Job Advice

The 5 Stages of Grief You’ll Go Through While Job Hunting

Job Hunting Grief

When you start job hunting, you’re basically strapping into a roller coaster of emotion. Finding work is a full-time job, so if you’re newly laid off, just trying to break into the workforce, or even looking for something new while still employed, expect to be exhausted. Gone are the days of stopping by your dream employer’s office and dropping off your resume at the front desk. Instead, you will spend hours trolling job boards and rewriting your resume for each application you send off.

Throughout the exhausting process of finding a new job, you’re going to cycle through many emotions. As you move from one stage to the next, just try to keep your main goal in mind: finding your next job!

1. Denial

You’re at peak confidence when you start the hunt for a new job. Yes, you’ve heard your friends complain about how hard it is for them to find work or how long they’ve been looking. But they aren’t putting in the kind of effort you will!  You’ll send dozens of applications a day and have an offer in a month or less. You worked hard in school and your GPA shows it. You’ve even got some experience under your belt from that internship last summer and volunteering efforts. How could you not be picked? You’re ready to take on the world.

Take advantage of your current positive outlook and make a plan to organize your job search! Work on your resume and give it to friends and family to review. Start combing through your LinkedIn network for possible leads. Set (realistic) goals for yourself regarding how many jobs you’ll apply to each week and stick to your plan!

2. Anger

After a couple weeks of instant application rejections or absolute radio silence from employers, you’re feeling over this infuriating process. How could you not have heard back from any of the places you’ve applied? Your resume was tailored to the job description, you have relevant experience, you had an awesome cover letter. What gives?!

Try to funnel your anger into something constructive. Whether it’s going hard at the gym or pumping out job applications just to stick it to the man, try to do something with your frustrations instead of letting them bubble up inside of you. This way, you stay productive when job hunting is starting to get to you.

3. Bargaining

Any job. You’ll take any job. You’re not asking for the world, just a job! You just want to pay your bills and not be homeless. At this stage, you’d give just about anything for a call back.

Take a deep breath. Remember that you have a lot to offer potential employers. You don’t want to come off as desperate, so don’t send a follow up email to the hiring manager the day after you submit your application. Be patient and focus on honing your strengths. If you’re currently unemployed, check out free skill-building sites, like Codeacademy or CourseBuffet. If you’re balancing a job and a job hunt, consider volunteering once or twice a month. Volunteering is great for both networking and impressing future employers while also improving your community

4. Depression

The thought that there must be something wrong with you is starting to creep in. As the weeks of unemployment stretch to months, it’s not uncommon for depression or resignation to set in.

To keep these job hunting blues at bay, be sure to regularly meet with friends and family who support you. Make sure you’re getting quality sleep (which is easier said than done; the stress of job hunting can keep you tossing and turning all night long) and getting in exercise when you can, even if it’s just a walk around the block.

5. Acceptance

You will find a new job. You will. But first you have to accept the fact that job hunting is no easy task. It takes persistence. It takes work. And it takes quite a bit of luck. Have patience and be sure to take care of yourself!

Soon enough, the right opportunity will come along. The best thing you can do is organize your job search process and make sure to avoid a job hunt burnout.

Keep networking, keep applying, and keep pushing forward.

 

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