Leaving a job for its toxicity or to pursue greener pastures gives you mixed emotions. You feel excited yet afraid, but it’s a courageous thing to do—whatever your purpose. If it’s about your mental and emotional health, then you get some time for yourself to do that. When it’s shifting to another career, know how bold you are for taking that step. It always seems fulfilling to have things under your control. But so soon, you’ll need to find another job. Finances tight and daily routine gone haywire, job hunting is the next logical step.
There’s such a thing as job hunting stress, anxiety, or depression. And it’s not just financial insecurity that leads to it. Applying anywhere and not getting hired to any for weeks and months can feel demoralizing. People tend to equate their worth to what they do, so when they get rejected by many companies, they feel like their self-esteem is brought down, too. Worrying about tight finances from unemployment only comes next after damaged self-worth brought about by several rejections.
Applying for a job can be brutal. You don’t know where you stand, who your competitors are, why you are left hanging, or why you’re not even hired. It’s easy to overexert yourself, applying to any company at any time of the day, answering calls with your pajamas on at an opportune time, and not knowing how long this would take. Lacking a routine or control of your daily life can be depressing. Uncertainty looms ahead, and as humans usually are, you get stuck at the negative.
There’s also this stigma of being unemployed, and as one, you feel less adequate day by day. You start mulling over what’s wrong with you—why companies wouldn’t hire you. If this goes on, you can be at risk of chronic stress and depression, which will then take a toll on your physical health. Don’t even wait for you to hit rock bottom.
There’s a way to apply without just getting by. Sending your resumes and cover letters to more companies isn’t the solution. You need to be aware of what’s going on in you and work on the problem from there. Remember that the less happy you are, the less effective you will be in many aspects. Here are several of the problems you may have about job hunting and their solutions:
The loss of a routine—treat the job search like a job
Anyone from kids to the elderly needs a routine to make each day easier. You need schedules just as much. At least, with the uncertainties of hunting a job, you have a little structure left in the form of a routine.
What you can do is create a structure for yourself. Treat your job hunting like a real job. You can set your mind to just doing job-search-related activities at a certain time in a day, like not checking your email after 6 pm.
Prolonged unemployment can make you feel that you don’t deserve downtime, so you overwork and push yourself to the limits. And treating the process as a job itself gives your life a sense of balance, too. Spend some time with your friends, family, or any loved ones. Soak in positive energy, not dwelling on the rejections you have had.
Feeling inadequate—learn new skills
It’s at this time you question yourself whether you’re who you think you are. Evade these thoughts by learning more skills. It’s easy to forget that one benefit of being unemployed—having a lot of free time. Use that to learn new skills.
Reading the job descriptions of the roles you apply for, list some of what you don’t have, then work on them. You can take online classes to help you learn new skills related to your career.
What part of your identity do you feel threatened? Work on it, too, for your well-being. For instance, you have a council job as a healthcare worker. Take further medical classes and certificates to advance in your career.
Stuck in rejections—remember it’s a process
Remind yourself that you don’t need to get all the jobs you applied for. You may not be aware of it, but the role you may be applying for has hundreds of applicants waiting to get the role, too, just like you. So when you get rejected, don’t take it to yourself. It’s a process, and soon, you’ll get what you’re looking for.
Don’t let yourself wallow in worries, stress, and anxiety. Get emotional support from your friends, family, or professional group. Seeing the opportunities in your situation wouldn’t hurt. Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health, and then you’d nail the job hunt, not just get by it.