Looking for a job can be daunting, especially when it seems like you’ve submitted dozens of applications and haven’t gotten a single response. It’s easy to throw in the towel and give up.
But, if you do that, you are missing out on the amazing opportunity to work from home. If you’re feeling down about your job prospects, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Play some uplifting music (fight song, anyone?) and believe in yourself.
You can get your work-at-home search back on track and find the perfect position. Here are six tips to help you emotionally recover and reset.
1. Evaluate what you bring to the table
You are unique. There is no one else on earth with the same skill set, experience, and personality as you. That means you bring to the table something that no one else can: you!
But, if you don’t believe in yourself and the value you bring, no one else will. Take the time for a serious evaluation of your education, skills, and experiences. Get out a piece of paper and a pencil and write down:
- Every position you’ve ever held (from running the high school concession stand to being a housewife, it all counts!)
- Your educational experience
- What are you good at (if you’re not sure, think about what people ask you for help with)
- The things you enjoy doing
- Difficulties you have overcome
- Key personality traits
- Skills that you have developed to an excellent level
By now, you’ve probably started a pretty good list. Brilliant! It gives you a visual reminder of exactly how much you’re offering. Now the key is to take all these random things and figure out why they make you a good fit for the job you want.
2. Refine what you are looking for
What kind of work makes you dizzy inside? What would you love to do? Just looking for a job is boring. But looking for a job that fulfills your passion is a whole different story. It lights a fire inside of you and gives you energy to keep looking.
Now, you may not be able to find your dream job right away. But is there anything you can do to get your foot in the door? If you’d love to design graphics for a major company, could you take on a few small freelance jobs first? Or work for a smaller company?
Try to think of a logical path from where you are now to where you want to be. Look for positions in the same industry. Or within the company you dream of working for.
If flexibility is key for you, focus on that. You may not find exactly what you’re looking for, but prioritizing one or two items of work can increase your chances of finding something closer.
When you have a list of the types of jobs you’d like, it’s time to make sure your application materials are ready.
3. Dust off your resume and make it shine
Did you know that most hiring managers look at each resume for less than a minute? If yours is blah and looks exactly like everyone else’s, your chances of getting the job plummeted.
So how can you make your resume shine? What can make you stand out?
The days of investing in a ream of resume paper and professionally printing them for scores are over. Resumes are no longer one size fits all.
You have to make sure that the content is great. I found that the traditional resume, which just lists your experience and education, is not enough in today’s market. Unless the job you’re looking for is an “obvious” next step from the position you currently hold, hiring managers won’t see the connection based on random job titles.
That means your job is to explain it to them. Make the education and experience sections of your resume smaller. Add a Skills and Achievements section and make it stand out. Here, your job is to show how what you’ve done in the past makes you a perfect fit for this job you’re applying for.
Now, as you can probably see, you can’t just do this once and call it good. Instead, you should proactively change your resume every time you submit it. Update the objective at the top, along with the wording of your skills. You want to mimic some of the language you see in the job description.
Here is an example. Let’s say she’s applying for a customer service position, and although she doesn’t have experience as a customer service representative, she does have experience as a babysitter. In her role, she often had to help young children calm down after a tantrum. This is good practice for a customer service job! Your job is to show hiring managers why. You can say something like this in the skills section of your resume:
Experienced in the art of communicating with irate people and dispelling short-tempered situations.
He just took something he’s done and directly showed how it applies to what he’s going to do. You need to connect the dots, for each job you apply for.
But never lie about any application material. Don’t make things up. And not embellish. You can change the wording and select specific job or life skills. But never lie, okay? It is a serious offense that can cost you dearly.
Check out more of my resume tips here.
4. Invest in yourself
Now that you’ve taken a good look at your experiences and demonstrated how they’ve prepared you for the role, you also know what you’re missing. Is there a course you can take to help you improve? Need to brush up on your writing or design skills? Do you lack computer skills?
Think honestly about where you can grow.
And then invest in yourself. If you don’t have money, you may not have money to buy a course. But you can read blog posts and take free courses. You can read library books and do your best to improve.
It is worth investing in you, with your time and your money!
You don’t have to go to college for many careers, so don’t let a lack of degree be an excuse. There are other ways to learn the skills you need if you’re willing to invest in yourself. These are some of my favorite courses for working from home.
Who you know is really important these days. Go to your network and let them know what you’re looking for. You never know who might meet someone else and be willing to introduce you.
A simple post on your Facebook page can get the ball rolling. It’s a great way to get your name buzzing and popping into the minds of people who already know you.
Make sure your post is shareable, in case someone wants to send it to another friend.
Don’t feel limited to Facebook. Make sure you’re on LinkedIn and that your profile is optimized. Lots of companies are hiring from there these days. Ask someone to take a nice picture of you for your profile picture (no selfies here!)
6. Take a part-time job to fill the void.
Finding the best work at home job takes time. But if you’re completely broke and don’t have enough to pay the bills, you need to do something now. You don’t have the luxury of sitting back and waiting for your dream position. You have to do something to make the money flow.
If this is the case for you, the best step to take may be to take a part-time job that you don’t like and that pays less. A little money is better than no money. These are some of the best online part-time jobs from home.
So go ahead and sign up for a contract job teaching English to children all over the world, even if you really wanted a job with benefits. Or take that call center position, even if the hours aren’t as flexible as you’d hoped.
These experiences will help strengthen your resume and give you good perseverance stories to tell.
Once you have a temporary position, be sure to look for work from home. Keep looking and keep applying.
The work from home you’d love to have is out there somewhere, so don’t give up! You can do this, and I’ll be here cheering you on.
And, if you’re still in the search phase, here are some of the best places to find a remote job:
Good luck with your search! You have this.