“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart” are the first two sentences of a famous essay written by former Yale president and lifelong baseball fan A. Bartlett Giamatti. While he was talking about his favorite baseball team and America’s pastime in general, those words, for some, can be a fitting description about their job hunting experiences too.
A job search that has yet to materialize into any concrete results can be a drag. One can be tempted to nab the first offer that comes along. You may feel like you are becoming a burden to those taking care of you. Financially speaking, your savings may have reached the empty tank stage. Most of all, the job search makes you feel vulnerable by running the risk of being rejected by employers.
However, don’t feel down and scared. According to an article by Melody Wilding, there are five tested strategies to deploy when the weight of the job search is starting to feel a bit heavy:
1. Create structure
An unsuccessful (for now) job search can offer a surplus of idle time. Creating structure means exercising a good degree of control over the available time at your disposal. Establish a defined and clear-cut schedule or agenda for your day and follow it to the letter (i.e. From 9:00 – 10:00 am daily, you’ll sit down and do your interview preparations or setting a target of job fairs to attend in a month). When you create structure in a given day, you are able to achieve little victories, reminding you of what you are capable of and boosting your self-esteem in the process.
2. Stay organized
“Organized” means “arranged or planned in a particular way”. By being organized, you lessen the chances of feeling swamped with the magnitude of the task or project, especially for a job search. One way to do so is by digesting the tasks into simple and achievable steps. Do this for every phase of your job search and you’ll realize that the work will be more manageable and less intimidating.
3. Take a hiatus
This does not give you the license to slack off on looking for a job but an invitation to rest and recharge, especially when you find yourself lacking the needed drive and energy. Gauge your level of well-being. While resting, do not lose focus on the other things you can do to keep the application process moving (i.e. getting in touch with your network of contacts).
4. Seek out emotional support
A job search may present you with a wide-range of options to apply for. It can also provide you a venue to feel an array of emotions, which can include fears and limiting beliefs. Stop these thoughts from turning into an unstoppable mental snowball by using your “call-a-friend” (or family member or mentor) lifeline. These folks can show you that you have a caring support system in place.
5. Know your triggers
Certain individuals and/or situations can really push our buttons by making us prone to reactive responses and feeling stressed out. Have you identified these triggers? Doing so can help you cope with these triggers much better.
Which strategy do you think will help you the most, especially if you feel your job search is dragging longer than the wait for the next Avengers movie? Care to share your answer below? Keep your spirits – and your head – up with the prescribed strategies as you wait your job search to come to fruition.