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How can your job search affect your mental wellbeing?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 19 Oct 2020

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The majority of the time, searching for a new job can be an exciting experience. Whether your job search was a choice or something you had to do, there seems to be a sense of positivity around the task. You get to find something new and a job that you would love to do. However, we all know that not everything goes exactly to plan. Job seeking is all about being aware about what is happening in your field of work, planning your CV, working on your cover letter and of course, attending interviews. Although it can be exciting, it’s a lot of work and nothing happens overnight. The pressure of a job search can be massive, and we want to ensure you that whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone.

Starting with a positive, you are and always will be more than just your job situation. Whether you have a job or are unemployed, that doesn’t define you. The way you pick yourself up and keep going is what makes you who you are.

The sense of loss

If you’ve lost your job, you might spend time thinking about the ‘why’? If like me, you’ve ever been unexpectedly let go from a job that you were enjoying, self-doubt can begin to creep in, especially if you don’t fully understand why they let you go. Whether you were fired, or you were made redundant, the feelings relating to this can be similar.

You might be feeling a sense of loss. You had something and now it’s been taken away from you. It can be overwhelming and overall make you feel like you’re just not good enough. I have felt this way and I can tell you that once you find another job, this feeling can seem so silly when looking back. But it’s what you’re feeling now and if it matters to you, it matters!

Sometimes moving on from such a thing can be hard work and just getting up to start your new job search can be a challenge. So, don’t kick yourself if you don’t feel like starting straight away. You may need to give your mind time to heal and process your situation. Everything takes time and even though you may need to start looking for a new job because you can’t financially sustain being unemployed, or maybe there’s another reason, give yourself a day or two. Breathe, take in what has happened and make sure you feel ready to start. A job search takes time and being in the right mindset can make it easier.

Feeling a little defeated?

You might have been looking for a job for a while, whether you are currently in a job or not, not making the progress you want can be exhausting. Nothing weighs heavier on the mind than the idea of failing. I’ve been kept awake at night with failure on the mind, so if you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. Most people can say they have feared failure before, but without failure, there can’t be success.

You learn from your mistakes. It’s no surprise that a job search can be a heavy task and sometimes employers do anything but help. You spend your time applying for jobs, altering CV’s and adapting cover letters and they often don’t even have the time or decency to tell you why you didn’t get the job. Unfortunately, I can’t say this feeling gets better. But once you get a reply, an interview invite or even an offer, that feeling is irrelevant. In the moment you can feel so defeated and ready to give up, but the feeling at the end when you reach your goal, makes all of this worthwhile. I hope you can agree with me there. Even if you don’t see that happening, I hope the thought of success helps you push through what can seem like a difficult time in your job search.

You are more than your job

Yes, your job is important. Yes, you should have career goals and use them to inspire you in your work. But you are more than just your job. A good thing to remember when you are feeling low about your job search or your job is to know that this isn’t everything! It might be a big chunk of your life but there are other things that inspire you every day. It can be your family, your friends or a hobby you have. When you are feeling down about things, try and take a break. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours a day. Go out and cycle, go to the gym, have a coffee with your friends. Do the things you want to do. We all need a little break every now and again and your mental health is just as important as your physical health. When you feel the need to get back on track, do what you need to do.

It’s not easy

Sometimes it’s not as easy as learning a new skill, taking a break or staying social. It takes time, effort and it can be draining. If you’re feeling low, the best advice I can give is to talk to someone. It can be very easy to read things like this and think you can fix everything overnight but it’s not always that simple. It can take time to feel better and sometimes simply knowing that you aren’t alone in this is enough to keep you trying.

It can be easy to see everyone else in your life doing so well, but maybe that’s because they are only showing you the things, they want you to see. The thing about our fast-paced way of life now and the way we use social media is we can hide things we don’t want others to see. It can often lead us to think that we are trailing behind, but we all have our own pace of doing things and you should respect yourself. Your job search should be a positive thing, but it would be wrong to say that it doesn’t have its downsides. But you’ve done it once, you can do it again! Take care of yourself and even though it might take longer than others you see, you can achieve anything.