If you’re looking for a job, you probably already covered all the mechanics of performing a successful job search—like how to craft the perfect resume, how to master the interview, and so forth.
But then you realize it’s approaching 2 months since you’ve been on the hunt, and you’re starting to wonder why things are going so wrong because you had done everything right to prepare. Just months ago, you were excited about the possibility of working in your dream job, and now you want to give up.
You’re completely fed up with (1) your resume going into a ‘black hole’ - (2) never receiving closure or feedback from hiring managers/recruiters - (3) getting told that you’re over-/under-qualified for positions you felt like you would be perfect for – and the list goes on!
Every time you come close to ending this thing, something sets you right back to square one...
"We have received your application for the position of HR Director. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that you have not been selected for this position.
We will retain your candidate file" – blah, blah, blah... EPIC FAIL!
I know, I know. It sucks! This is the reason why some workers feel stuck in jobs they hate - and people feel like giving up on their dreams. Let’s face it: people would rather stay miserable than to sacrifice their stability and go back on that job market. PSST!!! #aintnobodygattimefordat!
So, in addition to building all the prerequisite job search skills, ask yourself this: “How do I plan on staying sane?” What is your plan on keeping yourself positive and from letting the stress build up?
Having a sanity plan may not be the first thing you think of when embark on a new job search, but I’m here to tell you, you need to have one in place!
Here’s how to stay sane during your job search:
Have a plan
I know that finding a job is of the urgency, so it’s natural to want to just update your resume, search for jobs you like and apply online for them. But, searching for your dream career requires strategy. It’s a frustrating process, but you can certainly experience less of a headache by having a plan to guide you through the process.
Solution: Set a schedule. You should know how many times you're going to send out your resume in a given week - and exactly the times in the week you plan to focus on your search. Ask yourself, what specific role you are targeting? How am I managing my follow-ups? How many networking events are you going to this month – or how do you plan to leverage your network to your advantage?
These are things you need to plan. Don’t make the mistake of ‘winging it’ through your search. Bottom line, create some form of job tracker and job search schedule.
Don’t fall in love with leads
You were feeling confident you got the job, but getting rejected after you’ve gotten your hopes all up is making you start to lose faith. You daydreamed about how perfect the job is and tell your friends about how you are that you're going to get it. You spent hours perfecting your responses to questionnaires, and thought you pretty much nailed the interview. You did it again. You fell in love with a lead.
Solution: Keep your focus and never get distracted by interviews, recruiters, or friends who say they could hook you up. Keep your head to the clouds – and never put your search on hold until you get a formal, written offer from a company (which you accept).
I’m sure you’ve heard it a time and time again, but looking at your efforts positively can really make a difference – rather than resorting to self-criticism about unsuccessful interviews, or a quiet month with respect to resume responses.
Solution: Focus less on the problems that occur and put your energy into possible solutions. For example, if you’re not being called in for interviews, change your resume and or hone the necessary skills to make you more desirable to your target employers.
Don’t make every rejection a catastrophe and absolutely do not take things personal. Understand that you’re not going to get every job you go for. Maybe you weren’t rejected - and you were divinely redirected!
Let go of how things “should” be.
“When I argue with reality, I lose - but only 100 percent of the time.” – Byron Katie
The reality is, right here and right now, you’re still on the job market. Thinking, “I should have a job by now,” or, “The job market is terrible,” or, “Recruiters suck because they never give feedback,” or “Companies shouldn’t interview people if they’re just going to hire internally anyways,” will only create unnecessary friction.
Solution: It’s easy to get caught up in what sucks about a situation because pain gets our attention. But with some effort, you can also find the positive elements. What are you learning from what you’re going through?
Turn letdowns into ambition instead of inaction, and spend this time learning from your mistakes.
Remind yourself why you’re great.
Rejection can take a huge blow to your esteem and feeling of self-worth. This is why self-confidence and believing in yourself are extremely important. They don't see your value? Well, that sucks for them!
Solution: Take an inventory of “reasons why I’m great.” And don’t be shy, honey! This isn’t the time for modesty. Let the glowing comments flow...
Why are you perfect for your target position? What do you admire about you? And, don’t just stop with making a list yourself. Ask other people what they admire about you.
Read the list out from time to time and read through it slowly. Don’t just read the words intellectually. Allow yourself to feel them.
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Now, I want to hear from you! Share in the comments how these truths have helped you advance your job search.