I regularly receive messages from job seekers who are feeling beat down by the job seeking process.
Recently one commented, “It’s 11:00 a.m. and I’m still in my pajamas. I’m having a hard time finding any energy to send out another resume.” Another said, “I’m stuck! I’m usually a positive, energetic person, but today, I’m just depressed. I just can’t take another rejection!”
I know there are a lot of other job seekers out there who, from time to time, struggle to find the motivation to even get out of bed or have days where worry and anxiety seemingly overwhelms them. Sometimes it lasts for one day, other times it can last for several days. While it’s hard not to take your job search incredibly personal, job seekers should know that frustrations and anxiety are common; the goal is develop strategies so that you can continue a sense of constant and positive forward motion in your job search.
There’s a couple of things I would recommend you consider that can help you to stop slogging through the job seeking mud.
1.) If you are full of anxiety and becoming depressed about your job search, then take a couple days off. Don’t jump onto any online job boards, don’t make any phone calls and don’t send out any resumes. Instead, use this time to just clear your head and re-boot. Everyone has individual motivation strategies that they’ve had to use in their life to overcome a problem or a challenge. Maybe it’s as simple as going on a long hike or maybe it’s hanging out with friends or family who can give you positive reinforcement. This may sound corny, however, I can clearly recall a Sunday School song “Count your blessings… count your many blessings, see what God has done”. Start thinking about the things in your life that have helped you get out of a funk in the past. And also start thinking about the things that have worked in your job search to date this will help re-focus your job seeking plan.
2.) If you are in the thick of your job search and you don’t feel like spending the whole day job seeking, then at least commit to do doing at least ONE thing that will keep you moving forward in your search for employment. Maybe it’s making one phone call, sending out one resume or simply spending an hour on a job board writing down job leads that you can come back to later. I know in my own work I often forget that human contact works best … actually speaking to someone, will be a much better strategy than sending an email … it’s easier to ignore an email than it is a real live person.
3.) Lastly, it’s easy to get to a point where we can get overwhelmed with negative thoughts about our job search. Let’s face it, everyone looking for a job faces an unnatural amount of rejection. Maybe you are not getting the responses you hoped for or maybe you’ve been to an interview but didn’t get the job offer. Most of the time, we are never told why were rejected and we are left guessing. In these cases, we can easily become overwhelmed with negative assumptions we make about why we failed. Traditionally this has been called ‘stinkin thinkin ’. Don’t let ‘stinkin thinkin’ overtake the focus of the positive things that make you a valuable candidate; your skills, your education, your experiences, your expertise, your accomplishments… you always need to remain focused on the value you can bring to any employer.
I’ve never met a job seeker who was “unemployable”! There are things about all of us things that are valuable to employers. The most successful job seekers I’ve met have one common thread: they are confident and focused on their core skills and how those skills translate to the jobs they are applying and they never waver from all the things that make them a valuable addition to an organization.