A new job search can often be filled with a lot of lows and a few highs. You get excited when you see amazing job postings in which you match the qualifications, immediately dreaming about what things will be like with the job. You are excited as you put together your cover letter and resume, sending it off to the company where you anticipate getting the call for an interview and an eventual job offer. However, when the call never comes, you feel completely let down and consider giving up the search. Letting those negative moments take control over your job search will surely cause it to fail.
With that, do you ever feel like your career defines who you are, so finding the correct job is like finding part of yourself? Or does the fear of ending up unemployed cause you to border on desperation? Desperation can be sensed during an interview, ruining the positive points and causing the interviewer to only remember how desperate you were for the job.
Rejection is a hard pill to swallow. Even though you are told not to take being turned down for jobs personally, it is hard not to, especially when you make it to the job interview stage. The feelings of inadequacy can make you question your ability to do any job. Luckily there are things you can do to help balance those negative emotions with positive ones to keep a strong outlook on your job search.
Most of us desire a structure so the uncertainty that comes with a job search makes us nervous. Setting a schedule and limits for a job search will help keep some structure to the search. This little bit of structure can sustain motivation and keep your positive emotions going. An example of a schedule is to put a time limit on how long you work on your job search each day. Saying you will spend an hour a day to work on improving your resume will give enough time to accomplish a little bit each day without overwhelming yourself so that you can have small wins every day. You could also make a goal of attending two networking events each month.
Keep yourself organized to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Creating step-by-step plans for each part of your job search will make those plans feel like a work assignment.
Perhaps you need an information interview before pursuing a job opportunity. In order to secure an informational interview, you will need to send an email trying to arrange one. Put this task into a step-by-step list so that you know what step is next when trying to accomplish it. Another example would be the steps to take after receiving an invitation to interview with them. You must research the company, organize your notes, prepare answers to common interview questions, hold a mock interview, and then choose an outfit for the interview. Making this into a list makes everything seem more manageable.
Sometimes taking a break from the job search is necessary. Cramming in as many job applications and interviews into a short amount of time can cause burn out. Pace yourself throughout your job hunt tasks. You will first need motivation to find a new job before thinking about how you will convince a company that you are the right candidate. Taking little breaks will help you assess what you need to improve or add to your life to provide greater emotional well-being. This may involve making networking connections or finding a mentor to help you along your way.
There is nothing wrong with reaching out for help. The emotions stirred up during a job search can keep one up at night with feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. The stress hormones that course through your body will continue to do so, keeping you down unless you find a way to rid yourself of the negativity. A family member or friend is a great person to reach out to for support and career validation. Even the act of talking things through can help you.
You should also know what sets you off; what, in fact, your insecurities are. Are there certain situations that you avoid or that cause you increased anxiety? By knowing what can trouble you while searching for a job, can prepare you for when those anxiety and stress strike. If you struggle with the time between an interview and a call back, then ask the interviewer during the interview when you might hear back from them. This will help you handle the wait time that can occur between an interview and a phone call that requests a second interview or outright offers you the open position.
If you still have no success after months of applications and interviews, work on improving yourself so that you have more achievements to put on your application and talk about during interviews. Pick up a new skill that relates to your field. Maybe your improvements can be something simple such as updating your LinkedIn profile or editing your resume so that it reads easier. Keep in mind that by staying positive, you will increase your chances of having successful interviews. Tell yourself that things will eventually work out and you will find the job that helps you reach your career goals; it just may take more time than you planned it would.
See the following articles for more information:
- Which Jobs Should You Apply To?
- Find Your Calling: A Checklist
- How to Best Prep for Your Next Interview