Staying emotionally fit when looking for a new job

There is no doubt that searching for a new role can be emotionally draining. Everyone tells you to stay positive but, in reality, that can be really hard to do, especially when you are in a hurry to move roles or find a new role after being made redundant. It is a roller coaster as you move from a positive interview to rejection, which can repeat itself many times over.

So how do you stay emotionally fit when you just want to eat your weight in chocolate and wash it down with a bottle of wine?

Acknowledge your feelings

Firstly, it helps to acknowledge how you are feeling in a situation. Are you overwhelmed, sad, fearful, optimistic, hopeful? Regardless of if the emotion is positive or negative, feel it and acknowledge it because what you are feeling is OK and normal.

Remember you have full control over your emotions and the actions that stem from those emotions. Imagine this scenario: you wake up feeling like you haven’t had enough sleep, you stub your toe on the end of the bed, you discover you’ve run out of bread and milk so that means no breakfast for you. Your favourite shirt is unironed when means adding more time that you don’t have to iron it (and now you’ll probably be late for work). You finally get out the door after spilling coffee on your pants whilst struggling to get the door open with all your bags. You get stuck in traffic about 5 minutes into your trip then struggle to find a car park when you do finally get to work.

Chances are you’d be feeling pretty crappy and in turn be in a bad mood which will impact the rest of your day and everyone’s around you.

Or you can decide that your negative start can be turned around and all the bad stuff is behind you. You slap a smile on your face and decide to be happy and forget the last 1-2 hours. Option 2 sounds much better, doesn’t it?

The same applies to how you feel about your job search. Once you have acknowledged how you feel, put a smile on your face, pump up some positive music and get into a much nicer mental state.

Look at your diet

Your health and fitness plays a role in your emotions. You probably feel like eating potato chips, guzzling soft drinks (or alcohol) and sleeping all day. But the opposite is what is required in this circumstance. Getting 8 hours sleep a night and eating a nutritious diet can make you feel happier as you are giving your body the nutrients it needs.

Get your exercise on

Exercise in particular, is one of the best remedies. Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. That is a scientific fact! I am not saying you need to run a marathon but getting some exercise, even a light walk each day, can make you feel happier and less emotional instantly.

Don’t take it personally

Rejection isn’t fun but we have all been there at some stage. You might feel invisible at times when a recruiter or employer isn’t getting back to you. There are many reasons why they might not be responding so don’t let your mind imagine all sorts of scenarios. Just continue your job search as you have been doing and if you are right for the role, the recruiter or employer will be in touch.

Friend therapy

If you need an instant pick me up, a good place to start is by calling a good friend who you know will give you the ego & emotional boost you might be needing. Spending time with friends who uplift and support you aka: friend therapy, is a cure for most ailments, including the job search blues.

You have the power within you to change how you are feeling so use these tips to turn your frown upside down. One final note – believe in yourself and your ability and stay focused on what you want and you can make it happen.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS created by your online profile-how do others perceive you?

Digital & social media are now an integral part of the business world. They are essential channels to communicate with future employers, current & potential clients and your wider network. Your online profile forms your overall digital footprint which means it gives an impression of who you are as a person and a potential employee.

Everything you do online is trackable. Every social media post, review, blog, purchase, where you have surfed the net – all leaves little footprints which can be found. You want those footprints to be positive, not negative.

Your online profile is your first impression! It can impact your success when it comes to getting an interview or winning a role.

What does your online profile say about you?

  • Are you proactive and willing to learn?
  • Are you a team player?
  • Are you motivated?
  • Are you credible?
  • Are you clearly knowledgeable in your role or industry?
  • Do you care what others think of you?
  • Are you keeping up with technology and using it wisely?

All these things and more can be seen very clearly in your online profile. When was the last time you did an audit on your profile? When did you update your LinkedIn profile last? When did you last write an article that showcased your expertise? When did you last review your Facebook profile to ensure it was employer-friendly (I have seen candidates lose opportunities due to a poor Facebook profile).

Your online profile directly impacts your offline reputation. Opportunities are lost everyday due to a candidate having an outdated, lack lustre online profile, which makes it hard to sell you to a potential new boss. Your profile is being judged and can make the difference between being at the top of the hire list, to being glossed over during the vetting process. Where do you want to be?

A small investment in time to update your profile can result in a great outcome, in the form of new opportunities.

The top 5 non-monetary remunerations

Money, money, money ….. we need it to live, we need it to provide shelter and food and the nice luxuries we enjoy, and it allows us to build a lifestyle and some balance to long hours we work. However, it is not always the driver or motivation for someone to take on a new role (or stay in an existing role). Employees often put non-monetary remuneration up near the top of their list to keep them motivated and happy in the workplace. As non-financial rewards can be designed to be more personalised to suit each staff member, they can have a substantial impact on overall employee satisfaction.

Of course, you need to provide a competitive salary however if you need to get a new staff member over the line, being creative and finding out what personally drives or motivates them, can make a huge difference. After all, do you want the key motivator to be on immediate incentive rather than long-term satisfaction?

A recent survey by Seek noted these as the top 5 non-monetary incentives for staff in Australia:

  1. Flexible working hours – the days of 9 to 5 working are over. If you want to attract top talent you need to provide more flexibility. This benefits you just as much as the employee. If the staff member is a morning person who is much more productive early morning, letting them work 7am-4pm means they get more done and they are also happier. This is a win-win outcome for the company.
  2. Additional annual leave – Aussies love their holidays and having an extra day or two of annual leave is a nice way to reward hard working staff. It says to them “you have earned a well-deserved break”.
  3. Monthly rostered day off – regular additional time off helps keep the balance in our lives and allows your staff to use the time to run errands, recharge their batteries, do volunteer work, spend additional time with family…. whatever works for each individual.
  4. Paid training and personal development – providing opportunities for your staff to update skills make a lot of business sense. Giving them the tools and skills they need, not only benefits them personally but you as a business that gets the immediate benefit from it. Investing in your staff is really an investment in your own business.
  5. Flexibility to work from home – working from home can be more productive than working in an office environment. Fewer interruptions, no office banter or wasted time around the water cooler and a stress-free commute equals a happier employee.

When deciding on non-monetary rewards, also take into consideration the age of the employee. Gen Y’s and millennials are likely to want different rewards to a baby boomer. One size does not fit all when it comes to rewarding your staff. Being able to tailor rewards to suit specific personal interests also shows you care and have taken the time to listen and get to know that staff member.

All staff want to feel appreciated for the work they do, so adding non-monetary bonuses and upgrades is a great well to tell your team members that you do value their work and want them on your team. And don’t forget the non-tangible rewards like a simple thank you note or a pat on the back as a little bit of thought goes a long way.