Job hunting can be a frustrating time of our lives, and can sometimes start to feel like a full-time job in itself but without the highs.
The never-ending of writing job applications and cover letters day-in, day-out, the silence or rejection emails after, once in a while you get a glimpse of hope when you are called for an interview only to receive that “thank you for your application, but we have decided to pursue other candidates…..” without even so much as telling you where you went wrong or what part of the criteria you did not match, because really if we had that information maybe it might make the next application easier in that we wouldn’t make the same mistakes.
Your negative emotions are all normal so try to empathize with yourself in a difficult situation
Honestly, it can be a tedious and emotionally draining process for anyone. And ‘thanks’ to the COVID 19 pandemic’s impact on the job market, the search has become a whole lot harder.
Job hunting and continuous rejection can have a damaging impact on our mental and overall health. When applying for jobs we are often faced with a lot of uncertainty and it can feel like there is no end in sight. This uncertainty breeds anxiety, self-doubt, anger, and hopelessness, making job hunting even more unmanageable.
Repeated rejection can knock your confidence and sense of purpose. It is a mixture of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion – not just because of the job hunting itself, but also because of the different pressures one might be facing while searching for that job as well as the comparison trap i.e. you look around and your peers seem to be having it easy, etc.
Repeated rejection can knock your confidence and sense of purpose.
But because job hunting can be such an exhausting process, it’s important to take action to protect ourselves from falling too deep into an abyss of negative thoughts and emotions.
Now I know that is easier said than done but below are a few tips to help cope in those frustrating moments and protect your mental health:
1. Establish Healthy Boundaries; if job hunting is now your full-time job, it’s important to establish a work/life balance just as you would in any role. Have set hours in which you apply for jobs i.e. have a set timeframe in which you apply for jobs, with regular breaks, and give yourself something to look forward to or keep your mind off it afterward.
2. Choose Quality over Quantity; the more the frustration mounts, it becomes tempting to apply for any job that you see but that adds to the frustration. Trust me, I know that feeling all too well when you get to just shoot your shot at whatever you know, just in case. However, applying for any job decreases your chances of success. Instead, focusing on the quality of your applications is likely to boost your chances. Giving you a shorter list of losses to mourn over.
3. Allow yourself to feel Low; focusing on the positives and celebrating the small wins are all well and good – but it’s important to remember it’s OK to feel low, anxious, or frustrated during this period. Allow yourself to experience the pain that demands to be felt, your negative emotions are all normal so try to empathize with yourself in a difficult situation and remind yourself that it’s OK to feel uncertain about the future, however, do not just stay stuck in those emotions.
4. Give yourself a break; If you’re feeling overwhelmed, upset, or simply in need of a break, it’s time to take a step back. While for some people, this might mean doing something other than applying for jobs such as volunteering or doing additional training, for others, this might simply mean spending time with family or doing something you enjoy. It’s very important that you take some time out and just do something with your time besides looking for work.
5. Be kind to yourself; this might sound ridiculous or obvious depending on which side of the coin you’re looking at it from but be kind to yourself both in your words and in your actions. If you find yourself focusing too much on your failures, try to shift your mindset. Practice self-care – sleep enough, eat well, exercise, and maintain a balance – do things you enjoy as well.
6. Streamline your Social Media; thinking about who you’re following on social media and unfollowing any accounts that are making you feel worse about yourself is also a good idea.
The future may look bleak and you might be feeling yourself falling into depression because of the seemingly never-ending job search but believe even with just an inch that the sun will shine and all this will be a moment of the past, and importantly remember you’re not alone so do not feel shy or embarrassed to open up about your struggles. Having a strong support system is essential to one’s overall wellbeing.
From me to you, I wish you all the best..!!!
Kabuku C Kabwela is an embodiment of multiple skills, talents, and interests that seamlessly merge to create her life, work, and career. She is a Zambian-based trained communication and PR specialist with over 2 years of working experience in marketing and Communications.
Kabuku’s skills include the ability to string words together in the art of creative direction and storytelling, data entry, the ability to multi-task and prioritize projects, content creation and copywriting, basic graphic designing, photography as well as social media management to mention but a few.
Her Hobbies include; crafting, traveling, thrilling adventure, writing, reading, listening to music, and watching series and movies.