Don’t let worry and anxiety paralyze your job search efforts. Here’s how to stay on track.

Many Americans were furloughed or terminated due to the coronavirus pandemic, which seems to have motivated droves to reconsider their current career path.

In January 2021, Pew Research released a study that found 3 in 5 Americans who were out of work due to the pandemic have “seriously considered changing their occupation or field of work.”

Making the change to a new job or career begins with a job search with determination and a plan. To find employment faster, staying focused on your job search is key.

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1. Organize relevant documents and information

Before you begin to search for new employment, update your resume, LinkedIn, and any other social media pages that an employer may request when you apply.

While you’re at it, create a document or file with contact information for previous employers and personal references. Keep all relevant information handy to expedite completing online applications.

2. Get dressed for work daily

Sitting around unshaven in your pajamas every day is a bad idea, since not dressing and grooming for the day makes it too easy to get relaxed and blow off the job search. You don’t have to wear a suit, but at least dress semi-business casual.

Showering and dressing in the morning tell your subconscious that something important will happen today, whether it’s applying for two jobs, creating a fresh search strategy, or making new networking connections.

Find out: 5 Ways to Use Online Networking to Land a Job

3. Treat the search like a job

If you get up five days a week and put in several hours a day looking for a job, you will have a much better chance of landing a new position than if you search for work only when it suits your mood.

Just like with any job, however, you need time to recharge. Set a time to clock out from the job search and stick to it every day. Now more than ever, you need downtime with friends and family to help you stay positive.

Find out: The Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for a Job Search

4. Avoid naysayers

The last thing you need when trying to stay upbeat is some doom-and-gloom person telling you all the reasons you can’t find work in a troubled economy. Yes, it’s harder to find a job than it was before, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a new position.

Keep naysayers away by screening their calls, unfollowing them on social media and firing up your hedge trimmer whenever a pessimistic neighbor walks your way for a mid-yard chat.

5. Keep track of progress

When you spend five days a week applying for jobs, networking and putting the word out that you’re seeking employment, you’re going to get a lot done. So, keep track of where you applied, who you talked with and job openings you heard about in a spreadsheet or file.

As your job search record grows, you’ll have quick access to contact information for follow-ups and evidence of your daily and weekly accomplishments.

6. Stay physically and mentally fit

Trying to find a new job is challenging, so it’s imperative that you get enough sleep, eat a nutritious diet and exercise often so you can stay positive and focused on your job search. Taking a walk at least once a day not only improves your health but also clears your mind and eases stress.

7. Keep an open mind

Just because you spent the last decade in a specific industry doesn’t mean you can only look for a job in that field. Stay open to other industries and positions to broaden your net.

Who knows? You may land a job you didn’t even know existed or find more meaningful work that brings greater satisfaction. Or you may snag a job that’s not a career but simply helps you get by until you find a job where you plan to settle in for the long haul.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

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