Job Search: The Emotional Rollercoaster

Strategic JourneyIt starts with a feeling of low energy. A bit like that end-of-week procrastination we all get, but this time it’s tinged with something else you can’t yet define. You’ve been on top of the merry-go-round of interviews, applications, telephone calls, coffees and networking, and have taken it all in your stride, but lately, something is not quite right. The bills need to be paid that’s for sure, and of course you have come to terms with those feelings of guilt that somehow you should have fallen into a job immediately (despite all job statistics suggesting otherwise). Your thoughts are filled with the job search; they swirl around at night as you lie quietly in bed, mentally rewriting your cover letter, re-thinking a chance meeting with a former colleague, and recalling the embarrassment of saying “I’m on a break right now” to the shop assistant completing your mobile phone application.

If you are commencing your job search right now maybe you’ve experienced some of these feelings. If so, then the following advice can help to alleviate stress and provide you with a brighter, more optimistic outlook.

If you are distressed, exhausted, listless or you feel depressed and are experiencing dark thoughts, then it is time to talk to someone who can help. There are support mechanisms for you. Click here right now and don’t delay. 

Despite job search being something people do every day, it does take an emotional toil on your health, your sense of self, your family and your motivation, even when you are looking from the comfort of a pay-packet. Some people describe the time searching for a job as some of the most stressful days of their lives and say they have never worked so hard.

It would be trite to advise that if you whistle a happy tune and put a spring in your step that you won’t experience stress. But, if you are just starting out on the job search, you can start observing the following routines and advice now to try to lessen the emotional impact.

  • There is no need to panic. In Australia, the unemployment rate of 5.3% (late 2011) is lower than most countries. That means that 94.7% of eligible workers have jobs. There IS a job out there for you.
  • Keep your frustration levels at bay. A job search takes time. And the higher the level of position, the longer the search.
  • Never put all your eggs in one basket by relying solely on one opportunity. If it doesn’t come off, then you will need to start again.
  • Think and act fast when faced with an opportunity. If you see what you want, don’t let the chance pass you by. Make sure you are prepared with your resume and other materials.
  • You can achieve what you think you can. Visualise your success in the job search and picture yourself at your dream job. The Job Loss Recovery Program can help you. 
  • It is normal to feel uncertain about changing jobs, but remember that all growth takes place outside your comfort zone.
  • Having trouble getting motivated? Try bribing yourself. For example, tell yourself that if you make three follow-up calls, you can enjoy a reward for 20 minutes afterwards. (The reward depends on you!)
  • There’s a belief that “Your income will average that of the five people you hang around with the most.” Want to make a change? Change who you connect with.
  • Luck will not determine your success in your job search. Instead, it takes hard work, time, and persistence.
  • Find out what successful people in your industry do differently and model them. Are there courses or skills or training you should have? Take the first step!
  • Life is all about making choices. Make choices each day that will lead you closer to your dream job.
  • Ask yourself: “Why am I having trouble finding a job?” Be completely honest as you list as many reasons as you can. Then work on those areas.
  • Don’t get stuck in the past. Being unfairly treated in your last job was terrible, but don’t let it define you. Didn’t get the interview for a job you really wanted? That’s a door closing, but look for the window that isn’t. Your next job is in front of you, not behind you.
  • In the job search, there are often no truly “right” or “wrong” decisions. There are only choices we make and live with.
  • Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to get my dream job?” Make a list, and then start working through those action items.
  • Celebrate your successes in your job search even if you haven’t secured a job yet! If your resume is getting you interviews that is a successful step forward regardless of the outcome.
  • Don’t overlook your own stories when trying to learn how to succeed in a job search. Look to your own history for clues on how to be successful in this job search.
  • Ask yourself at the end of the day, “What one item on my to-do list made the most difference in the achievement of my goal?”
  • Listen to uplifting music while you’re working on your job search activities. It can help lighten your mood.
  • If you’re stuck and just can’t push through, take a break. That might mean taking an afternoon off, or it might mean securing a temporary job.
  • Get out in the fresh air. Go for walks to clear your mind. Keeping fit and healthy is important.
  • Create a vision board for your job. Cut photos, words, and other images from magazines and online and put them on a posterboard you can look at daily. Or use a site like www.Pinterest.com or www.Evernote.com.
  • Write your goal on a large piece of paper. Describe your ideal job and ideal salary. Keep it in front of you.
 Most importantly, never give up and be kind to yourself and those around you. Allow your family to be your soft place to land. What you are seeing in their eyes is love and concern, not judgement and dissatisfaction, so don’t shut them out. You’ll get through this together.

Posted by Gayle Howard

Gayle Howard

I love words, respect their power and I’m passionate about using language that evokes an immediate and positive reaction from employers. Every resume I create, every coaching session I provide, every snippet of advice offered aims to help executives and leaders of tomorrow promote their authenticity in ways no smart employer could dare resist. I like to be first, just as I want my clients to be first past the finish line. I was Australia’s first Master Resume Writer, Certified G3 Coach, Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Certified Job Loss Recovery Coach—credentials still held by just a handful of professionals worldwide. An author, with additional works published in twenty-plus international career books, recipient of more than twenty-seven resume writing awards, and a specialist in creating unbeatable value propositions for senior executives for more than two decades, is your guarantee of excellence.

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