We’re often at our most vulnerable when we’re applying for jobs. The early optimism we may feel about finding our new future and building a better life soon give way to personal doubt: Why is this taking so long? Why is no one calling me back? As time creeps forward, you find yourself getting more and more anxious, questioning your abilities and talents more than you ever thought you could.
Here’s what you can do to get through these feelings.
Remember that interesting company your friend told you about that was hiring a few months back? It might be worth checking if they have any job openings now.
Start compiling a list of companies and positions you’re interested in, so you have everything in one place when you start sending out applications, sprucing up your cover letter and refreshing your resume.
Buy notebooks if you like to take notes, clean your workspace and make a file folder for anything you print out— whatever gets you inspired and keeps you focused.
Make a visual reminder of your goals
Make a habit of visualizing what you want for your future.
An Entrepreneur article details how you should “create without judgment” when it comes to your vision board.
“There is no right or wrong way to create your vision board. Start with a canvas or design board. You may choose to draw or paint on your board, add photos or pictures from magazines — anything that has particular meaning to you and reflects your vision for the future,” it says.
Ditch the negativity
Ken Sundheim writes about this in a Forbes article: the job search is very often a numbers game.
“Don’t catastrophize every rejection; understand that you’re not going to get every job you go for. Turn letdowns into ambition instead of inaction. If you find yourself in a real spiral of negativity and anxiety, it won’t hurt to pick up a classic such as ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ which is at its core a manual on positive thinking and genuine relationships. If something less business-minded suits your reading tastes, a reputable CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) handbook can help you reroute your negative self-talk into more reality-based assessments about yourself and your job search,” Sundheim writes.
If nothing else, remember this: how do you feel after negative self-talk? Motivated, or demoralized? Usually it’s the latter. Negativity isn’t productive. It wears you down instead of lifting you up. Give yourself a limited amount of time to picture your very worst scenario, then when the timer pings, drop it and get to work.
Remember what you already have going for you
Putting things into perspective can go a long way. Jason Mannino writes about this in a piece for HuffPost.
“I strongly encourage you to keep a gratitude notebook. There is no denying that things can get tough — really tough on all levels (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) during a long and seemingly arduous job search. Taking five minutes out of each day to write in a journal about the things for which you are a grateful can go a very long way in shifting your attention away from the negative and on to the more positive aspects of your life. This will help you experience greater sense of well being and even joy,” Mannino writes.
Stay active through volunteer work
Instead of spending every waking moment stressing out at home about job applications, put your talents to good use by helping someone else in your free time.
An article for U.S. News & World Report sheds light on this.
“When you align your volunteer activities with the things you normally do in the workplace, you can apply your talents in new areas. This can prevent you from becoming rusty – especially if you’re unemployed. And when you take on new challenges, you will have the ability to turn your weaknesses into strengths as you build new skills and gain experience,” the article says. Staying positive and involved in your community can help stave off feelings of isolation during your job hunt.
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