Emotional Resilience is about recovering from failures and setbacks. Being in a career transition requires a lot of tenacity, considering how stressful it could be. I know so because I had experienced many career transitions myself, facing uncertainty, rejection, and fears.
A career transition plan is not only about having an updated resume, a networking strategy, or applying to jobs. As you prepare to face the roller coaster ahead, consider the importance of emotional preparation. How are you planning to remain focused and resilient when facing negative experiences during your job search? How will you recover from setbacks?
Below are some strategies I invite you to consider:
Manage Your Expectations
I frequently hear job seekers that they need to have a job ‘now’. Almost everybody wants to land right away, and I understand why is a sense of urgency. This expectation thought, only brings frustration considering the many factors impacting the job market. Your roller coaster ride may last 3 to 6 months or even longer. It’s better to create a contingency plan, for example, getting a ‘bridge job’ while you continue searching for your ideal position.
Foster a Positive Outlook
One of the best ways to cultivate emotional resilience is by knowing ‘this shall pass’. Fostering a positive outlook implies that you visualize landing in your ideal job and organization. I recall moments during my transitions when I was feeling doubtful about my future. But in all cases, I found better jobs in great organizations and I continued progressing. A compelling vision for a better future will help you bridge the gap between now and the future.
Focus on What You Can Control
Many external factors are beyond your control; the pandemic and its negative impact on the economy, the oil prices, rampant unemployment, you name it. While all these factors are outside of you, you can focus on what you can control, yourself! For instance, you are the one that creates a mindset by deciding how to interpret and process your experiences. You control how you use your time. Ultimately, you control your thoughts, attitudes, habits, behaviors, and the actions you take in pro of managing an effective job search strategy.
Be Mindful of Your Support System
Let’s face it, not everybody will be supportive and encouraging during your job search. If possible, stay away from unsupportive family, friends, and toxic personalities. Instead, gravitate toward positive role models, the optimistic, and those who are there with you to provide support, ideas, and give you company when you need to recharge your emotional batteries.
Focusing on Learning & Growing
Being in a transition is an excellent time to sharpen your skills, polish some of your competencies, learn new ones, and become abreast of changes in your industry or job sector. You will find multiple online learning platforms at a very low cost. Learning a new skill may help you in positioning you better in front of recruiters and hiring managers. Additionally, you will feel better and reenergized with your new learnings.
Practice Self- Care
Being in a job transition is one of the most stressful events in life, especially when dealing with uncertainty, fear, and rejection. To recover from strong emotions, you must take care of your emotional and physical needs. Treat yourself with self-compassion and be good to yourself. I use the acronym MEED (meditation, enough sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet). Being intentional about your mental and physical health will help you become more resilient.
In conclusion, a job campaign is a stressful event charged with ups and downs, small victories, and setbacks. Consider your emotional preparation to bounce back from rejection, fear, and uncertainty. Know that you are not being defined by the misfortune and inconveniences of a job search. Embrace the change knowing that you will be more than ok.
Career transitions can also be a time of significant growth, an opportunity to integrate personal and professional experiences, reflect and decide what you want next. At the end of this process, you are transitioning to the next opportunity in your life and career. You will be a more resilient and stronger person when you land your next opportunity.