When one door closes, another one opens. Or so the saying goes. If you are like many job searchers, you are thinking that if you had one dollar for every time you heard that, you wouldn’t have to look for another job. Waiting for the other door to open is a slow process requiring much patience. When the job search takes longer than expected, it is normal to start feeling down in the dumps.
One of the reasons for feeling blue is that for many people their identity is tied up with their job. Think about any encounter you have had with a stranger. One of the first few things shared is what each does for a living. Without having a job, you feel like a nobody whether you were a high-powered executive or a french fry cook, you were somebody. You had a title. The loss of employment that is central to a person’s self-esteem is a crushing blow.
Life is full of disappointments. Some are small; others are huge. But somehow we have the ability to get over them. However, the job search takes longer because so much of it is out of our control. The longer the search drags on, so do the spirits. A prolonged period of sadness can result in depression. It is a good idea to have a frank talk with a trusted confidant about keeping an eye on you. This person should know you very well and before you became unemployed. Ask them to monitor your emotions and behaviors, if they feel you are heading into a downward spiral, make you aware of it. Then you must be willing to accept what they have to say and take the necessary actions such as seeing a professional. Not everyone needs professional help. Some are able to cope on their own or with the support of family and friends.
Although this so far seems bleak, it is not all doom and gloom. In fact, being unemployed can be a fertile time for you. There are many opportunities to investigate while on your unplanned vacation. Finding a job is a job, and like a job, you don’t work 24/7. In fact, there is no reason you have to look for a job five days a week; you can take three days off. Or leave some time for personal exploration each day. Your attitude and outlook will be much improved if you take time to recharge your batteries. As Ovid said, “take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop”. Rest and relaxation is just as important to being effective in a job search as sending out resumes.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing ways you can cope with your job search. Each week will focus on a different theme, for example, free is the key, be a people person, and the write way to happiness are only a few. Keeping busy with self-exploration and job search activities while waiting for the other door to open won’t be so miserable.
Arleen Bradley is a certified career coach providing stuck job searchers with the tools they need to find the job of their dreams. www.arleenbradley.com.