Your job search is your opportunity to sharpen your resilience and come out stronger

Life requires resilience. We all need an ability to roll with the punches, to get up again when we get knocked down. In two areas of life, that can be harder than in others: dating and jobseeking.

The key with resilience in dating is to not settle. If you’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, it really should be the right someone, not just the available someone.

When it comes to finding the right job, the temptation to take anything, particularly if you’re out of work, can be overwhelming. And the impact of rejection can be soul destroying. So how do you stay resilient and make sure the job you get is one that makes you spend Sunday nights celebrating instead of dreading Monday morning?

One common misnomer in the world of work is the idea that permanent jobs are just that: permanent. Of course, anyone who has ever changed jobs knows, there’s no such thing. Seeing every job you have as temporary can be a useful tool in reshaping your mindset to anticipate change. Whether that’s to accommodate an agile career path or just to force you to check in with where you are versus where you want to be every so often.

So, when you’re in job seeking mode, how do you stay resilient, maintain confidence and take the time to find that perfect match? First, acknowledge that it can take a long time. If you’re out of work the pressure to find any job with any income can become overwhelming, but try not to let that become your main driver.

Crucially, it’s important to manage your own expectations. It’s unlikely you’ll get the first job you go for, you won’t get feedback for everything you do go for and there may be jobs you set your heart on that don’t go your way. In these situations, you need to take the rejection and put it to one side. Give yourself a time limit for disappointment before moving on. Don’t let yourself get despondent or lose confidence. In most cases, the rejection really isn’t personal – although it can certainly feel that way – it’s just that someone else was a better fit for that role with that company.

Project manage your job search

Be clear about your objectives. And no, “get a job” isn’t specific enough. Take the time to be clear about your ideal role and where you’re prepared to compromise. What are you looking for? Which job roles will help you work towards your long term career goals?

With your objective established, apply project management skills to your search. Be methodical. Record what you have seen, what you have applied for, who you have spoken to and when. It’s worth keeping a list of each of the roles you look at with your reasons for applying or not applying, so if you see the same opportunity through a different channel you don’t waste your time treating it as another new opportunity.

And talk to your network. Reconnect with people who might be able to help and let them know what you are looking for. Mention it to anyone and everyone you come across, from the gym to your child’s ballet class. You never know who can be your ideal advocate.

Look after your wellbeing

Staying positive can be easier said than done, so remind yourself why you deserve to have a great job. Remind yourself regularly of the things that make you a great hire and all the positives you would want an employer to see. It’s crucial that you don’t lose confidence.

You might need to dig deep and persevere, but if you wobble, take the time to consider how the right job will feel. Think about the feeling of going to work every day in your dream job. Visualise the confidence and satisfaction it will give you and how it will impact on other aspects of your life.

And find non-work related things that give pleasure. Try to make the most of the time out of work. You might use some of your time to complete a project around the house, volunteer with a local charity or just spend some time in the great outdoors. Taking the time for you and to protect your mental health can make the time feel positive instead of just like hard work.

Don’t compromise too far

The longer a job search goes on, the easier it becomes to take knee-jerk reactions. Applying for lower level roles or jobs with a lower salary are sings that you are starting to undervalue yourself. Shake it off, remind yourself of your objective and keep aiming high.

If you need some support with defining the perfect role for you, give me a call to book a free chemistry session and to hear about how careers coaching can help you nail your dream job.

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