Keep Emotions in Check During Job Search


I talked with two anxious job seekers by phone last week.  The first caller’s 8-month job search has turned up two second-place finishes for excellent jobs, and he’s now sounding desperate–approaching bitter.  The next day, I heard from a former colleague who has been unemployed for almost a year, yet he somehow remains positive, at least publicly.  While I felt like I was forced to become an amateur physiologist with the first caller, I found myself spending twice as much constructive time with second caller.

While I believe there’s a flicker of light at the end of the PR job tunnel, the search process remains frustrating for many.  The longer the search process, the more likely you’ll let your guard down when, in fact, you must remain positive whenever you tap into your networks. 

If stress is building, talk to family members and very close personal friends, and check out some of the excellent online stress reduction advice sites.  If severe, see your doctor or try stress-reducing acupuncture or massage therapy.  For a quick hit of wise counsel, check out Every Day, which warns against internalizing a job loss or job search into your personal identity.  Sunday’s Search column in The New York Times also provides excellent tips on how to accentuate the positive after a layoff. 

The second caller ended his conversation by asking what he might be able to do to help me–an nice gesture that supports the two-way, mutual benefit of networking.  Despite the draining search process, his positive attitude keeps him top of mind with everyone in his network.  I’ve since heard from another mutual friend who mentioned hearing from both job seekers.  While expressing sympathy with the frustrating job search for the first caller, we mostly talked about the great attitude of the second guy.  Bottom line, a positive attitude projects the right image to those who want to help land your next job. 

3 thoughts on “Keep Emotions in Check During Job Search

  1. Ron, it’s a delight to be able to assist your readers keep up their hopes as they keep up their search for a job. Thank you for putting up my link to encourage. You’re great to reach out and help people.

    Looking for a job is a challenge, a full time job in itself. Here’s another thought for job seekers: Get up by 7:30 a.m. Take a brisk 25 minute walk, come home, have a little protein for the brain, some fruit for the complexion, kiss your mate, the kids and your parakeet. Hey, don’t forget the multi, a fish oil supplement and a big glass of water. These may seem like small things but how you look to yourself counts. How you feel today counts. And when you see your reflection in the mirror, remind yourself that as you search for the job that is best for you, that great job is searching for you, too! Say to yourself, “Good morning Bart or Donna or Helen, this is a day to make Every Day Matter and I’m grateful for being able to remember who I am and count my blessings.” Then remember 3 things that you are grateful for and write them down in a journal. Keep it there and repeat this exercise tomorrow. You want a record of this time to remember how positive you were after this time is behind you.

    It’s not just about looking good for someone else my friends, it’s about looking good for ourselves. It always begins there. Now set a goal for the day, build in something fun or relaxing, maybe both. You are worth it. You are enough.

    Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP

  2. Thanks for posting this. It’s so hard NOT to internalize everything when you’re looking for a job. But what you say is true – the most successful people I know aren’t really the most successful – they’re just the happiest.

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