Self Care For The Job-Hunter

The initial step into job-hunting can feel fantastic, like the beginning of a new relationship. You get butterflies in your stomach as you realise “I don’t have to do insert soul-crushing job here! I can do anything; the world is my oyster!”. With a giddy heart and a painstakingly updated CV, you venture out on your quest for your next role.

The comparison to a relationship is an apt one however: after the first flush of romance you might find your search becoming stale and losing momentum. Or you might even have the job-hunting equivalent of that first big fight (unnecessarily aggressive interviewer, catastrophic transport issues, coffee spill down your dress with no time to change).

You’ve read all the articles about CVs and interview technique for snagging that dream job, but still nothing. This post does not promise to help you snag that dream job, instead it looks at how you can hold on to your sanity, your creativity and your self-esteem during what can be a difficult time.

Throw Yourself Into A Creative Hobby

It might seem counter-productive to focus any spare energy on anything other than ‘The Great Job Search’, but spending time doing something you enjoy can be incredibly cathartic. It also allows you to gain total control over one aspect of your life, which will help to balance the uncertainty you feel around the job search.

The activity doesn’t have to be anything impressive or award-winning, it could be as simple as making greetings cards for friends’ birthdays or digging out your old camera and starting to experiment with photography. A visual hobby is a good choice as it shows you what you can create - a great way to remind yourself how talented you are.

Network - Without The Pressure

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It can be tough to keep putting on a positive face after multiple rejections. Even if you go in feeling positive, one bungled answer can leave you feeling ready to walk out and give the whole thing up.

The problem is you’re no longer at your best, the weight of previous interviews and rejections is sitting on your shoulders and casting a shadow over your normally brilliant self. Give yourself a break. Try meeting people and gaining new connections just for fun (Meetup.com is a great place to start). Choose a group that isn’t related to your career, that way you can simply spend time with people who share your love of Harry Potter / true crime / fashion or whatever you’re into.

Not only might you make connections you wouldn’t have otherwise made, you’ll remember what it’s like to talk to new people just because you want to, which can improve your overall mood and restore some of that knocked confidence.

We should also mention here that hundreds of City Girls have found jobs purely from turning up to our meet ups! You can find your local City Girl network over here.

Don’t Forget Who You Are

When you go to an interview it’s easy to lose sight of why you’re there, or how the dynamic between you and the company should be. Particularly as a job search goes on, it can become tempting to settle for a role that maybe doesn’t feel totally ‘right’ or allow yourself to be negotiated into a lower salary or unsuitable hours.

The confidence of your interviewer can be intimidating and your desperation to find a job can get the better of you. It is important in these moments to remember your own worth is not determined by anyone but yourself. It might sound like new-age nonsense, but it is the key to securing the right role for you.

The company is looking for the right person for the role, but it is just as important that you are looking for the right company that will support your needs and ambitions. If not, you won’t be truly happy in your next role and you’ll be back on the job search treadmill before you know it.

Your Job Does Not Define You

Lastly, it is crucial to remember that you are a multi-faceted, intelligent and complex human being. Where everything is on social media for the world to see, it’s hard to not compare yourself with others and feel like you should be ‘higher up the ladder’.

Yes, it’s great to have ambition and a work ethic, but that’s just one part of who you are - just ask your family and friends! You are not defined by something so basic as what you do to earn money, and in the modern world such an idea belongs firmly in the history books along with feudal lordships and workhouses.

Not to mention that you’re changing and growing all the time and who you are today might not be who you are next week, month or year, so shackling your sense of self to one role or idea seems far too simplistic.

Be kind to yourself and remember, you’re awesome.

Written by Jane Emily, also @red__inspired on instagram and Twitter.


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