The Job Search Can Take an Emotional Toll

The Job Search Can Take an Emotional Toll

It’s no secret that job searches and career transitions can be challenging and time-consuming, as well as emotionally draining. Read on for some facts and tips to help you overcome the frustration, loneliness, and self-doubt that can arise during the employment search.

FACT: You are not alone! Although it can surely feel like it sometimes, you are far from alone in your job search challenges. There are many options for commiserating with your peers and sharing information and resources. Free job seeker support groups can often be found at state-funded career centers, public libraries, and social platforms like and the Clubhouse app. Or, consider joining a networking group via LinkedIn or Facebook. The Alumni Relations and Career Services departments of your alma mater can often be a helpful resource as well, connecting you to professional development events and networking opportunities.

FACT: Employers are overwhelmed, too. It may seem that employers are ignoring you, and human resources managers are rude and uncaring. More often than not, companies are not prepared to receive the large number of applications for the positions they post. Depending on the job and the company, there may 200-400 candidates (or more!) applying for the same position. And now that the Great Resignation is underway, companies are even more overwhelmed, under pressure to fill the positions of employees who have quit or retired due to burnout or re-evaluating their priorities.

However, the problem may lie with your job application. Maybe you have a typo in your resume. Or you didn’t follow the application directions (such as including a salary range in your cover letter, attaching a writing sample, etc.). Maybe you need help updating or reformatting your resume to make it more eye-catching for employers, or to avoid rejection by a company’s Applicant Scanning System (ATS). For more on this topic, read. this helpful article by Jobscan.

Curriculum-vitaeTIP: Try not to take rejection personally. If you don’t get hired after an interview, try not to view it as a reflection of your value, skills or experience. The company’s decision is based on its specific requirements and specifications, and in this job market, hiring managers can be more picky about selecting the “perfect” candidate. However, the reverse of this can also be true. Sometimes the best person doesn’t get the job; it’s the candidate with the most connections and contacts. “Who you know” can have more weight than “what you know.” Unfair as this may feel, it makes the strong argument for creating a robust LinkedIn presence and making networking a large component of your job search activities.

TIP: When you start to feel that “nothing” is happening in your job hunt, it’s time to step back and take stock of your accomplishments or activities: to-do items you’ve crossed off your list, discoveries you’ve made, including new contacts or job leads, or completing a de-cluttering task, like organizing your computer files.

TIP: Keep your brain sharp while making some money. Consider working with a staffing or recruitment agency for temporary employment while job hunting. It’s a good way to keep your skills fresh while expanding your professional network, and you’ll have a smaller (or nonexistent) employment gap on your resume.

VolunteersTIP: Get out and do something that makes you feel good. Volunteer at a local agency whose mission you feel strongly about. Helping others is a great way to get out of your own head and refocus your energies. You can also use the agency’s volunteer manager or executive director as a professional reference!

FACT: Self-care is an important part of the job search, especially in this competitive and ever-changing employment landscape. Eat well and exercise to boost your mood and energy. Reach out to your community groups and religious organizations for support and connection. Take time out for pleasurable activities, but keep track of how much time you spend on TV and the Internet.

FACT: Sometimes professional help is needed. Feeling down and frustrated are normal parts of the unemployment process. But if you’ve been experiencing insomnia, changes in appetite, depressed mood, or increased anger for an extended period of time, it’s time to reach out to a mental health professional.

Blooming Careers Coaching provides practical, results-oriented tools while also addressing the emotional side of job search and transition. Contact Blooming Careers for a free consultation at [email protected] or 617-461-9516. You can also visit us on LinkedIn or Facebook.


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