Overcoming the mental hurdles of the job search

The key to tackling your job search is getting your head in the game. But we get it, sometimes -- no matter what you do -- you still can't get into the right mindset.

Let's get ahead of the potential roadblocks you might encounter and identify ways you can steer yourself back on course.

Roadblock #1: Lack of direction or unclear goal

If you can't describe the job you're looking for in 1-2 sentences, then you've got a problem. Knowing what type of job is ideal will allow you to cater your professional materials to that position. You will have the advantage of highlighting key strengths you possess that would be perfect for that role, which draws a clear connection to why you are right for the job.

HOW TO: 3 ways for a higher return on your job hunt

Roadblock #2: Timing of your next job offer is out of your control

Patience is a trait you will likely have to practice as you partake in the application process. That being said, there are actions you can take that will allow multiple channels to be working for you at once. Network with people in your industry (have you tried MeetUps in your area?), tap into your college alumni family for connections, or schedule informational interviews with industry professionals to learn the best avenues to pursue. The more effort you put in, the greater likelihood the job hunt will be fruitful faster. When you know that you're exploring every possible avenue to land a job that makes you happy, your mentality shifts into positive thinking.

The more effort you put in, the greater likelihood the job hunt will be fruitful faster.

Roadblock #3: Your job hunt lacks structure

The days seem long when you're unemployed, so it's easy to think "I'll get to this later today." If you're juggling a full time job and looking to switch positions, you might be thinking "there's not enough time in a day." Either way, you have the power to map out the time you will devote to the job search. Create structure within your days to get what you need done. The application process can be grueling, but you can discover concrete ways to track your process and stay on top of it all.

Roadblock #4: Asking for help

If you ask for help, you're showing weakness. Wrong! Use your network to aggregate advice on your job search. Request a professional (ahem, Write For The Job) to review and improve your resume, cover letter, or Linkedin so that you're putting your best foot forward. Getting feedback from others and asking for help improves your likelihood of finding a position that plays to your strengths.

Roadblock #5: Tooting your own horn

To most of you humble folks, flaunting your successes makes you want to hide behind a curtain from embarrassment. We've been told our whole lives that bragging about your accomplishments isn't polite or appropriate. Throw that idea out the window right now. This is the time when you need to be proud of your professional wins and articulate them with confidence. Practice your delivery in front of the mirror, friends, and family. The more you sell yourself on the value you bring to the table, the easier it is for that recruiter or HR professional to see how you can be an asset to their team.

Sarah Sax is the founder of Write For The Job.

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