Nobody likes to miss out. Nobody wants to hear the implied undertone of “We liked another candidate more than we liked you” because it takes us back to our school days when kids fail to engage the filter before thought hits mouth; the sort of statement that hurts us at the time and floods back when we receive rejections now.
There is no doubt, the time devoted to job seeking can be incredibly tough and the loss to self-esteem even tougher. Even with a supportive network and a wonderful family cocoon, many people define themselves by what they do or their standing in an organisation and the trappings that come with that success: the corner office, the executive assistant, the travel, the disposable cash and more. Losing that can be devastating to an individual and people deal with it in a lot of different ways.
It is glib to spout reassuring “when the going gets tough” phrases and affirming “atta boys” to a person who is dealing with making a tremendous personal—and in many cases—financial adjustment. Your perception of the person you think you are can be eroded daily within a new and unfamiliar world of recruiters, closed doors, negative opinions, rumours and knock backs; a veritable cattle call of candidates can be savage to the novice job hunter. It can knock you about emotionally and can have a negative affect on your attitude and personality, which in turn, negatively affects the way you approach your job search. Nobody wants a cynical, bitter and burnt-out candidate; the same person who just a few months earlier was managing multimillion-dollar budgets and a staff of thousands worldwide and was spurning approaches by headhunters daily.
A way to cope is to get away from the situation for a while. While experts tell you to make the job search your actual job, no job is (or should be) 24 x 7. Take time off to do the normal things you enjoy doing: playing with the kids, painting, reading, gardening, jogging. Whatever it is, it can help your mental health to relax and take a break.
Consider too the wonderful work of life coaches or career coaches if you can afford it. Another person can provide a calming, non-biased ear and may have some real-life strategies that can be of significant use to you if you’re open to new ideas.
Before you resign or accept that redundancy package, anticipate and understand these emotions are normal and make plans on how you are going to deal with this adjustment to your lifestyle in whatever way it works for you. One thing is for sure, a stiff upper lip, denial or refusal to deal with these emotions can do more damage long term, than the loss of your job ever will.