Updated: Jan 16
When you are searching for your dream job, it's so easy to feel deflated or disappointed every time you receive a rejection letter. Hearing “thanks, but no thanks” over and over again can really damage your self-confidence which is why you need to build up your resilience when job hunting.
Having resilience as a job seeker is vital, especially in these moments of feeling let down. But if you aren’t a naturally resilient person then what can you do? Here, we are going to run through the top 5 ways to build your resilience when job hunting so that you can continue your job search and still keep your integrity intact!
Why Resilience Is Vital
Whether you are looking to move jobs or you are hunting due to redundancy, the job market today can be a pretty harsh landscape. With lots of people looking for work and with a wide variety of skillsets currently available, there are bound to be companies that you apply for that will turn you down. The difference between succeeding in your aim to find a job and giving up is resilience.
A resilient mind helps you to focus on the task and not take rejection personally. It also helps you to distance yourself from the job hunting process and protects your mental health from any damage to your self-esteem. Staying resilient as a job seeker really is vital for both the job hunt and for your own self.
5 Ways to Build Your Resilience
Here are our top 5 ways to build resilience as you look for your next career move.
· Take Your Job Search Seriously
Depending on your circumstances, you may already be taking your job search seriously. If you are relying on this income to feed your family or keep a roof over your head then its safe to say that you will be doing all you can to make your next career move a success. But when we say to take your job search seriously, we mean to look at it as a job in itself. Think about how many hours you have put into industry research, smartening up your CV, learning new skills to make you relevant in the job-seeking world. Now think about how seriously you are taking your job search.
We believe that by treating your job search as a role in itself, it will cause you to do two things. The first is that you will be able to maintain a sense of consistency and routine which will be really helpful when you get back into work. The second is that you will soon find that the roles you are applying for will be more appealing to you, and you to them! Scheduling in time to practise interview techniques, brushing up on your skillset and working on your professional character skills will all take time out of your day, but they will also pay off in your job search.
· Stay Positive
We know this is easier said than done but staying positive is so important when building up your resilience. That’s not to say that you can’t allow yourself to feel your emotions, but it’s important to make sure they stay rational. For example, if you aren’t shortlisted for a role that you thought was perfect for you, that simply means that they had candidates that were a better fit for their vision of the role. You can’t be in control of other candidates so to be upset about several excellent candidates applying for the same role as you isn’t rational.
It’s also really important to keep the negative thoughts at bay. It can be easy to think “I’m never going to be selected” or “Why won’t they email me?” but by continually hearing these thoughts go round in your head will only encourage other negative thoughts in. Instead, when you feel negative towards a situation, acknowledge the feeling and then move on from it. Sentences such as “I am frustrated by how long this is taking, but I am not in control of that and no amount of worry will allow me to do that” work really well as affirmations to keep your negative thoughts in check.
· Use Preparedness to Back Up Your Confidence
The saying “confidence is key” has never been more relevant than in job seeking. Being confident in your ability to nail that interview, to know that you are the perfect candidate for the job and to allow others to feel that you are in control of the situation will take you far in your job search. It will also help you to feel resilient to any setbacks that might come your way. However, as with resilience, working on your confidence will help you to feel like you can take on and achieve anything.
So how do you increase both your resilience and confidence in unison? By being prepared. Preparedness means to be ready for any eventuality, to be well-rehearsed and to be emotionally available to what is coming in the future. There are several ways you can prepare for situations in the job hunt such as having your CV and references ready for an interview, rehearsing interview answers and planning your time appropriately so that you get the most out of each day you work on your job search. The more prepared you are for your job hunt, the more confident you will feel and the more resilient you will be to any setbacks.
· Use Your Support Network
Having a strong resilience is really great quality in any person, but it takes time and effort to build it up. Changing your mindset from negative to positive can be an exhausting task at first, particularly if you have spent so long always feeling deflated or that things aren’t going your way. So it’s no surprise that every now and again, you don’t feel like being resilient, you just want to offload. That’s where your support network comes in. Talking out your feelings with someone you love or with someone you trust can help you to get it all off your chest and feel better.
Your support networks encouragement will also be a great boost of morale when you are feeling deflated. Where possible share your progress and what you are up to with your network so that they can check in with you from time to time. You could even find someone to be your accountability partner to ensure that you are taking your job search seriously, staying resilient and feeling confident about it. If you want to take it a step further then a mentor or career coach will help you to realise the next steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals and realise your potential.
· Keep it Professional, Not Personal
Keeping it professional rather than taking it personally is easier said than done, we know. But honesty, it makes the difference between growing resilience and tearing yourself down. When you apply for a role, there may be hundreds of other applicants. They may have higher degrees than you, may have more experience than you or they might just have a different vibe about them that works with the company ethos. Their professional skillset is simply different from yours.
As we said in our first point, if you treat your job search like a job in itself then you will see that any rejections or setbacks are simply a process of the job rather than a personal attack. By separating your personal feelings from a job search, it will help you become more resilient and will also give you a clearer view of the task ahead of you.
Asking for Feedback
When building up resilience, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback from companies and recruiters so that you have something to work with. Don’t take it as a personal attack, instead, look at it as constructive feedback that you can work on for the next job application. It is important to ask for feedback so that you can identify any areas that you should work on so that you have a better chance of getting the next role you apply for. It will also help put your mind at ease if those negative thoughts creep in after a rejection.
Finding A Mentor
As we mentioned earlier, if you are struggling to see which direction you want to take your job search or you can’t figure out why you keep getting rejections, why not consider finding a mentor, career coach or recruitment consultant? With knowledge in your industry and experience in that world, they will be able to help guide you in the right direction of success. They can also act as accountability partners, sounding boards for when your negative thoughts get too much or just to provide an unbiased view over your situation.
Resilience is not something we are born with; we have to develop it and continue to nurture it so that it can help to protect us. Hopefully, the information you have found here will be helpful to you and will provide you with the tools you need to build up your own resilience.
Need some help with career, interview or employability coaching?
I work with people from entry-level to mid-level professions, career changers, job seekers, returners, students and graduates.
I would love to hear from you if you use any of the information or strategies in this blog.
Employability Trainer & Career Coach
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The future depends on what you do today.