Throughout the job search, the wait is an unavoidable state. After you send out your job applications, you have to wait for someone to call you for an interview. When you are at an interview, you have to wait for your turn. Once you've finished the interview and all the requirements, you have to wait, or hope rather, for an offer. Some waits are short like waiting in line while others are a little more prolonged. With each passing second of every kind of wait, however, you are pushed ever so slightly into the mental realm known as crazy.
You spend every waking moment thinking about ~~when~~ if the company will call you back. Conversations take an easy negative turn and you can't stop assessing what you did wrong during the interview. There are days when you lie in bed just praying, "Please, please, please let today be the day."
Coming from someone who did all that and more, I'm telling you now to stop. The wait is no one's favorite part of the job search but that doesn't mean you can't turn it around for yourself. Here are 5 steps to help you avoid going crazy during the wait.
1. The negative people around you? Cut them loose.
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Whether you are a man or a woman, the wait turns every jobseeker into a hormonal teenage girl on their period. You are moody, volatile, sensitive to everything, and you constantly contemplate the meaning of life. If there are people around you who give you pats on the back and it will be okays, they're not helping your situation.You need to find as much positivity as you can and surrounding yourself with negative people will only drain you further. Cut them loose and you'll feel a difference.
2. Get out of the house!
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For unemployed jobseekers, their routine consists of company offices they are applying to and their beds at home. You need to get out of the house where the wait hits you the hardest. Go out and take a walk, run some errands, or visit your family. It's important to have time for yourself but too much time isn't good for you. If, at any point, you get stunted by the job search, pause and get out of the house for a quick recharge. It'll do wonders.
3. Find your kind of meditation
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The wait will make everything seem so fast and so slow at the same time. The lack of balance is off-putting. Meditation or just sitting in silence for ten minutes can help you re-center and re-organize your thoughts. You can also use this time to face your fears about the job search. Think about them and ways to deal with them. Author Heather Martin says that "Focusing on mistakes is only good when you learn from them."
4. Exercise is always in style
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Exercise is good for you no matter what mental state you are in. If you don't regularly exercise, start. The job search takes up a significant chunk of your time and energy but you're unemployed, you still have the time to spare. Sweat the stress and worries away. Working out will help keep your mind and body busy and more importantly, productive.
5. Keep building
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Oh, but you did. With every minute not spent on the job search, *eating, *sleeping, and breathing, find ways to build your resume and your skill set. Take a class on accounting. Do volunteer work. Learn how to cook. The truth is, interviewers desperately want you to be the right person. But it's up to you to make that happen. Research on what a company wants and find ways and activities to be that. It takes extra effort but ultimately, it beats spending another week in the wait.
*the normal and socially acceptable amount
Most importantly, remember that unemployment is temporary. This, too, shall pass.