Looking for a job opportunity in the digital age is like dating in the digital age. You scroll, you swipe right, you wink, you might even “hook up” (interviews) and then … ghosted.
No indication of what went wrong.
Not that blissful experience of standing on a mountain taking in the vast expanse. No.
It’s the harsh, still crash into a wall of uncertainty.
How to cope?
First, understanding what you’re feeling may be helpful to moving past it and getting back on track to finding employment. Rejection is not a good time. It hurts, it’s confusing when you think you’re doing everything right, and it’s scary because the clock is ticking on your ability to go without an income.
Rejection kicks up shame, but most importantly, it lock jambs your emotional system. You set out with hope and an idea of what could be possible if that job works out. Then, every blocked path strips you of those good feelings. No wonder we get depressed and want to give up.
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
Being good to yourself doesn’t mean indulging in binge watching shows or staying in your jammies all day. It means not being hard on yourself about your state of affairs, and it means putting a structure to your days that keeps you healthy and engaged. Eat right, do some exercise, have social contact to look forward to, and make a structured “work time” to do your job search as a task and not an “if I get to it today” item.
It also means increasing your self-care to the levels it might not have been at while you were employed and busy (meditation, yoga, walks, biking — whatever makes you feel centered and at ease).
In addition to watching job postings and applying for them, get out to industry events or other gatherings that will expand your network. Having a warm contact is always better than no contact, and you never know how putting yourself in opportunity’s way will help you.
To get through the emotional roller coaster and for brainstorming strategies, it might serve you to look for like-minded people in a career-oriented forum. All it takes is googling ‘career support group’, a dose of courage, and a slice of “humble pie.” The benefits are likely to be that you’ll discover you’re not alone, that you may be in a better scenario than you thought, and that you’ll gain some strategies or at least some camaraderie.
MIND YOUR KEYWORDS*
Research the companies you are applying to and start adding more of the company’s language (even industry jargon) to your cover letter and resume. Get more hits by improving your keywords to those that will be caught by the ATS (applicant tracking system). Also, become more specific on your resume. Watch for too much generalization. Instead of saying: “Created system that saved millions for our department,” say instead: “Created a multi-faceted system that reduced costs by 40% ($2.5 million) and increased productivity by 20%.”
As with dating, there is no better remedy to the uncertainty and delicate state of your needs and desires than to take your power back and keep your ship steady and pointed in the direction you want to go. Stop letting the tides and whims of others and the job market sink your emotional ship. Stay buoyed by these tips, and when you feel desperate, keep your head up and double the job search action you are taking. I can’t promise you’ll never be ghosted, but I do know you can even out the collateral damage to your self-esteem and improve your job search success.
Good luck and let us know how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Help for minding keywords: Wordclouds.com