There is considerable material out on the web that provides people with guidance and recommendations on effective job search strategies; resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile creation; and interviewing skills. However, the toll a job search campaign can take on someone, especially a long and drawn out campaign, is not nearly as well covered.
Stress, anxiety, and frustration are often words used by people to describe the process for finding a great job. Designing and managing a productive job search campaign is hard work and denying the impact it can have on self-esteem, confidence, and motivation should not be ignored.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when attempting to combat the emotional consequences of a grueling job search campaign.
- One of the best ways to address a sense of frustration and anxiety is to develop a workable plan with plenty of opportunities for small successes. The lack of a job search plan makes it much easier for negative emotions to creep in and damage enthusiasm and morale. On the other hand, creating a well-structured job search plan with identifiable and achievable milestones can help to sustain motivation and focus. For example, creating and uploading a LinkedIn profile or developing / obtaining high quality documents such a resume and cover letter are achievements worth celebrating. These and other important steps do make a difference in shortening the job search timeframe and generating success.
- Seek out other people who are experiencing the same job search stresses and frustrations. There is a saying that “misery loves company” and I believe that is true with efforts to find fulfilling employment. There is always the potential for people feeding off of each other’s negative emotions to worsen the impact for everyone. However, it is much more likely that people will support each other and suggest ways to solve job search challenges. Most communities have groups that encourage people with similar characteristics such as career level and industry focus to meet and discuss relevant issues and concerns. You can also find ample opportunities online to communicate with people through forums, chat rooms, etc. Realizing that other people are facing the same issues you are can be comforting.
- Find ways to redirect your attention at times from the job search campaign. It is important to avoid the tendency to become so absorbed with finding a great job that you downplay or neglect other aspects of your life. This is a recipe for burnout. Instead, make sure to do things that maintain variety and reduce the tendency to focus solely on the job search. Activities like exercising, reading, dining out (if you can afford it), and socializing with friends can make a big difference in maintaining a positive outlook.
The process of designing and executing a winning job search campaign can be demanding and will sometimes seem unforgiving. Do what you need to do to achieve success. However, do not forget to take care of yourself by expecting and addressing the stress, anxiety, and frustration that will undoubtedly occur. Three great ways to do this are through careful planning and identification of achievable milestones, finding people to network with who have similar issues and concerns, and maintaining a balance between job search and other aspects of your life.