Job hunting is tough, you’ve perfected your CV and cover letter and sent them out in droves. Redrafted your enquiry emails and practised your phone manner hundreds of times, attended interviews, only to be unsuccessful or even worse, ignored. It can feel like an endless struggle, with no money coming in and only the projects you set yourself to keep you busy during the day. But it’s important to stay positive and keep going, even though it feels like a unending cycle, here are a few tips to keep you optimistic while you get stuck in to your job hunting.
1. Don’t take it personally. You’ve done everything the employer wanted and convinced yourself that it’s all gone so well, so when you receive that dreaded rejection you start thinking about all the things you could have done, and all the reasons why you weren’t successful. It’s hard to remember that it really isn’t about you, they don’t know you, and there is nothing personal about this rejection. If the employer thinks there is another candidate with more relevant experience in the role, they’re more likely to choose them over you, but don’t let this be a reason to give up.
2. Recognise your achievements. Be proud of what you’ve achieved, someone else got lucky this time and got the job you wanted, but you’ve come so far. Don’t lose sight of the efforts you’ve made and feel down about yourself, take it as a learning opportunity and ask yourself ‘what can I learn from this?’ It’s also helpful to write a list of things that you’ve done well and are proud of, and come back to it any time you feel downhearted from another job rejection.
3. Schedule breaks. While it’s important to manage your time effectively, don’t make job hunting the only thing you do with it, if it’s not going well, just do something else for a while and come back to it. Being persistent is great, but often you can burn yourself out with the constant hassle of applications. Be realistic with yourself, the job market is fickle and as long as you’re committed to looking, you should be able to make time for the things you enjoy.
4. Talk about it. Although it can hurt your pride to do so, letting your friends and family know about how much you’re struggling to find a job can open the door to helpful advice and some comforting conversation. Take constructive criticism well, and compare notes with your friends if you need some reassurance that you’re not the only one who’s frustrated.
5. Treat yourself. Reward yourself for those small victories, take a bubble bath, get out of the house, do what you love. A tough job hunt can be remedied with a face mask and a glass of wine or a night with your favourite girls. Don’t take it all too seriously, eventually your time will come and you’ll miss having the chance to have some quiet time.