How To Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster That Is Job-Seeking
Posted on 5th February 2022 at 16:51
Job searching is a bit of a mixed bag really. It can be incredibly exciting and exhilarating, an adventure leading you to new places and a big step forward in your career. But it can also be anxiety inducing, nerve-wracking and leave you feeling exhausted, emotionally drained and doubting all of your own abilities.
And you’re likely to feel all of this, the highs and lows, on a weekly or even daily basis. One day you may find out you’re the top candidate for a position, only to find out later that they chose someone else, leaving you feeling disappointed. Maybe you thought you’d aced the interview, but you still didn’t make it through to the next step. Job searching is full of these highs and lows, and it can very much feel like an emotional rollercoaster that’s careening out of control. But you can control how you react to it so it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.
Be Aware Of What’s To Come
Firstly, you need to understand that job searching is a process. Sometimes it’s a short process and will take just a few weeks, but most of the time it will be a longer process and potentially take several months. And with any process, you’ll face peaks and troughs as you go through it. One week you can be a networking pro, arranging interviews, dazzling hiring managers and getting great responses from your emails, and the next nothing, radio silence. This can take you through the feelings of hopeful and excited to frustrated, confused and hopeless in just a few days.
Being aware of the things you could experience in this process ahead of time can be a huge help here. Both in the activity you’ll be going through and all of the emotions that go with them. That way you’ll be able to identify the low points and recognise that these things happen and are completely out of your control. It’s just one of those things, and it will get better. Believe it or not this helps you be less frustrated or surprised by these things, as you will know that it’s all part of the process and allowing you to rebound and move forward in your job search.
Process Your Emotions
It’s important not to try to deny or bury the emotions that come with the job-hunting rollercoaster. Activities like mindful meditation or journaling can help you process negative emotions as they come up, helping you avoid the suppression or rumination on your emotions that has been shown to increase your risk of experiencing depression and anxiety. Processing and grasping your emotions involved you allowing you to feel your emotions fully (without trying to change or judge them) and move through them effectively and quickly. In fact, brief mindful meditation reduces emotional reactivity and creates improved emotional processing.
Utilise Your Support Network
It’s important not to go through this range of emotions alone. Finding someone to talk to throughout your job search can provide you a great deal of emotional support. Sometimes that may be best coming from your friends and family, and sometimes it’s better coming from someone external, like a career coach. An experienced career coach is an absolute expert in the process of job seeking, and can give you some great perspective on the journey you’re going through and normalising the emotions you’re feeling. They’re also a fantastic sounding board for ideas and can help guide you when you’re feeling unsure of yourself or what to do next. Having a career coach on your side can provide you with a real sense of direction, as well as the skills you need to advance your search.
Engage In Uplifting, Energising Activities
When you’re on the hunt for a new job it can become this big, all-consuming thing. But that isn’t really healthy, so it’s important to do some things every day that energise you and bring you joy. This could be exercise, a walk, a trip to the gym, a bike ride, listening to your favourite music, cooking, or anything else that rejuvenates you. This is not only good for your mental health, but your overall energy level and mood will show in your interactions with others, including recruiters and in interviews. Exercise is also proven to increase your self-esteem, create a positive impact on your mood, increase your motivation, sociability, and cognition. All these activities also provide you with a break away from job-seeking as well as leaving you energised and upbeat.
Get Some Perspective
It’s important to remember that it’s normal to feel discouraged or despondent when your job search isn’t making the headway you’d like. Recruiters might not get back to you in the timeframe they gave you, a contact might not have followed through on a promise to introduce you to someone, or you could just be running into dead ends. You could of course send a friendly reminder, but first I recommend taking a step back and thinking about what their other priorities might be. After all, they have their own lives, and it’s highly unlikely that your job search isn’t at the top of their list. Once you understand that and can look at it from a different perspective, it can help de-personalise the situation and alleviate the negative emotions you may feel surrounding it.
Above all, remember that these feelings are temporary, just like many of the situations that create the feelings in the job searching process. Viewing these challenges as temporary is a fundamental part of being optimistic and positive. This outlook can generate motivation, increase wellbeing and improve your performance. By putting some of my above tips into practice, you’ll be able to make the highs and lows of job searching more manageable and keep you motivated and productive for the journey. If you’re struggling with this, or need a bit of support in your job hunt, I would love to help. Just get in touch today to book a chat.
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