7 Ways to Move Past Overwhelm and Make Progress in Your Job Search

The day ends, and you still haven’t gotten anything done.

No, that’s not entirely true. You’ve got things done, just not the important things.

It is so frustrating!

Never is this truer than when we are job searching. There is just so much to do! So many options and choices. So many tasks to complete. And worse, many of those tasks are things that you don’t really like to do, that you don’t really want to do, or that cause you anxiety.

You know what you need to do…what you should be doing…but actually turning that knowledge into job search goals and then turning those goals into the actions that will help you achieve those goals feels so overwhelming. And it isn’t a good feeling!

You feel stuck. Distracted. Indecisive. Unable to focus. Overwhelmed.

You don’t even know where to start.

The feeling of overwhelm can paralyze you and stop you from making progress in your job search. And guess what? That causes even more overwhelm as well as stress and anxiety.

When it comes to your job search, overwhelm can stunt your professional growth and keep you stuck unemployed or in less-than-ideal jobs. Finding ways to conquer overwhelm and make progress in your job search is essential!

Why Are You Feeling Overwhelmed?

Being able to recognize when you are mired in overwhelm and understand what caused that feeling in the first place, is the first step to moving past overwhelm so you can make job search progress. Here are three common reasons for feeling overwhelmed.

You Need More Clarity About Your Job Search Goals

It’s hard to take action and move in the right direction when you’re not clear on the goals for your job search.

Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop and set a SMART goal. This is a goal that’s specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Be as clear and precise as possible. A good example of a smart goal is to have your resume written and ready to go by January 15. Or, to meet with 3 networking contacts by the end of the week. Or to identify and apply for 15 promising job opportunities in the next 30 days. These are much better goals than feeling overwhelmed by a general goal such as simply stating that your target is to “land a new job.”

You Don’t Have a Clear Path to Your Job Search Goal

Another reason to feel overwhelmed is not having a clear path to your goal. Let’s say your job search goal is to land a new job by August 30 as a VP of Marketing in a position that will pay you at least $125,000 annually. That’s a clear and specific goal with a deadline. But how do you get there? What’s your first step? What tasks do you need to complete in the coming weeks and months to reach that goal?

If you have a clear end goal in mind, but still feel overwhelmed, it may be because you don’t know where to start and how to move forward.

Sit down and come up with some ideas. The good news is that it doesn’t need to be a perfect plan and you don’t even have to have everything mapped out. What you need is somewhere to start and some job search action you can take. Action will eliminate overwhelm every time. What’s something you can do today, this week, or this month to get closer to your goal?

You Are Trying To Do Too Much Too Fast

We’ve all been guilty of this. We are excited about a new goal and bite off more than we can chew. We overestimate how much we can get done in a set amount of time. We create unrealistic and unattainable schedules for ourselves that leave us constantly disappointed and beating ourselves up because we never complete it all. Before we know it, overwhelm sets in.

Especially when job searching, be patient with yourself. Realize that landing a new job takes time and effort. For most of us, it doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, focus on one area, one task, one tactic at a time and the overwhelm will disappear.

Tips For Beating Overwhelm So You Can Make Progress in Your Job Search

Now that you have a better understanding of why you are feeling overwhelmed, you can create an actionable plan to overcome the feeling. Action is the key to beating overwhelm. It helps you move forward and make progress in your job search.

Here are some actionable tips for you and some strategies to jumpstart your job search progress.

6 Coping Strategies for Overwhelm Infographic
Calm Yourself and Make Progress in Your Job Search Pin
Ways to Overcome Job Search Overwhelm Pin
Inspirational Quote About Conquering Overwhelm

About the Author: Michelle Dumas

Michelle Dumas is the founder and CEO of Distinctive Career Services, one of the internet's longest-standing and most respected professional resume writing firms. Michelle is a 6X certified and 7X award-winning resume writer and career consultant. To learn more about the services offered by Distinctive Career Services visit https://www.distinctiveweb.com

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