Every day, I talk to people who are coping with the emotions of job search. It helps them to acknowledge their feelings about the search. And there is a lot to get emotional about!
Here are some common emotions and causes:
- You get excited about a conversation, a job possibility, a posting that seems exactly the job for you
- You get depressed because you didn’t get an interview after working so long on that cover letter
- You are hopeful because you sent in a great cover letter, you have a contact at one of your target employers, you finished your resume, someone gave you a great recommendation on LinkedIn
- You are frustrated by how long an employer takes to get back to you, that you haven’t found more jobs that appeal to you, that you have to personalize every bit of correspondence, that you missed a typo in a cover letter or your resume
- You are happy because you nailed that interview, you got called for a second interview, you applied for a great job, you know what your Core Value Proposition is
- You are afraid to apply for a job, of running out of money, of having a phone interview or an in-person interview.
The list could go on and on. The point is that many emotions come up during this process. In my own job searches and now that I coach people, I find it very useful to express those emotions. Through experience, I have come to firmly believe that unexpressed emotions are blocks to our reaching our goals. And it’s SO easy to remove those blocks, simply by talking about them with someone trusted.
For me, the primary issue in my job searches was that I often was down on myself and my abilities, yet had to present myself in the most confident, upbeat way to convince an employer that I was exactly the person they wanted. So I talked to people about it. I didn’t keep that inside. I exposed it to the air and came to see that my self-doubt was a lie and I didn’t have to believe it.
With coaching and support from friends, I became very good at presenting my best self – first by “acting as if” and later by focusing in on what I was most passionate and enthusiastic about. By paying attention and getting feedback from friends and coaches, I found that I got energized and therefore contagiously convincing when I was talking about my successes, focusing always on positive aspects of even my weaknesses, and relating my experience to the vision I had for the position and the company.
Emotions happen. Express them and then let them go, so you can get on with the process of finding your “right fit job.”