If you’ve been searching for a new job without any luck, you might be suffering from pandemic fatigue—which can put you into a negative mindset. Below are four signs that pandemic fatigue is affecting your job search, along with solutions for dealing with this fatigue so your search can move forward.
1. You’re not reaching out to people in your network.
You’ve graduated from top-tier schools with strong alumni networks. And you have solid experience at reputable companies with equally strong corporate alumni networks. However, you’re not reaching out to these alumni you’ve worked so hard to be connected to. Why not? Maybe you’re worried you won't measure up to these contacts if you find yourself unemployed. Maybe you’re afraid they won't want to help you at this time. Or maybe you think your contacts have so much going on now that you don’t want to burden them with your requests.
Whatever the reason, the truth is no one’s immune from a career setback, particularly in a pandemic period, and those in your network want to connect you to opportunities—that’s why they’re in your network. In other words, you’re certainly worthy, and your contacts are certainly willing to help, but you need to do the work for those connections to happen. So get out there and start reaching out. Don’t be lazy. Start now.
2. You’re looking for problems, not solutions.
Do you feel overwhelmed by everything that’s going wrong at work? Are you someone who pokes holes in everything that comes through your inbox? Have you lost the ability to see how something can work because you seem to zero in only on how something can’t work? If so, you might be resisting success. And in a job search, this mental albatross can result in thinking no one wants to hire you just because you were rejected once. Or in assuming that no one will help you since you sent out a few emails that no one replied to (and you won't acknowledge that you could have written those emails more effectively).
The way through this is, when facing a problem, pausing to ask, “How can I solve this?” as opposed to saying, “Oh no, another problem!” This might sound like an oversimplified response, but shifting your mindset to focus on how you can make things work versus how they can’t work can have massive results in how you tackle setbacks and obstacles. When you do this consistently, you’ll develop a reputation and track record as a team member and job seeker who finds solutions—and that’s who you want to be, especially now. Be the solution during this pandemic, which will allow you to stand out among your peers. And when you stand out, you attract opportunities.
3. You're creating major obstacles out of minor challenges.
Mistakes happen. Problems occur. Vendors, clients, employees, managers, job seekers all experience situations that don’t go smoothly. And there are people who treat problems objectively, and people who make problems bigger than what they are. Which person are you? Looking back on some recent obstacles you’ve faced, did you make them bigger than what they needed to be? If you tend to make problems bigger, this negative mindset can affect your job search. You might be overly hard on yourself for replying in a not-so-perfect way in an email to a hiring manager. Or you might beat yourself for making a single misstep in an interview.
Keeping your problems right-sized is the only way you’ll determine the right course of action to take to solve them. In fact, mistakes that happen in the interview process can give you opportunities to show how you handle problems and think on your feet, which can be a chance to impress a hiring manager. For example, how you handle not knowing the answer to a difficult interview question can speak more loudly to a hiring manager than a perfect answer to a predictable interview question. It allows your interviewer to see what you’re made of. So, make sure not to overreact to challenges and missteps. Chances are they’re a lot less significant than you make them out to be.
4. You’re not seeing results from your job search—and believing that’s what you deserve.
When you’re not getting interviews or callbacks in your job search, it can feel like that’s what you deserve. And then it can spiral from there. Add to these undeserving feelings the isolation we’re all experiencing in this global pandemic, and it’s easy to see how the negative thoughts can snowball. If this happens to you—and it can happen to anyone!—imagine the dearest person in your life coming to you with similar “undeserving” comments about themselves. What would you do? You’d reassure them they’re wrong in their assumption of their self-worth and give them examples that counter this self-defeating notion.
So, speak to yourself in a similar manner—the way you’d speak to others. Also, consider taking an extra step and, as soon as possible, setting up a support circle of a few choice people you trust who can give you concrete examples of your worthiness when you need them most. When you see how you contribute to the lives around you, you’ll gain the motivation you need to reignite your job search.
Lisa Rangel is the Founder and Managing director of Chameleon Resumes LLC (a Forbes Top 100 Career Website). She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Job Landing Consultant, and Recruiter. Lisa has been a moderator for LinkedIn’s Premium Group since 2012. Chameleon Resumes reviews the goals of each client to ensure career documents serve their goals while meeting the needs of the prospective employers. She has been featured in Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, Crain's New York Business, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, US News & World Report, and many other reputable media outlets. Rangel has authored 16 career resources, and has an active YouTube Channel with regular tips and advice.
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