Job hunting can be tricky at the best of times. During the pandemic and beyond, it has some added challenges involved. Here are some ideas to help you keep your strength and spirits up.
What is resilience?
It's a word you hear a lot in the world of job hunting. What does it mean?
Resilience is a skill you can learn over time and it's a kind of inner strength. If you can get back up when you fall down, that's resilience. If you can keep a positive attitude when it's hard to see the big picture, that's resilience. If you can learn from your mistakes and not take it personally - just accept that mistakes happen, and they can teach you something new - that's resilience.
Resilience is very important when it comes to finding a job. It's about having the positive attitude to keep going!
Take control in small ways.
Behind every huge leap is a small step. Taking control of your job hunting in small bite-sized ways can really help you feel your own power and lift your confidence.
Keep a daily to-do list with small tasks to tick off on it (yes, even walking the dog) to help you feel a sense of achievement every day.
Remember: each job application, CV tweak, careers webinar watching or ten minutes of career research with potential Greater Manchester employers is a small but very important step towards a goal!
If an employer doesn't give you the position or doesn't even get back to you, it's not wasted time and effort. You tried. You are doing your best. You are not leaving it to fate. You are taking control.
Recognise and reward your achievements.
Getting a job isn't the only achievement when it comes to job hunting. How about applying to three employers on the day you said you would? Or writing a cover letter that showcases your skills?
Giving yourself praise and rewards for your achievements every day is a good way to boost your wellbeing AND your productivity. You will react better to praise (even from yourself) than to negative thoughts. Recognise all your achievements, pat yourself on the back and give yourself a treat!
Some examples of job hunting achievements:
- Making a to-do list for the day
- Crossing things off your to-do list
- Getting some positive feedback (or even a job interview)
- Getting a rejection letter (YES, it's positive! It shows you made it all the way to application stage!)
- Tweaking CVs and cover letter to showcase your skills and strengths
- Applying for roles
- Attending virtual career events and webinars
- Researching employers offering early careers
- Signing up to an agency, jobs board or job hunting support service
These are all important steps in your job search that are worth celebrating.
Find an achievement you can recognise every day, and celebrate it.
Acknowledge how you feel.
No-one can have a smile on their face all the time. If you're having a bad day (or week), don't pretend your feelings don't exist. Be aware of them. Let off steam with people you trust. Have a break. Do something that will make you feel better to balance out your job hunting efforts. And work with what you've got.
Think about your mood patterns. When do you work best during the day - morning, afternoon or evening? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you recognise when you are getting hungry or thirsty? When you are job hunting on your period, does it help to switch to different activities - like watching inspiring careers webinars instead of sweating over job applications? Being aware of your basic needs and comforts is important.
If things are heading into a regular low mood or anxiety, allow yourself to recognise it. Give yourself some space to look into Greater Manchester organisations who might be able to support you and give you extra help. The tips on our Staying Well zone might help.
Take a moment to ask yourself what you want.
As you apply for jobs, ask yourself:
- Have you got any career goals at the moment?
- Are you still keeping your options open?
Your dream job might not be up for grabs right now, but you can still take steps towards it.
Volunteering now could help impress that employer offering your dream job later down the line.
Or... maybe you had your heart set on university but it now looks like a distant dream. Have you explored apprenticeships that could offer you the skills, knowledge AND work experience you need for the career direction you want to go in?
What about courses? Even if you haven't got the job you want, you can find all kinds of courses online (often free) that could help you grow the skills and knowledge you need. When you're feeling stuck with job hunting, doing an online course can help you feel positive about moving forward.
It's hard to get that balance between putting your best effort into apply for a few dream jobs, or applying for hundreds of jobs in the hope that something sticks.
Any employer should understand that the pandemic is a good reason for having an unemployment gap on your CV. But you don't have to hold off in the hopes that a dream opportunity will come along.
Sometimes, applying for (and getting) any kind of job, even if it's not your dream job, can:
- Boost your positive attitude and confidence
- Boost your finances
- Boost your skills and work experience
As an example, a part-time job in retail can help you build the customer facing skills you need for a job in business, sales or even being a media professional in front of the camera!
Be kind to yourself.
Sometimes it's easier said than done! These links and resources can help.
Young Minds is a major UK charity providing support to help improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Manchester City Council support and resources
If you need help with redundancy and job seeking, Manchester City Council offer a wide range of resources that can help young people.
Find out more
Young Women’s Trust
This is an organisation dedicated to improving the confidence and motivation of young women aged 16-30 who are seeking employment and want to feel ready for work. Their Work It Out personal coaching service is free.
Young Women's Trust
Know Your Options
This info was brought to you as part of our Know Your Options zone. Click the link for more info...
Know Your Options