Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Battling Self-doubt

revised-devil-whispering-in-mans-earAnyone who has been through a job search knows it can be grueling whether it lasts a few months or even a year. The entire process can be a mental and emotional roller coaster, leaving your self-esteem somewhat shaken. How do you overcome this feeling and regain confidence? I’d like to say it’s as easy as how Cher handled it in the movie “Moonstruck” slapping Nicolas Cage and yelling “snap out of it!” But we know that’s not the answer.

Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy

We all do this from time-to-time, but particularly during job search, lock this inner critic out of your head. It has a tendency to be overactive and inaccurate at times like this.

Put Together a Self-worth Sheet

This may seem weird or uncomfortable to you at first, but think of it like doing research on an appliance or new car. What do you like about a product that entices you to purchase it?

The same applies to you. What do you have to offer an employer that will set you up as an attractive candidate?  Years of experience, business transformations or turnarounds, exceeded sales, built sales teams, transitioned technology, etc.

Just creating this list will help you develop self-awareness and turn your thinking into a more positive vibe, helping you to see your self-worth.

Have a Clear Vision of What Success Means to You

When you have a solid sense of where you want your career to go, it will be easier for prospective employers and recruiters to see you in those roles. A total concrete vision and self-understanding may be hard to grasp, but you need to have some career goals in mind or you may end up in a rowboat without a rudder if you don’t.

Don’t Give Up!

You may feel deflated because you haven’t heard back from a hiring manager after an interview or a recruiter, or, or, or…

One of the hardest self-doubt self-talk things we tell ourselves during job search is: “Why should I keep looking for a new job; it seems hopeless.” You feel depressed and rejected.

Take a few minutes to remember a time when your self-esteem was higher—what did that look like? Focus on the pieces of that picture that made life better. What can you do today to put some of those elements back into your life? Sometimes things that make us happy and give us self-worth are as simple as bringing a friend a cup of coffee, or just walking the dog.

Persistence is the most valuable tool you can use during a job search. It takes a lot of determination to get through a career change of any magnitude. Focus on positive outcomes. And if you need to, slap that critical inner voice and yell “snap out of it!”


 You May Be Interested in the Rest of This Series:

Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Isolation and Depression

Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Staying Motivated

Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Frustration

Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Managing Anger

Managing the Emotional Roller Coaster of Job Search: Conquering Fear



Louise Garver

Louise Garver

Louise Garver, part of ExecuNet's team of Coaches and Career Strategists, is a career industry expert for executives, has a successful 30-year history as an Executive Coach, Resume Writer, Branding and Job Search Strategist, with recruitment and corporate management experience along with 13 career-related certifications, a master's degree and post-graduate certification in career counseling. Executives work with her to capture their brand message and clearly, consistently and effectively communicate it in their career documents and communications. Louise is co-author of Win Interviews! The New Must-Have Game Plan and her work is featured in over 20 career publications.

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