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Feeling Stuck? 4 Simple Tips to Get out of a Job Search Rut

white door with closed sign in window
Photo courtesy of Ai Nhan and Unsplash

Searching for employment in today’s job market is especially challenging. If you are a job

seeker, you may be at the end of your rope and have no idea what your next step is going to be.

It is important to recognize that you are not alone as there are many people who are facing challenges just like you. As scary as it is to be stuck and directionless, there are ways to overcome it.

Being in a job search rut could show up for you in one of the following ways:

  • Struggling to focus, losing motivation, or confidence

  • Difficulty completing tasks or coming up with new strategies

  • Applying to any and every job you can

  • Searching for 6+ months with no meaningful results

If one or more of these resonates with you, rest assured there are ways to get out of your rut and back on track in no time. It may be helpful to view this as an opportunity for you to reset and to assess your career ambitions and priorities.

4 Simple Steps to Get Out of a Job Search Rut

STEP ONE: Take a break and regroup.

Make it a priority to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional health. Engage in

activities that will allow you to clear your mind and calm your nerves. This could look like getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk, calling a supportive friend, meditating, or listening to relaxing music.

Give yourself time to recharge and get back to it when you are feeling refreshed and in an open state of mind. Remember to take breaks regularly!

STEP TWO: Define (or redefine) your career vision

This is a great time to reassess your career goals, desires, and priorities. Coming up with an updated vision and plan will help you to be more targeted and efficient in your job search.

Below are questions to help you brainstorm:

  • What are your short and long-term career goals?

  • What is important to you in a job & employer? (i.e., work/life balance, professional development, benefits, remote/hybrid options)

  • What skills/knowledge/experience do you want to use in your next job? (i.e. What do you enjoy doing? What do you NOT enjoy doing?)

  • What is your unique value? (i.e. How have you made an impact in your current/previous jobs? How have you gone above and beyond? What sets you apart from other candidates? What impressive achievements have you made in your career?)

Once you have your criteria defined, you can then focus your job search on jobs and companies that match what you are looking for. Be sure to refer to your plan regularly to ensure you are staying in alignment with your goals, wants, and needs.

STEP THREE: Track your progress

You’ve done the work – now it’s time to put it into action! To make the most out of your job search, we recommend creating an orderly system to stay on track.

Here are a few strategies to keep you organized:

  • Create a schedule (e.g., search for jobs every M/W/F or one hour each day)

  • Create a spreadsheet to manage and track different components of your job search (e.g., list of jobs applied to, scheduled interviews, recruiters to connect with)

  • Set manageable goals (e.g., send one application per day, revamp LinkedIn profile, reach out to 5 new contacts on LinkedIn)

  • Take regular breaks – schedule them on your calendar if you need to!

STEP FOUR: Celebrate your wins, both big and small!

It is important to recognize and appreciate your accomplishments along the way.

Whether you’ve landed an interview, networked with someone new, completed an

application… give yourself a pat on the back for the big and small wins along the way.

You’ve got this!


Brooke Tichenor, the WeInspireWe Career Storyteller, is an experienced resume writer supporting growth-minded professionals who are seeking the ‘next chapter’ in their careers. Brooke's interactive process hones in on the individual’s relevant skills, areas of expertise, achievements, and value that align with positions of interest. She then crafts a ‘human voiced’ resume that conveys a unique and captivating career story that stands out from the competition. Her goal for each client is to walk away with clarity and confidence in themselves and empowerment to go after their dreams.

If you're ready for a little help jump starting your job search, finding and communicating your career story, or building confidence within, click here to meet with Brooke for a free 1:1 consultation.

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