is getting good use. Keeping a positive attitude while navigating the employment landscape is immensely important. After all, if you don’t feel confident and happy, that energy can slip through into your writing and your performance at the interview.
Keep applying: I will be the first to admit that this one is hard to do, but it’s very important. In the late game of the interview process there can be long stretches of time between your final contact and when they let you know their decision. Even if you blew them out of the water, even if you truly believe you’ve got the job locked down, you should still be applying for jobs. This gives you something to do, to keep your mind off of the wait and it ensures that if the news you get is not the news you want, you won’t have lost a week or month of productivity.
How does this make the hunt easier? It keeps you sane. We’ve all had those times when we’re waiting for the phone to ring or we’re refreshing our email every five minutes. This is not conducive, and while it may feel like you’re accomplishing something, at the end of the day, it doesn’t do much good. Better to take that nervous energy and channel it right back into the job hunt.
Those are some of my biggest tips for making the process of looking for a job easier. Happy hunting!