I know, most job search processes are taking long, and only a few can be lucky enough to sprint through it in a couple of weeks. And, as hard as it might be to believe, the time you’re spending as a job seeker does not always correlate with how good or bad of a candidate you are. But how to keep yourself motivated and going? I’ll try to share my experience.
1. Dealing With Negative Feedback
This will happen – no matter how good, experienced and skilled you are, you will get negative feedback after some of the job interviews you have. Or even before – some comments might be made based only on taking a look at your CV. The only advice I can give you – take it all in with a cool head and try to be objective. This means that the feedback you get could be both – biased or valid. Discuss this with your recruiter if you don’t really know how to perceive it, they might know better how you should translate the feedback.
If it’s well-grounded, you have to accept it and take it into consideration. There might be things you need to change as you move forward with your job search. But remember – 85% of the decisions made whether to hire someone or not are based on personal preferences. If someone doesn’t like you as a person, it’s fine. And you shouldn’t worry about it too much – you wouldn’t want to work with them anyway, right?
2. Dealing With No Feedback
The situation is frustrating enough as it is, but sometimes it gets even more on your nerves just because you send all those applications, you go to all the interviews, and you even might get to the final stage… But you don’t hear back from them! I know it’s very difficult to answer to each and every candidate that sends in a CV, however, if you meet them in person, they deserve a feedback.
Surely, with time it becomes clear that it’s an implied rejection, but I would appreciate hearing at least some feedback – why don’t they want to meet me again, why don’t they see me in their team. For me, the job search is not only about getting the job. I want to understand how do I come across and am perceived, and maybe learn something about myself that would help in the future.
3. Dealing With Misunderstandings
I get it, there might be better or more appropriate candidates than me out there, and not always it will mean that I am inexperienced or unskilled. However, it always makes me angry when people just don’t spend enough time to understand who I really am and what are my skills, experience.
Some might say there’s something wrong with my CV in that case, however, it has been seen and commented by many recruiters by now, and only one comment has been made about some tiny little changes I should make. After all, I can’t really send them a 5-page long CV which then would include all my skills, experiences, project descriptions, and the many tools and online services I have used in my career. Or can I?
4. Dealing With Interview Stress
Oh yes, these things might get stressful! Especially if you’re very emotional and have high expectations from yourself. And the first couple of interviews will be the hardest ones. For me they were, and because of various factors, I also didn’t get the best feedback. That did put me down a lot and I almost lost my courage completely. But there is only one thing you can do – pick yourself up and continue.
What I would advise (especially for the first round interviews) – treat them as your opportunity to meet new people, get to know the companies they work at, and just have a nice chat! Yes, the good old ‘be yourself’, but that really is the only way. With time you will gain more confidence and maybe even enjoy the process.
5. Dealing With Tight Budget
When you set out on a job hunt, it’s impossible to predict how long it will take you to get a job and your first pay. As time passes and the budget gets tighter, it’s easy to get anxious. Especially if you have moved to another (and noticeably more expensive) country and have to provide for yourself 100%. Needless to say, you have to cut your expenses to the minimum, and that’s exactly what I did.
I carefully planned my monthly and weekly budget and wrote down all my expenses from day to day. It allowed me to keep on track and gain that sense that I’m in control of at least this part of my life. Sure, the anxiety grew as my financial “deadline” approached, but at least you feel in charge. But don’t forget to treat yourself with something nice once in a while! This also is the time to get creative – you might even have fun coming up with ideas how to swap costly things or activities for cheaper or costless ones.
6. Dealing With Feeling Depressive And Hopeless
Lucky you if this is nothing you have to worry about, but being jobless and alone in a foreign country can feel a bit depressive from time to time. And the only way to get through this is to have a daily routine that is well-balanced between job search activities and things that you enjoy doing.
I made plans and wrote to-do lists every day, and crossing out each task gave me the sense of accomplishment. It also helps a lot if you talk about your experience with others – friends and family. In short – keep yourself busy and active, be social and create a support network, try to find ways to motivate yourself, treat yourself with nice activities, and have a good night’s rest.
The Happy Ending
This is the first day when I can sit back and relax, and don’t have to worry about the job search frenzy anymore. I’m unsubscribing of all the job search alerts I got to my email, I’m forgetting about preparing for job interviews, and I’ve stopped making to-do lists to keep up with the hunt. Why? I GOT A JOB! :)
Note: This post originally appeared on Expat in MCR (expatinmcr.com) blog which has since been renamed to Dream Chaser (dreamchaserwrites.com).