As you all know from my life update last month, grad school is done and I’m on the hunt for a job in the field of Public Health. I feel like what no one tells you is how exhausting hunting for a job is. It seriously feels like a full-time job that requires patience, persistence, and a whole lot of prayer. Looking for a job can often make you feel down or depressed, like you simply just aren’t good enough. That’s exactly how I was feeling (and sometimes still do) about a month ago.
4 Tips to Staying Sane While Hunting for a Job
I have been applying for public health jobs like crazy and getting very few responses. Within the past month an internal light bulb went off and I realized 1) I’m not the only person looking for a job & feeling defeated and 2) there is a job out there with my name on it, I’ve just got to apply for it. I’ve had to make it a point to approach the process differently so that I don’t totally lose my mind and I wanted to share the tips I’ve been using to stay sane while hunting for a job.
Focus on Your Faith
Regardless of who/what higher power you worship, focusing on that during hard times can certainly make them seem easier. My mother purchased a daily devotional, Growing in Grace, to encourage and help me grow my faith. While I’ve always believed in God, it wasn’t until I started reading this book that I realized how important my relationship with him is and that I must nurture and prioritize it. My cousin has been sending me daily words of encouragement and I’ve accepted an invitation to join a online women’s bible study group. I personally feel that only God knows our journey, that He orchestrates everything, and that we can plan all we want to, but He will have the final word. Being mindful of this has truly lifted the negative thoughts and emotions from my mind and heart.
Occupy Your Time With Other Things
I feel like I’m always recommending a distraction to get your mind off things that may be troubling you. Worrying is exhausting and to be honest, no matter how much you worry, it’s not going to change the situation and will likely make things worse as it’s hard to be productive when you’re constantly worrying. I firmly believe that you should force yourself to do other (fun) things when you’re on the hunt for a job. For me, I blog, babysit, spend time with my mom, The Boy, and my fur babies. I’ve been working to push my job search out of my mind and be present in the moment when I’m doing other things. It’s nice to have a mental (and physical) break from the grind that is job hunting.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
I can think of few things worse than applying for jobs and knowing majority of these potential employers aren’t even going to contact you to tell you they went with someone else. The monotonous nature of searching for a job fosters feelings of “f*ck it, what’s the point?” and next thing you know it’s been a full week since you applied for a single job. I try to motivate myself to fill out a certain number of applications each week by rewarding myself if I meet the goal. When I’m really struggling, I may reward myself on a daily basis. Since I’m on a tight budget these days, I try to keep the rewards inexpensive…maybe a cookie, or watching two episodes of a show, a glass of wine.
Have Thick Skin
When I started my job search at the beginning of the summer, one of my closest friend’s (hey Megan girl!) mom gave me a piece of advice I’ve had to remind myself of constantly: You have to have thick skin. Undoubtedly you will not be interviewed for every job you apply for. In fact, you probably won’t even get a “thanks but no thanks” from a wide majority. The real ego killer, is when you DO have an interview and you never hear from them again or you get the “we were impressed by your qualifications, but we went with a better suited candidate” email. My immediate thought always goes to what I did wrong during the interview or what the chosen candidate had that I didn’t. Having tough skin let’s those denials painlessly roll off your back because you know that just because THIS job wasn’t for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t a job for you.
Megan’s mom also told me not to be afraid to ask those in positions of power for help/guidance. She advised me to be direct with my requests to get what I need and to be unfazed if they don’t agree to help me. While I’m still working on having tough skin and not going crazy trying to figure out why I didn’t get hired, I think following her advise will be key in order to not dwell and continue applying to positions so that I may find the job that is for me.
Looking for a job isn’t fun and I don’t know anyone who enjoys it. The thing is there are tons of people looking for a job right now and probably feeling crummy about it, so as always you aren’t alone. In fact, this probably won’t be the last time you find yourself on the hunt for a job. Just keep your head up and remember two things 1) better days are ahead and 2) if you’re going through hell, just keep going!