Resilience and the Job Search

Everyone knows someone who seemed to get a job like magic. They applied to a few positions and got an offer within a month. Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule. Even if you are doing everything right, the search can still take time. Almost all the alums we talk to say their job search took longer than expected. The #1 piece of advice they give is to be resilient. According to Google, resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” The reality of a job search is that you will fail more than you will succeed. You will receive more no’s than yes’s, but you only need one yes.

Here are some suggestions for staying resilient during your job search:

Create a Routine and Schedule

If you don’t have obligations that force you to stick to a schedule, such as work or school, it can be difficult to get things done. Waking up at the same time every day and beginning with something that makes you happy can create a positive outlook that lasts all day. Keep yourself from spending all day binge watching Netflix by creating your own daily schedule or routine. Plan out the job searching tasks you want to get done and when you will do them in advance. In addition to your plan for the day, create one for the week and for the month. Make sure to schedule time for breaks too.

Do Things You Enjoy

Spending all your time thinking about your job search will likely leave you feeling stressed. Instead, embrace the importance of breaks: pursue a hobby, meet a friend, take a walk, explore an area of town you’ve never been to. Taking time to recharge can help you gain perspective on your job search and will make you more productive.

Help Others

Volunteer for a cause you care about. See if any friends or neighbors need help with a task or project. Helping others makes you feel good about yourself because you’ve accomplished something. This can help you feel more confident in your job search.

See Your Friends

Job hunts can feel lonely, especially when it seems like everyone you know has a job. Don’t avoid social contact. Talk with your friends about your situation and listen to what is going on in their lives. Remember that friendship is a mutual exchange of support so don’t make the conversation all about you. Even if you are going through a tough time, remember to be there for your friends.

Talk to People in Your Field

Re-connect with those you have already met and ask them if they know other people you could connect with. Join local professional organizations and look for networking or other events. Stay on top of what is happening in your field by following professionals or companies on social media and reading blogs. Learn more about networking and informational interviewing.

Reflect on Set-Backs and Get Back on Track

It’s okay to be upset after not getting an interview or offer. Remember it’s not a reflection of who you are as a person. Reflect on what you did well and what you could work on. Talk with others about your experience. Do something that makes you feel happy. Then get back to working on your plan.

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