Antidotes For The Job Seeking Blues

Photo credit: Bin Thiều

Being headhunted is so damn good. It’s all the you love me, you really, really love me feels. But then there’s the other side. The job hunting side. The ugh side. The side that can make you feel stupid and inadequate and totally useless … even when you’re really not.

I’ve had the pleasure of the job hunt often in my life. First as a teen with no experience or qualifications that counted for anything in any world outside of clueless rebellion or body piercing. I’ve job hunted as a slightly (and very randomly) experienced and only so slightly-qualified-to-write-professionally twenty-something, as a pretty experienced but ‘too niche’ writer, and most recently as a writer with a string of accomplishments, solid experience, and an almost fan-club-like collection of testimonials. And every time it’s felt the same. Shit.

Every time I’ve wound up feeling like someone who doesn’t quite fit into the world and its demands. Okay wait. That’s putting it a little too mildly. To rephrase: I’ve felt like a pathetic loser. Every. Time. That’s how my lovely but often supremely unhelpful subconscious mind prefers to frame it.

And I’m very willing to bet that I’m not the only one in the world who has ever felt sucked dry and soulless after looking for new work, or new clients, or gigs or projects or contracts. Especially in these times. So just in case you don’t have the mental prowess to talk yourself out of a job-hunting-funk …

Some antidotes.

Firstly, remind yourself how damn good you are.

Spend some time hanging with industry buddies you can talk shop with. Work on your own indie project. Mentor somebody.

All of these things will remind you how much you actually do know. You’ll be surprised at the flood of creativity that pours out of you as you talk your talk and do your do, how the tightly coiled knowledge and innate wisdom in your head unravels and bursts forth, how your purpose burns again so fiercely in your veins, how alive you feel in that moment, how you instantly remember that yeah, actually, you do you know your shit, that actually, you are good at this.

Secondly, adjust your attitude.

This part takes some time and constant mental focus, but it’s totally worth it. It’s a little like ‘curating’. Instead of panicking about your own personal doomsday, start nurturing a feeling of gentle curiosity about what exciting opportunities and new adventures could be waiting for you around the next corner. Behind the next door. Past that window you’ve never even seen before.

It’s like this: whenever you feel your body tightening, your heart flipping, your mind flapping … stop. Shut out everything except for the air flowing into you – even if it’s just for one breath.

Then bend your mind with the unfettered curiosity of a child around the hidden wonders of the world. Open your heart and your most untainted and most daring imagination to the most dizzying possibilities.

Because when our imaginations are bound by negativities, we don’t see everything that could be.

And we could be everything.

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