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6 tips for building mental resilience when job hunting

Building resilience when job hunting is an important part of the process – although one we’d like to see change. Our top tips to build resilience while job hunting.

Job hunting is exhausting. Even if you’re currently employed and looking for that next career move, it can be complicated, off-putting and cause a heavy dent to your confidence. In fact, around a quarter of job-hunters say they find the process extremely stressful.

But we have a few tips for building resilience while you’re job hunting. Tips to keep your energy high and positivity blooming because we don’t think finding your next role should be a job in itself.

1

Quality over quantity

If you’re facing redundancy, currently out of work or simply unhappy in your job then it’s tempting to have a scattergun approach to job hunting. Applying for every and any job because you want to make a quick move can be incredibly dispiriting.

On average, a UK job-hunter will make 27 applications for 1 job interview.

Instead, select the jobs that fit in with your career goals. Being selective means you can put more time into the application process. Giving you more chance of reaching the next stage.

2

Manage your expectations

One of the most heartbreaking things we see in recruitment is people not hearing anything back at all from the roles they’ve applied for. We think this is such a vital part of the process and it’s been lost along the way.

While Zigzag is working to find a new way to do recruitment, you may also be still applying for jobs where you never hear a dickie bird. And you can always make a note in your diary of when you sent your application so that you can follow up and check the progress.

It may be useful to make a note if the job advert says when you can expect to hear back if you have been short-listed.

3

Build your confidence

It can often feel personal when you don’t hear back from job roles that you know you’ll be brilliant at. This can really take a chunk from your confidence.

“The way we speak about ourselves is incredibly important for building our resilience. In fact, we are our own worst critics,” explains Psychologist, Mandy Rutter. “Giving ourselves positive feedback is something that is learned. We don’t naturally do this because we are more likely to give positive feedback to others. In turn, we are used to receiving positive words from those around us.

“Working remotely during the pandemic has removed ad hoc chances of us hearing things that boost our confidence. Such as a colleague passing by our desk to let us know that we did a good job last week, or suggested a new idea in that meeting “

So, we need to do this for ourselves. One way to build your resilience is to make a list of all the achievements you’ve made in your current role. You’ll likely need to list these for the application. And a few nice words from colleagues can go a long way. Save those emails that make you smile into a folder and go back to look at them when you are doubting yourself.

4

Distract yourself

So you’ve tweaked your CV, written your application and sent it off. You’ve now got a 3 week wait to find out if you’re going to get to the next stage. If you really want that job then these can feel like the longest few weeks of your life.

And if you are facing redundancy or currently out of work then it can feel like much longer. You can build your resilience by distracting yourself from constantly checking your emails and messages.

“Keeping a healthy mind is as much about keeping a healthy body,” says Mandy, “getting sleep, eating well and exercising puts us in a better position to cope.”

You can also learn new skills, or take the time to catch up with people. It will all contribute to boosting your resilience while job hunting.

5

Try a new approach

We believe the recruitment process needs an updated approach. A more humanised approach. At Zigzag we match your skills and experience to job roles and use our psychologists to pair your values with the workplace culture. This means that the jobs can apply to you.

When we get in touch with a possible role, the hirer already knows you can do the job. You can then focus on whether you and the company are right for each other.

It means you can avoid the ghosting, lack of feedback, endless application loops. You make one application through our app and we do all the hard work.

6

Try a new approach

Many brands have a multi-stage interview process. Often these can take some time. It’s all about making sure you are the right fit for the team. If you go into a process prepared for this then you’re less likely to feel fed up half way through. This means you’ll keep your energy levels high and be ready for each stage.

Build resilience into your job hunting

We know that job hunting can be hard which is why we want to help you keep a high level of positivity about your experience and talent. Sometimes, it’s the simple things like looking after yourself that can help boost your confidence.

We are working with organisations and recruiters to find a new way of job hunting. We don’t have all the answers but we’re a curious bunch and can help change how it works. If you’d like to have jobs apply to you then create your profile here.

Are you struggling with your mental health?

Building resilience can take you so far, but if you are struggling with your mental health – as so many people are today – we encourage you to talk to someone. 
You can contact your GP or find resources at Mind.

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