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You wake up tired. You go to bed tired and feel frustrated all the time. You need a new job, but are you going about the search in the right way? What can you do to make the most of your job-searching time and, more important, keep you stress-free? Here are some ideas to help get you back into the game.

Network—with cocktails! Networking can seem overwhelming and draining all at the same time. Many job seekers dread it, thinking, “I have to go make small talk with people I don’t know again? And ask them about work?”

If you have ever had that thought, take a moment to reframe how you think about networking. Instead of viewing it as a chore, put yourself in a situation that you actually enjoy. Brainstorm job ideas with friends over dinner, join a new meet-up that is fun or relevant to your job interests, or attend a charity happy hour or nonprofit event that sounds meaningful to you. It can be hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but engaging with people and doing something new can often give you a great idea or contact in your job search process.

Use the right ask. Instead of telling people you meet that you are job searching, tell them specifically what type of job you are looking for and in what field. “I need a new job” is very different from “I am looking for a new job as an HR manager in a small association. I would love to work somewhere that I can help shape. Do you know of anyone hiring?” The detail of your ask paints a picture to your network—they can then see who they should connect you with and help accordingly, versus blindly trying to introduce you to people. Being specific will help make your job search time much shorter and keep you from falling into a rut. READ MORE.

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