5 key behaviors to staying resilient when job hunting


Are you currently going through the relentless task that is job hunting?

Finding it difficult to stay motivated and positive in the face of rejection or failing to get replies from application after application?

Well the good news is so is everybody else! The job market has changed in the last 10 years with more competition than ever before. Just 2 examples of the challenges you are up against are:

There are more students coming out of education than ever before.

  • In 2016 alone 535,200 students have joined a university, this is up 0.5%. In England, 43 per cent of the young population enter higher education by age 19, this is the highest level ever!

  • Almost one in four (24%) graduated with a first last year, compared with 17% – just over one in six – in 2011/12, according to data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Our aging population means people are staying in work much longer than ever before.

  • The average age of retirement is 64.7 for men and 63.1 for women. The Department for Work and Pensions said in its business plan that it would like the average to rise by as much as six months every year.

  • The number of over-65s in England is expected to increase by 51 per cent over the next 20 years, and the numbers of those aged 85 and above will double by 2030.

There are many other factors that currently effect the job market from Brexit uncertainty to people being more cautious about moving roles and changing careers often meaning there are more blockers in the employment pipeline than ever before.

Luckily you are not the first person to go through this inevitable struggle and I have documented 5 key actions to take on a daily basis to not only help you stay motivated and resilient but also ensure you do not compromise and take the first job that comes along just for the sake of being employed (I have done this and all I can say it was it was harder to go to a job I hated than look for a job I loved)

Don’t take it personally

It’s easy to feel rejected when you are not successful at interview and after a few of these back to back you can really start to lose your own self value. In today’s hyper competitive market it is pretty much a certainty you will not be successful immediately when looking for a new job.

Recruiters and employers have a whole wealth of candidates from all age groups, experience and skill sets to sift through daily and if you are not exactly what the brief says or what the company is looking for it is easy to be over looked or not passed on to the next round.

The biggest issue I see when i talk to people who are job hunting is that they take the rejection personally and it eats their confidence alive. This then in turn leaks into other applications and interviews as self-doubt starts to consume them and their model of the world around them.

The most important thing you can do when job hunting is not take each application personally. This is not a reflection of you as a human being. Les brown a world leading motivational speaker said “separate who you are from what you do” this could not be truer when hunting for a new job.

I’m not saying do not be passionate and give it your all but what I am saying is that only you can interpret how see not being successful at an application and you can either internalise it “I’m a failure or not good enough” or think “what do they know” and craic on!

I bet you feel a lot better about the issue and will get back to job hunting a lot quicker.

Seek and act on feedback

If you are successful at the first stage of application but are not successful over all do not be afraid to ask for feedback that you can act on. I mean you literally have nothing to lose they have already not given you the job so what is the worst that can happen?

This links back to the first point around not taking it personally. It all links in to you subconsciously trying to protect your confidence/ego. People become so afraid to be criticised that they never ask for feedback and this just leads them to make the same mistakes over and over again, interview after interview. Albert Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If you do not ask for feedback that is exactly what you are doing.

Once you start to do this you will see the game of acquiring a job to be different to those around you as every time you are unsuccessful you know you will be given something to work on meaning it is only a matter of time before you have perfected your application skills and are successful in acquiring the job you want.

Find ways to rejuvenate yourself

As with the previous 2 points this is to do with keeping your resilience high because as we have already discussed this is a tough and a serious challenge in today’s job market. As with any mid to long term challenge you will face it eventually wears you down and makes you mentally and physically less productive. Even athletes take days off to keep them on top of their game.

This is exactly the same with job hunting. Make sure you find something that switches your brain off and lets you rest or fires your passion up. This could be hobbies, exercise, reading, your family…absolutely anything at all!

For me it’s listening to public speakers and motivational videos. They really get me fired up and rejuvenates me daily. People close to me laugh as I am often caught listening to these videos bouncing about like a heavyweight champ before a big challenge or after a big defeat. Although I may get laughed at I really do not care as the effect they have on me mentally allow me to get strait back up or deal with hard times when they come (and they often all come at once!)

Take time to really find out what it is that gives you that rejuvenation and makes you feel like you can smash through any challenge before you. Trust me you’re going to need not just for job hunting but being successful way after this point in your life.

Find the right people to vent with

When you are job hunting it is hugely frustrating and part of keeping yourself sane is being able to vent and relieve the stress of not getting what you want.

I am a huge believer in venting because once I have shouted about it or just ranted about how frustrated I am it often releases the pent up energy and anxiety and I feel much better and start working from a neutral position again whereas if I hold onto something it slowly makes me more anxious and less productive.

Although venting is a complete necessity to stop you mentally crumbling it is important that you do it with the right people and do not engage people who will feed your negativity making you worse.

We all know someone who is just negative most of the time and whenever you tell them about something negative they just come to life and make it worse. You will often hear them say things like “you will never do that” or “what where you expecting I would never have done that”

When you are undergoing challenges you need positive people to build you up and bring a calming approach when you are venting and releasing frustration.

Positive people will bring balance to your venting because you will realise that is all it is releasing tension. Negative people will make your venting worse as they fuel the fire and slowly turn your entire mentality and outlook into the same as theirs which in turn just makes your mentality for finding a job worse and worse until you inevitably give up or settle for the first thing that comes along.

Stay in your own corner

Ultimately no matter what I or anybody else says the only person who has to live your life is you. The only person who has to live with the consequences of your decisions is you.

With that being the case you are going to need to be in your own corner more than anyone!

You need to know you are good and that you have skills somebody would want in their organisation.

You will be knocked, prodded, poked and grilled over and over again before you achieve what you set out to achieve. The only way to withstand this tirade of stress, hard work and rejection is to look after yourself and be your own champion.

Make sure you:

  • Look after your body – eat enough, sleep more, make sure you train your body

  • Look after your mind – read more, do things that rejuvenate you, be kind to yourself

  • Believe in yourself – you made it this far so why the hell not!

  • Be careful who you let influence you and always make sure your word is the last word when it comes to your life decisions.

If you don’t think you can do it then how can you expect anyone else to believe you can do it?

By following these 5 steps you will be much better equipped mentally to stand above the crowd and keep going when other people are quitting and settling for any job they can find.

You do not want any job you want your job! In order to get that you are going to need to stay tough so implement these steps today and you stand the best chance possible.

Good luck my fellow Millennial’s!

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