When you're in the midst of a job search, it can be hard to get into a particular mindset, especially one that forces us to get out of our comfort zone a bit and abide by standards set by professionals who are "judging" you, right? Well, that is the nature of the competitive job market. This is the case in every industry, but don't forget that there are some ways your job search is like certain everyday life activities many of us love. Thinking back to how you approach these activities can help mentally prepare you for what is to come with your search: anticipation, rejection, frustration and excitement.
Riding a roller coaster: Conducting a job search can be like visiting an amusement park and riding many different roller coasters. You can go from being on an upward trajectory toward a great opportunity and then all of a sudden drop or encounter rejection regarding a position you really wanted. Just know that you are not alone in this feeling, nor are you alone in the search itself. There are many other job seekers just like you, and the sooner you come to realize this and accept it, the better at you will become at managing the disappointment that comes naturally with not getting a job you coveted.
Trying out for the team: When you wanted to make the cheerleading squad or the basketball team when you were younger, you had to try out, right? Well, applying and interviewing for jobs are very similar to that. As I mentioned above, you are not alone in this search. That can be both comforting and stressful. Make sure you take a step back and reevaluate yourself once you get to those points in your search where you are feeling more down than usual. You might consider engaging in volunteer work to develop new skill sets, make new networking contacts or simply get a change of scenery. Take some time to regroup and remember that since you are not alone in these tryouts, it is important to stand out.
Enjoying a vacation: Taking a vacation is what a lot of us work toward; we work hard so that we can enjoy time away to receive some rest and relaxation. Working so hard to enjoy a week or two of freedom can be extremely enjoyable. Just like in a job search, we work hard to find a job. Finding a position after some rejection is very exciting. Sometimes the best feeling in the world is that phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager where they are offering you the job - all of that hard work has finally paid off! Always remember the journey it took to get to where you are. In one instant, your perception goes from potential frustration to definite excitement. Learn to appreciate those moments that led up to the end goal of finding a job. You tend to truly enjoy the vacation because of the hard work it took to get there, so keep in mind that the employers that said "no" are just experiences to learn and grow from. When you do get that "yes," take a well-deserved breath and enjoy your excitement.
Interested in more posts on job-search related topics? Check out our Career Development blog.
If you're a current AIU student or alumnus looking for more career advice, please contact the Career Services Department at 877-221-5800 Option 5 or at firstname.lastname@example.org