"You never know what's around the corner. It could be everything. It could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other. Then one day you look back - and you've climbed a mountain" - Tom Hiddleston (Actor)
Good afternoon everybody,
I want to touch on a topic today that is not only a part of my current job and industry, but also from my recent experience. Looking for a job. No matter if you have just graduated high school or uni, resigned, were fired or made redundant, took time out to study or to raise a family; looking for work these days is hard.
I just want to say that if your attempts to find a job have not worked out as well or as fast as you’d like them to this year, take heart. The following words may not seem like an uplifting read / message at first but please bear with me and stay with me to the end.
Applying for a job is a draining and emotional business. A taxing, tiring time where there are too many moments of disappointment and feeling like you want to give up. There are only so many times you can be told you are unsuccessful in your application, over qualified, underqualified or just not what they are looking for before even the toughest of people start to crack and feel their self-worth starting to decline.
Now there is another challenge to face on top of the already daunting task of finding a job. It’s almost time for the annual Christmas close-down and most businesses are winding down in staff acquisition rather than hiring. The depressing thought for many job hunters is that here comes another couple of weeks when there’s precious little chance of finding a position.
I want to tell you something and I know it’s going to be hard for you to believe and follow through but please trust me. I know you’ve been fighting your way through the job market be it for a short period, many months or for any length of time and it’s hard not to panic. At this point of the year one of the best things you can do right now is to plan on taking a short break from the whole application process – I mean altogether, no loggin in for at least a few days. I know it’s tempting to check the job ads every five minutes just in case but it’s the fastest way to drive yourself crazy and wear away at your self-worth and lose your motivation.
The best advice I can give you in the overall process of job hunting is to give yourself structure each day and a routine that you stick to. Set aside certain days or even times during the day and devote them solely to job searching. Outside that time have structure to do other things. Housework, exercise, take a free online short course or heaven forbid go for a walk outside. The best advice I can give you during this Christmas break period is that you need to turn off the laptop and put down the phone. Take a few days to completely disconnect from the application process. Spend time with family / friends and let yourself unwind, take even a little of the pressure off yourself.
If when taking a break you stay positive and don’t give up, there’s a lot to be said for taking a time out. You will hopefully feel a bit more refreshed, look at your application with new eyes and add some new skills or make some changes.
I’m not saying give up and I’m certainly not saying stop trying. Don’t sign off and stop applying until you’ve put in one fantastic last minute spurt. Head down tail up and apply for every role at which you believe you could do well… even if they’re not the sort of roles you’ve applied for so far this year.
Make sure your applications are the best you can submit. Ensure you have a great resume and targeted covering letter each time, don’t succumb to the urge to copy and paste or use the generic letter addressed to whom it may concern. Read the job ad and tailor your response to the person and position. Then when it’s all done and you’ve applied for at least a handful of positions before Christmas shut down, dust yourself off and walk away.
Take some time out and decompress for a week or two, at the very least 2-4 days and allow yourself to just stop and be present. Taking a self-imposed break after the intense pressure and applying for position after position will reinvigorate you and improve your outlook.
I know it sounds cliché and how frustrating it can be when people keep telling you don’t give up it will all work out. Please don’t give up, it will be ok and you’ll be amazed how often a ‘lucky break’ will present itself. You just have to keep trying and dont give up.
I promise you I understand where you are coming from, I have been exactly where you are. For the last 5 or more years I hadn’t applied for jobs, I was head hunted whilst already employed and kept moving up in my career to new positions. Then I lost my job and out of nowhere my world was turned upside down. I couldn't sleep and I had panic attacks about how to pay my bills. I was embarassed to tell my partner and rely on my support network.
I was on my last legs so to speak feeling tired and disillusioned with the whole application process. For months I was doing casual work that I hated, studying and applying for full time roles every day with the hope something good was going to happen. I’d applied for many jobs and heard all the normal over qualified, underqualified, you wouldn’t be happy, not what we are looking for etc. I felt like giving up and my self-worth took a huge hit.
I applied for a job that was not utilising my main skill set but was interesting, full time and in an industry I wanted to crack. I put in 150% in my application and phone interview. I researched the company and planned out exactly what I could do for them if they hired me. I had work samples I had created and practised my interview techniques, everything I could think of. I had managed to make it to a second face to face interview and I had my hopes up. Sitting in the interview my heart dropped when the managing director said I think you’d be wasted in this position. I felt like crying, it must have been all over my face the “oh no not again” face and feeling.
But he told me to wait and let him finish.
He actually created a position in his company for me tailored around my skillset that he had been thinking about expanding into for some time. The effort and forethought I had demonstrated in my interview with samples and planning had impressed him. He wanted me to work at my full potential and best of all for him.
Now I couldn’t be happier with a great company, boss and co-workers. I would never have seen this coming. It would also have never happened if I had given up and not given every application and interview individual attention and 100% every time.
I promise you things will get better but you can’t stop trying. Take a break, re-energise and remember you are worth it and someone out there will hire you – you just have to keep trying. Use all the networks and resources you can get your hands on. There are people here like me who have been where you are and want to help you.
Dont give up.
Believe you are worth it and good things will happen - please don't give up.