Expecting a job search to be easy and over fast is like expecting to become a great skier the first time you hit the slopes. Neither scenario is particularly likely without a serious investment of time and energy by you. However though, an endless job search can seriously drive you crazy. Not to mention that it can frustrate and depress the heck out of you, especially when those darn recruiters and hiring managers won’t return your calls or emails. And what about the annoyance/humiliation of having to tell people that no, you haven’t found anything yet—for the tenth time? The frustration can really take its toll but it helps to remember stay sane and keep on searching, here is how!
Distract yourself with activities that take your full concentration.
Dwelling on the job hunt frustration can make frustration worse, until it develops into a daily habit. It’s not easy to “just snap out of it”, so instead of focusing on your feelings directly, throw yourself into an activity that demands full attention. Preferably, choose an activity that makes you happy, such as a sport, game, or hobby, but even work or housecleaning can be an effective distraction, as long as they are not the source of your frustration.
Look Up Your Career Role Models
For a second; step away from the job boards, hop over to LinkedIn, and search for people who have your dream jobs or who work at companies you are interested in. Looking at the various ways people have gotten to where they are now will likely remind you that there is no straight path to success. Better yet, reach out to a few of these people. Asking people to share a bit about how they got to where they are and some advice for your own search can be incredibly helpful—and motivating
There’s a fine line between motivating yourself and beating yourself up. When your pep talk starts sounding like insults while you job hunt, stop trying to force yourself and take a break. Keep a favorite snack around for these situations, or take a walk outside. Give yourself a longer break as well sometimes, with a bubble bath, sports game, or other activity that makes you feel recharged and happy.
Frustration from job hunt can cause apathy, or severe lack of motivation. This can result in spending hours on activities that are neither productive nor enjoyable, or failing to meet goals due to procrastination. If this description fits, break the cycle with the following tips, if applicable to your situation:
- Remove distractions. Turn off your phone, other electronic devices, or the internet, unless required for the specific task you are working on. Clear your work area of all unnecessary items.
- Set your own deadlines and rewards. Unpleasant or difficult tasks can weaken your motivation. Add additional pressure with a positive spin, by rewarding yourself with a snack, entertainment, or other reward on the condition that you meet a mini-deadline within the hour, or by the end of the day.
- Stay focused on one task at a time. Stop multitasking! Multitasking almost always makes each task more difficult and easier to avoid, even if you personally think you are good at it
Keep a log of your accomplishments.
Frustration is often accompanied by the feeling that you lack purpose or meaning, but frustrated people rarely have a realistic view of themselves. Fight this by keeping a record of all your achievements, including daily tasks that you have difficulty with. Instead of being negative during your job search, focus on the positives and be grateful for what you’ve experienced already. Just because you haven’t secured an interview yet doesn’t mean no one wants to hire you. All you have to do is focus on your strongest qualities and how you can better market them to employers.
Recognize negative behaviour.
Frustration often leads to thoughts and behaviour that only make the situation worse. Try to catch yourself when these negative events occur, and immediately take a break.
Exercise to reduce stress
Physical activity can relieve tension and stress caused by frustration, especially if you exercise in the right environment. Walk, jog, or hike outdoors, in a natural environment if possible. If you are not used to exercising regularly, take it slow so you feel refreshed, not exhausted. •If you aren’t able to take an exercise break while working on a job hunt, take a shorter break to practice deep breathing or meditation instead.
Spend time with supportive people.
Find friends you can talk to about your frustrations, who will listen and won’t judge you. If you do not have close friends you feel comfortable doing this with, find someone who can provide good company during frustrating tasks, such as searching for jobs or using dating websites.