How to build resilience while searching for a job

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Looking for a new job is an exciting time. You have an idea of what your perfect role looks like and you're keen to start immediately. It's important to remember that finding the perfect role may take time and will require patience and resilience.

Resilience is identified as one of the Top 10 Skills of 2023 by the World Economic Forum, and in the workplace is a transferrable soft skill linked to performance, development, and career success. The job market can be fickle and while your job search and hiring process might take longer than usual, things can change quickly.

During your job search you may experience rejection along the way but rather than view this as a negative, use this as an opportunity to build your resilience.

Steps to building resilience

Here are six helpful tips on how to handle rejection, exercise patience and build your resilience, to help keep you on track while looking for your next role:

1. Don’t take it personally

Not getting the job you applied for can feel like a kick in the guts but it’s important to remember that this is not a personal failure. Try to be objective about it. Decisions being made by employers and hiring managers are usually more about what the business needs are rather than any deficiency in your skills and experience.

2. Ask for feedback

If you don’t get the job you applied for, make sure you ask why. This is an opportunity for you to solicit honest feedback and build your self-awareness. Asking the recruiter or hiring manager what didn’t work and how you might be able to improve next time will give you valuable insight that you can use at your next interview. When you ask for feedback you are also demonstrating your emotional intelligence. This can help you handle constructive criticism, use feedback to improve your performance and change the way prospective employers consider you for a future role.

3. Find a mentor

Looking for a new job is a great time to seek out a mentor. Having a trusted advisor will help you stay positive when you find the job search challenging. A mentor should be a sounding board to help you establish solid career goals and keep you on track towards achieving those goals. They can be a real asset in helping you with your resume, preparing you for interviews and debriefing with you after critical steps in your career journey.

4. Consider your options

Use your time constructively to think about your next career move. Don't panic and apply for every job on the market or jump into the first opportunity that comes your way. Weigh up your options, work out what you want and create a plan to get there. Resetting now will help ensure you can be at your best to respond to the right job opportunity when it comes along.

5. Don’t give up

You may have heard the story about Thomas Edison who took 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before he created the first light bulb. According to Edison, "Many of life's failures are people who didn't realise how close they were to success when they gave up." Make sure you don’t give up, even when you have faced many setbacks.

Think about whether you can you learn from the situation and change tact. Is there another angle you can approach the situation from? Rather than dwelling on the rejection, spend your time assessing what you might do differently and laying the groundwork for your next opportunity.

6. Stay positive

Resilient people have a positive image of the future. They maintain an optimistic outlook and envisage brighter days ahead. Resilient people also never think of themselves as victims – they focus their time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.

And remember, it’s really important while you’re searching for a job to keep doing the things you enjoy in your spare time. Make sure you’re looking after yourself, by eating and sleeping well and exercising regularly. Being healthy and happy will help you stay strong and resilient while you’re searching for that perfect role.

Looking for a new job? Want to know more about how best to approach your job search? Speak to one of our specialist recruiters for a confidential discussion about opportunities in your field. 

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