Tips and Tricks: Managing Emotions while Job Hunting

As you may know, I was recently laid off and have since been looking for a new role to help continue my career. I am very excited to announce that I have found a new role that will be taking me to San Francisco, California! This will be the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in my life that I cannot wait to begin.

But getting here hasn’t been easy. It has been an emotional roller coaster ride that at times tested by will and my belief in myself. If you are going through a similar situation, my advice is to not let your emotions overwhelm you. Stay focused on what you want and what you need to do.

Below are some tips that helped me stay positive and productive:

1. Stay connected with your support network of friends, family and loved ones.

Staying indoors can make you paranoid and increase your stress levels. Surround yourself with people who want the best for you and their positive encouragement will help to keep you motivated. Additionally, your support network will likely also have jobs and they can refer you into companies that they work for. Generally, referred candidates have a higher likelihood of being asked in for interviews. So this may be advantageous for you.

2. Make time for your favourite hobbies, activities or stress outlets.

Undoubtedly, you will be faced with a lot of stress as you worry about your future and finances. Make time for activities that you enjoy such as running, yoga, tennis, etc. This will help to prevent you from becoming crippled by your stress and help keep you sane.

3. Find a new space to work in.

Staying in your house all day can become demoralizing very quickly if you also do not go outside. Getting a change in scenery can help increase your productivity as you don’t have any distractions to hinder you. For me, I found working at a Starbucks with my friend helped me to stay focused. It doesn’t even have to cost much; I brought most of my own food and I bought one tea to make myself feel better. A library, community center, friend’s house, etc. can be a welcome change.

4. Create a realistic plan for each day.

I cannot stress enough the importance of creating a realistic plan for your day. Expecting to get a job in a day is unlikely. However, breaking down your goal into smaller tasks that can be easily accomplished will ensure that you are consistently working towards your goal. Even if you are only asking yourself to accomplish one task, seeing yourself make progress will encourage you to continue. Eventually, you will be motivated and able to add more tasks to your list for the day.

5. Follow a routine.

Just because you’re not at work, it doesn’t mean that you should let yourself sleep in or stay out late all the time. Continuing to use your normal working hours (ex. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to focus on your job search will ensure that you give yourself ample time to achieve your tasks. It will also help you get back into the rhythm of working once you find a new job.

6. Keep your imagination in check.

It’s easy to get caught up in the worst case scenarios because you really don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few weeks. But letting your imagination run wild and considering all the what ifs can cause you to lose your motivation. Remember that 80-90% of the things that we worry about never happen. So don’t leap to the worst case scenario. Focus on what you are doing now to work towards your goals.

7. Never stop believing in yourself.

Don’t allow a feeling to become a fact in your mind. For example, if you are not hearing back from companies, don’t get the thought in your mind that your application wasn’t good enough therefore you aren’t good enough. The fact is that recruiters are busy, there are certain rules in place about the number of candidates that must be interviewed for the position and it takes time to find a job. Some circumstances are completely out of your control or have no reflection on your quality as a candidate.

One quote that I found particularly helpful is from Paulo Coehlo’s book the Alchemist, “people need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.”

Remember, you are obviously capable enough to get the job that you were laid off from. You are definitely capable enough to get another one. Don’t stop believing in yourself or your dreams. If you don’t believe you’re great, you can’t sell yourself to recruiters and they won’t be able to see how amazing you are.

Hopefully there aren’t many of you out there that need this advice. But if you do, I wish you all the best with your job search!

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