The national unemployment rate fell to 8.5%, the lowest in nearly 3 years. While we seem to be moving in the right direction, this is not a window of opportunity to “go easy” on your job search. It’s a time to become even more persistent and stay ahead of the competition!

While being unemployed can be emotionally challenging and stressful, it is crucial to remain optimistic and motivated. If you let the circumstances way you down, it will affect your ability to procure a new position. So try not to wallow, take action instead!

Sample action plan:

Take stock and create a personal inventory. Ask yourself realistically, why are you unemployed and did you have control of this outcome? (No matter the answer, we want to create a strategic plan.) Were you part of downsizing due to the economy? Was your function eliminated or outsourced overseas? Did you have a positive rapport with your company, supervisor, and colleagues? Do you have the skill set needed to have remained in your previous position or to move up to the next level? Ask these questions to see what you may need to do going forward. It could be relocating, finding a different industry, smaller/larger company, or improving/learning new skills.

Plan financially. Don’t wait, plan accordingly. Lay it all out so you can take a hard look at it. What is coming in? What is going out? What can be trimmed? Then, create a long-term plan with options to help get you through the rough patch. Laying it out and having a proactive plan can help to reduce the anxiety.

Get up and get moving! Treat every weekday as a work day. Get dressed and get out. (Isolation can contribute to situational depression.) It is easy to hide behind the computer in sweats and slippers, but that is not where the jobs are! Place yourself where you can meet new people and network. Create a routine for yourself with daily goals and objectives.

Open your mouth. People can’t help if they don’t know you need it. Let people know that you are looking, and ask for support. Tap into the resources that are available to you through friends, former colleagues, organized groups, and professionals.

Find one thing a day that is incredibly funny… and laugh. Many studies have stated that “laughter is the best medicine.” It reduces pain, improves job performance, lowers blood sugar levels, and allows us to tolerate discomfort. Better yet, find something funny to share with someone else, and laugh with them!

Keep the faith that this too shall pass.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle A. Riklan, ACRW, CPRW, CEIC Résumés that land on the top of the pile! Coaching that puts you ahead of the competition. Training that ensures career advancement. We want you to reach your top potential!