Friday, 28 October 2016

How to cope with the job hunt blues

The Lady Recruits consultant Amy Cosgrove reminds us not to forget these important things while in the job hunting limbo

Hunting for a job can be disheartening- especially if you are not already in a job. It can feel like you are constantly being rejected and this creates a recipe for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. I was unemployed for eight months between 2013 and 2014 and my self confidence plummeted. 

The most important thing to remember is that being unemployed is in no way a reflection of your worth as a person. The employment market is tough no matter what jobs you are applying for and any rejection you face is never personal.

I have put together a list of things that helped me while I was waiting for my next career move- hopefully they will help you too.

Remember it's not forever
You could apply this to all sorts of scenarios in life but specifically referring to job hunting- you are NOT going to be unemployed forever. Similarly, if you are currently in a job that you dislike try to remind yourself that it is only temporary. Ultimately you are in control of this situation even if it doesn't feel like it and if you keep trying eventually you will succeed.

Gain some work experience
This helped massively with my self confidence and sense of self worth. It was an opportunity to give back and focus on something other than my own situation. It also helped to bridge the gap on my CV between jobs. If you are working see if there is another department in your company that you could do some work for, learning a new skill or taking on a new challenge can help to breathe new life into a role that otherwise feels stale.

Occupy yourself with a new interest
When I was unemployed I became fixated with YouTube, it sounds silly now but the girls I subscribed to felt like friends and focusing on a new interest helped to lift my spirits and stopped me from wallowing (most of the time). I also learned a lot from their videos!

Set a goal
I found it incredibly helpful to structure my search. I would aim to apply for around five jobs a day and having this target really helped me to feel proactive and motivated.

Give yourself time out
Job searching can feel like a full-time job in itself but grant yourself time off to relax and switch off just the same as you would if you were employed.

Don't be afraid to lean on someone
If things are getting tough you're going to need someone to talk to, someone who can be completely yourself with and who will be there for you when the frustration gets too much. Do remember that even the people who love you most can tire of listening to your problems so save leaning on them for when you're feeling at your worst.

Write it down
For the rest of the time, keeping a journal can be a really healthy way of venting your frustrations. Journals never get bored; they don't judge you and they are always there.

Be kind to yourself
You are not worthless, you are good enough and you can do this. You wouldn't dream of telling a friend anything different so grant yourself the same decency and be kind.

Please remember that you are not alone and that your circumstances are not permanent. As my parents always like to tell me- far better people than you have found themselves in this situation. It never felt particularly comforting at the time but what they were really trying to say is that finding the perfect job is never easy and even the highest of flyers can find themselves unhappy in their jobs or unemployed.

Don't give up, keep pushing and eventually you will get where you want to be.


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