Feeling Hopeless in Your Job Search?

How to not feel hopeless in Job Search

The job search invites despair. Dozens of applications in with only form rejections in your inbox it feels like you are doing nothing but throwing rocks into the ocean. Throwing those rocks is hard. Hearing back from a company is not even guaranteed after sending an application, and those email notifications soon bring with them a sigh as you expect that subsequent rejection. Hopelessness fills the job search, and all the time and energy you’ve already put into it. We talk to fellows all the time about feeling hopeless in the job search. This article will shed light on some strategies and ideas to ensure you stay on track to finding your dream job!

Designate a Time and Space for Work

The lure of working from the comfort of your bed is strong, especially when you do all your work on a laptop. It is easy to settle into a routine of rolling out of bed, grabbing coffee, an apple, and your computer, and then rolling right back into bed. Living in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, it is difficult to designate any space as a workstation.

Jumping into your coziest nook to work is okay for some people, but it can interfere with sleep and reduce energy levels during the day. The job search, to start, is not very rewarding. Sending out application after application, tweaking resume and cover letter, and reading through post after post is enough to drive anyone to sleep.

Cafes, restaurants on off hours, libraries, or any public space can double as a workstation. It will, unfortunately, make it harder to relax there, but that’s okay! You want to avoid seeing your bed as a stressful location in your house.

Don’t Let Rejections Make you Hopeless in Job Search

Rejections come, usually through an impersonal email or silence from the company. It is okay to get rejected by the company. It happens all the time to just about everyone who ever searched for a job. Try to set up a plan to mitigate the job search hopelessness and take the sting out of those rejections.

  • Practice self-compassion. Fortify yourself with the knowledge that you are not alone in the job search
  • Tie receiving the rejection with a de-stressing activity
  • Talk with friends and family to gather support

When you receive rejections, reflect upon the application process to see if you did anything wrong. Sometimes the answer is no, and the job just didn’t swing your way. As your old applications come back in rejections, try to look towards the future and pick out that new dream job rather than sitting in the past, thinking about the jobs you might have had.

Prioritize Time For Yourself

Don’t forget to take time for yourself in the middle of your job search. Take time to organize your schedule, if possible. Make sure there’s time to do something that you enjoy, even if it’s as simple as watching television or playing video games. There will always be another application you can send out, making it very important to set boundaries and agreements with yourself for times to stop working and unwind.

Taking time for yourself allows you to feel refreshed and ready to go when you return to the job search. Some of the feelings of hopelessness in the job search come from it invading the times of your day when you should be relaxing, working on other productive tasks, or socializing.


As you settle in for some serious searching, a little movement goes a long way! The tasks related to your job search all revolve around the computer, and if you’re working from home there’s no reason you have to get up and move about.

Exercise throughout the day is known to positively affect your mental health, an effect that can stave off that wave of hopelessness in the job search that surrounds the job search. Exercise does not have to be a sweaty, hour-long affair, either! Something as simple as a ten-minute walk around the block can have a huge effect on your mental state for the rest of the day.

Career Coaching

As the job search draws on, exterior help can go a long way. Expert assistance helps many job seekers. Coached job seekers get hired over 250% faster than non-coached seekers, often seeing higher response rates to applications and a higher interview success rate. Career coaches come with disadvantages as well. One is money. Another is that it can be challenging to find a career coach that is perfect for you.

There are many ways to get a boost in your job search. We’re one of them! Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with job seekers 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job. On average, Pathrise increases interview scores by 200%, triples application responses, and lands our fellows’ jobs in three to five months. We’ve helped thousands of fellows find their dream job. Interested? Join our next cohort and get 14 days free with no commitments!

Apply today.

Patrick Bohan

Hi, I'm Patrick, I write about the job search. After graduating from Cornell, I became a content lead at UBS where I helped professionals at Fortune 500 companies understand their stock options, salary, and benefits. When I'm not writing about the hiring process, I write novels for teens.

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