How to Stay Sane while Job-hunting

I have spent most of my adult life looking for a job.

After graduating from university, it took me 4 months to find my dream job. Unfortunately, it left me wounded and destroyed after 3 years. But I believed looking for another job was going to be easier than the first time. It was worse. 18 months later, I found a job that I thought would offer me the training I longed for in my field. Less than 2 years later, I was back to job hunting.

It’s been 9 months and I’m still on my quest.

There are people who quickly find jobs that offer them the joy and stability they need. But I know I’m not the only one who has spent way too much time writing cover letters and revamping their CV.

I wish this post was about how to quickly and easily find your dream job—it’s not.

Looking for work is the equivalent of looking for someone to marry. Not everyone will have the same story; some people get married in their 20’s, other’s in their 40’s, some marry their high school sweetheart and others marry someone they met online 3 months before. There is no right answer to when and how to find the right person. So as much as I won’t accept someone giving me 3 easy steps to meeting the man of my dreams, I won’t accept 3 easy steps to my dream job.

In many ways, looking for a job is worse than looking for a partner. I spend my days ransacking Google in hopes of discovering a job post I’m not only qualified for, but am also interested in. Once I find a few, I try to turn myself into the person the employer desires. I use all the words I think they’d like and talk about all the things that might interest them. After I’m confident I’m the candidate of their dreams, I send an email with a loud desperate prayer. Then I wait for “him” to call. He so rarely calls.

It’s as though every morning I wake up and say to myself, “Today is the day the most popular and handsome boy in school is going to accept your marriage proposal. So you better look and act amazing.” (Yes, high school is my life and everything I feel reverts back to that.)

Job hunting is full of rejection. Thankfully, there are things we can do to ensure we don’t become too depressed in the process.

You are so worth it.

“You’re nothing until you’ve been fired once or twice.” – Bob Goff’s Grandma Mary, Love Does

Our culture tells us to find our worth in what we do and what we have. We believe our value is in our accomplishments, promotions, and milestones. And we believe our worth diminishes through our failures and mistakes. Our insecurities makes us believe we are undeserving of good things. We think we are not good enough for that great job or that great life.

But we are so worth it.

Our worth is found in simply being alive. And we deserve to be happy and to have our dreams realized. Once we acknowledge that, we can joyfully pursue our life without procrastinating, second-guessing, or comparing.

Be happy.

Do one thing every day that makes you happy. – Unknown

Everyone always says job-hunting is a full-time job. However, while looking for work, we often allow it to consume our time. Instead of it being a 40-hour work week, it becomes our life. But taking a step away from our quest will keep us from going insane.

Extra-curricular activities and creative projects while looking for our dream jobs are almost more important than when we have the dream job. It’s so easy to stop having fun because we’re looking for work. But we need to enjoy life—guilt-free.

Take a deep breath.

Without great solitude, no serious work is done. – Picasso

Whether it’s through prayer, yoga, or meditation, take a deep breath. By stopping, we allow ourselves to feel peace, creativity, and focus. It is in the silence and solitude that we are able to re-centre ourselves, remember the important things, and push out the negativity.

Positive vibes only.

I wish I could say that I’ve mastered these things—I haven’t. I struggle every day. Despite that, I am so thankful for this mini-retirement. It has allowed me to spend time with the people that matter and remember that my life isn’t about my job or money. My purpose on this earth is much greater than that.

And your purpose is much greater too.

Do you have any other tips for staying sane while job-hunting?


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