There’s no two ways about it. Finding a new job is stressful.
It’s an emotional roller coaster ride at the best of times. We have to put ourselves “out there” in a way that makes many of us uncomfortable and can seriously undermine our confidence.
We often have a lot of professional and online assistance at hand to help us through the job search. Career coaching, recruitment consultants and online job search sites are all readily available. But what can we do to provide the personal support we need?
It’s hard not to dwell on the less than positive job search experiences. Replaying scenarios of “if only I had done that differently” can extract a heavy toll on our confidence. It’s important when those negative emotions surface to acknowledge them. It’s also important at times to reflect when there is a lesson to be learnt. But it’s just as important not to dwell on them and allow those negative thoughts to overtake us.
A great solution is to keep active. It doesn’t really matter what you do (as long as it’s not counterproductive such as heavy drinking). The important thing is just to keep yourself busy. It’s hard to dwell if you’re occupied doing other things. Go for a walk, read a book out in the sunshine, go see a movie, take a drive or grab a coffee with a friend. Anything. Just don’t sit at home.
When you need to actively work on your job search, set time limits and then take a break. It’s important for example not to work endlessly on reworking your resume. Do what you can in the time you have set. Otherwise it can become another form of dwelling.
If you start to feel that your job search is becoming desperate. Seriously consider taking time out from it to recharge your batteries (if at all possible). If that isn’t possible then talk to someone whose opinion you respect to help you regain your perspective. Just spending time with friends away from the job search can help give you fresh persepctive too. You don’t ever want to take on a new job from a position of desperation.
If you find that your confidence has been seriously shaken and you are experiencing symptoms of depression (eg. disrupted sleep, withdrawing from the world, feelings of worthlessness, raised anxiety levels, lethargy) consider professional help. Talk to your GP. It may help to speak to a psychologist. Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength not weakness.
I’m also a great believer that we get the jobs that we are meant to get. So if you have been unsuccessful in securing a particular job, then maybe that company wasn’t the right one for you. Maybe it wasn’t that you did something wrong. Maybe that last job you went for just isn’t a good match for you. An example would be a company asking me for my password so they can look at my social media profiles. Personally I don’t want to work for a company that thinks that is appropriate candidate selection behaviour.
So for me that is a successful outcome. Now I can focus on a job interview with a company that shares my values.
The most important thing in the job search process is you. Do what you need to do to look after yourself.