Protecting your mental health and motivation while conducting a job search is super important, especially given the times we are living in today. Yes, a lot of companies have furloughed staff or implemented hiring freezes, however, that doesn’t mean you should give up your job search. New industries and roles are being formed as you read this and it is always a great time to expand your network.
Recently, I was talking to a former student who had given up on his job search because he was so frustrated that he was not getting calls for interviews. It really made me think about how many times people do this, not only during a global pandemic but also in normal times as well, they drop their job search just because it's not working out in the way or the time that they thought it would.
I used to work as a trainer, doing workshops for people who had substance abuse issues or a history of incarceration, and I had a wonderful co-worker who used to tell our classes, what if I told you I had a crystal ball, and at the end of ten interviews you would get a job offer. Once you got rejected seven or eight times you would be super excited because you knew that on the tenth time you would get a job. Well, unfortunately, we don't have a crystal ball and we're not excited when we get rejected, but I think that we should be because we're getting closer and closer to our dream role.
Dealing with rejection can be hard, believe me, I used to be a struggling actor, I have dealt with my fair share of rejection. One of the things or tips that have helped me, and I think could be helpful to you while conducting your job search and protecting your motivation and mental health is having some sort of grounding practice. It could be meditation, deep breathing, or a spiritual practice but find something that really grounds you and reminds you of who you are and helps you to move forward in your day with positivity.
Celebrating the small wins, such as getting enough applications in, meeting a new person in your field, getting a phone interview are all things to be celebrated along the way. Another resource is to have a positivity partner. A lot of times when we talk to people about our job search people give us negative feedback, such as the economy is doing this or that, or they start talking about how much they hate their own job. Make sure to really find someone that you can be positive with, and will help motivate you, and keep you moving forward with your job search and career goals.
My last tip is to make sure that you have a clear strategy and know that it is okay to re-strategize if you find that you are not having positive results. After working your strategy for three to four months, think about what else you can incorporate or do differently. Try not to think of the past three months as a loss. So much learning was gained in those months and you have no idea how those energies will play out in the future.
Above all stay safe and focused by protecting your mental health, paying attention to self-talk, and surrounding yourself with positive people and practices.