Lately, I have noticed that many friends and acquaintances are looking to be employed, to switch jobs, or to obtain additional jobs. In this post, I want to discuss the emotional/psychological impact job hunting can have and how to cope with it without losing your sanity.
Let me first say that I have experienced first hand what it is like to struggle to get employed when unemployed and what it is like to search for a new and/or additional job when the place you are currently at is not meeting your needs (whether financial or fulfillment related).
I have learned what unhealthy emotions and coping related to this can look like. Personally, I have become discouraged, discontent, and even depressed in relation to not having my ideal job in the past. I have felt inadequate when week after week went by with no job offers. I have seen others become extremely discouraged, second guess themselves, feel like they should have their life figured out but don’t. For some, they are in their 20s and don’t have a clue what their purpose and passion is. For others they know what it is but can’t seem to get there.
However, I have also seen what healthy coping can look like and how this can be possible. Here are the things I have learned as both a person and a mental health professional that can make coping easier:
1. Know and remind yourself that your identity and worth are not tied into your employment status or job title. I felt that my purpose, passion, and personality made me a counselor. For a while, on an emotional level, I felt that if I was not able to get a job counseling people in an office setting that I was somehow inadequate to do the only thing I thought I could do or was meant to do.I have since learned that just as I look at other people as so much more than their job status or title, that others, especially friends and family, see me as way more too. Worth is intrinsic and comes from being a wonderfully created and unique human being, not from a job.
2. Trust That This is Only One Season of Your Life. So often, are current circumstances seem to be the lens we view the future through. If today you feel discouraged and like their is little hope of finding a job, that is a lie. I have had to wait months and months, go to interview after interview, but now I can honestly say those were only seasons of my life. If it helps, look back to other struggles in your life you have successfully overcome. This is proof that the difficult seasons don’t last forever.
3. You need community and support. It is through the encouragement of friends, family, praying to God, that I was able to be reminded that I could make it through those seasons of my life. We all need to have those people in our life we can unload to and admit we are struggling. Their is freedom in being real with those who are supportive of you. If you don’t have a support system, are afraid of overloading yours, or if it just doesn’t seem to be enough, you may consider finding a therapist to talk to.
4. Find other purposeful things to do. For me, this helped a lot. It can be volunteer work, learning about things you are interested in, helping others, doing chores around the house, etc.
5. Change the way you think about your situation. This was another key thing for me. I spent so much time obsessing about how miserable I was and how it felt it wouldn’t change. Then, once I started doing purposeful things it donned on me that the season I was in was an opportunity. It was an opportunity help others and pursue things I may not otherwise have time for. I realized siting around being miserable was accomplishing only one thing which was making me more miserable!
6. Take care of yourself. It is only going to be harder to cope with the stress of job hunting if you are not sleeping enough, eating a ton of junk, and are sedentary.
I hope this post is helpful for those who are struggling with job hunting right now. Feel free to share, reblog, etc!