Resilience Amid the Job Search Process

September 7, 2020

Xinrui Rose Xu

Does this sound like you?

People tell you that you need to stay positive and keep up with your job search activities. You are still worried about the project report due in two days and cannot help replaying a recent argument you had with a close friend. Thinking about the numerous online applications you haven’t heard back from, or the LinkedIn invitations that haven’t been accepted, you don’t know why you continue to invest time and energy in a job search.

One major stressor in the job search process is the lack of positive feedback. It’s very easy to lose motivation when you cannot tell how your efforts are leading to the outcome you hope to achieve – securing a job. Many students start doubting themselves when their job search efforts do not immediately lead to job offers.

Here are a few tips for you to stay motivated during your job search process and make it more fulfilling and less stressful.

  1. Find a support group. Having a friend or a small group provides you emotional support as well as constructive feedback on how you are doing as a job seeker. For example, you can practice your elevator pitch and improve self-presentation skills. You can inspire each other with success stories and comfort one another amid rejections.

  2. Reach out to professionals in your field and learn about their work experience. Some people dislike networking as they think it is insincere or self-centered. Try to think of networking as learning about another person’s career journey. Be inquisitive. View this as conducting an interview and learning a great story from someone in a position you see yourself in the future. You might also find potential mentors who can provide you advice along your career journey.

  3. Create a plan and stay organized. Create a reasonable plan for your job search activities and treat it as a project-based class you are taking. In doing so, you release yourself from thinking about it all the time. Find other activities to do apart from your job search activities throughout the week and have a mini celebration for the progress you’ve made at the end of the week.

  4. Reward yourself for every milestone you made. Don’t overlook the milestones you’ve made in the job search process, even before securing a job. Milestones could be: having your resume revised and polished, getting a better idea about what a job entails by talking to alumni, delivering your elevator pitch at a career fair, and more. Reward yourself for every milestone with something you enjoy, such as hanging out with friends, reading a favorite book, taking-out from a restaurant you love, or any activity that will bring you joy.

I wish you the best with your job search efforts, and a happy and meaningful journey in reaching your career goals!

Dr. Xinrui (Rose) Xu

Xu earned her Ph.D. in engineering education from Purdue University and works on research projects related to engineering students’ major choice, career decision-making, professional competency, and mental health. Rose is a senior career services consultant from the Center for Career Opportunities that serves students from all backgrounds on the Purdue West Lafayette campus. She provides individual and group career coaching, as well as workshops for classrooms and student organizations. Be sure to check back each week for another wellness tip of the week!

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