IT HAPPENS to all of us. The time when your job search comes to a screeching halt. All of your prospects seem to dry up and blow away. E-mail messages taper off and the phone just doesn’t ring back from all the calls you made.

It can be a frightening experience when you are marketing yourself in your job search campaign. You start to question your tactics, what you said or did not say, or just think about giving up entirely. The thought of selling everything and going to live in a cabin in the woods suddenly sounds wonderful.

What’s going on here?

Even when you have been diligent about reaching out to your network, meeting new people, contacting potential employers and getting the word out about your career search, some factors are beyond your control.

Here are a few:

Current economic situation: This can be either a real-life situation or an excuse. Some companies see adding headcount as an expense rather than an investment. They analyse the costs of hiring and re-think their position.

On the other hand, it can be a brush-off to avoid making a decision. If times are bad, why shouldn’t your prospects invest in making their business better by hiring the right people?

Going under: Some businesses are just not prepared to handle the current situation. They are doing everything just to stay alive.
Changing priorities: What was No. 1 on the list yesterday dropped to No. 20, 30 or lower. It is unfortunate for you, but a reality in business.
Afraid to make a decision: With all of the recent news on poor management of finances and corporate misbehaviour, it is a wonder anyone would want to step out and risk making a hiring decision. They are afraid of their own shadows.
It’s the festive season: People think more about having fun than doing business. Family, friends and time off take priority. Does the job search have to stop for you? Absolutely not.

Can you do things that will get the phone to ring and to increase activity in your job search? Yes, you can. Can you still initiate or continue your networking efforts during this time? You bet.

Article by Frank Traditi, co-author of Get Hired Now! He is a career strategist, small business marketing consultant and speaker. He helps talented professionals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. For more information, visit