Job hunting is hard enough in good times, but it is absolutely daunting in bad times. Now, add the stress and anxiety that comes with not knowing where your future stands, i.e career, and livelihood, the task can become downright demoralizing. Countless articles and resources tell you tactically what to do, but how do you address the emotional aspect of a job search?
Here are a few ideas on how to manage this emotional rollercoaster:
#1 Focus on what you can control vs. what you can't control – in other words, control your mindset.
Let’s face it: there is nothing that we can do about what is happening in the world right now. It is true that the economy has tanked, and most hiring processes are frozen, but the one thing that you can control is your mindset. Research has shown that how you think and what you believe can change future outcomes. For example, if you ever feel like you are hopeless or unworthy, you will likely act in a manner to validate this thought, i.e. a self fulfilling prophecy.
Next time you catch yourself thinking or speaking negatively to yourself or others, disrupt that toxic thought pattern immediately and ask yourself:
● How true is this for me?
● What would someone else say if they heard me speaking this way?
● What is a more positive way of approaching this situation?
● What would my older self tell me about this situation years from now?
#2 Nurture your mind, body, and soul.
In her book “I’m My Brand”, Kubi Springer speaks about having a happy box. There, she enumerates a variety of activities that she personally turns to when dealing with setbacks. This is a fantastic concept that I think everyone should adopt immediately. Here are a few tools in my happy box that have worked for me and that I certainly recommend to my clients:
Meditation and Journaling: These two activities are golden. Both of them help me process and flesh out negative emotions and learn how to control them.
Read a book: Reading is not everyone’s cup of tea, I get that. However, in this day and age, we also have access to audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks can even be a great way to prepare for that next interview. Two books that I recommend to anyone feeling stuck are Carol Dweck's "Mindset" and Jack Canfield's "Success Principles"
Podcast: I love podcasts. I listen to a variety of them on my morning walks. Podcasting is the new blogging, so have fun and explore.
Exercise: I bet you saw this one coming, but I can't say it enough. Even a short walk around the block can help you get out of that toxic loop and get those endorphins flowing.
Listen to music that inspires you: I love listening to the Viva Latino! playlist on Spotify. Listen to whatever energizes you the most.
#3 Seek the help you need.
At some point, we all need help. When all else fails, I strongly encourage you to raise your hand and ask for help. Having someone to talk to throughout your job search, such as a friend or family member, is great. Additionally, partnering with a trained coach like myself, therapist, or even a job seekers peer group can provide much-needed emotional support. Coaches are experts at helping you consider your choices as well as helping you shift your mindset, thus helping you see things differently while also keeping you accountable.
Here is the one thing I want you to stop doing now:
Stop tying your worth to the outcome of your job search.
Whatever you do, please don't stop believing in yourself. Keep working, keep hustling, do not give up, and as the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” I can promise you that much.