When looking for a job becomes a job

And that’s fine.

While I was studying at the University I wasn’t really thinking about getting a job. It was some sort of a defense mechanism, because deep down I knew that looking for a job was a tremendous work. Having in mind that the competition is huge, the more competences you possess that are needed for the job, the greater the chances are for you to get a job.

The period of transition, when someone is leaving one position and moving to another, or transitions related to the process of looking for a job in general, are extremely stressful for an individual. Since we have been taught from childhood that work is something that defines us, it is inevitable that we sometimes feel as lazy bags, and depression often accompanies that feeling.

I often make a joke and say: “If you can’t find a job, start writing a blog.” From this perspective, that was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. First of all, because I like writing and this has become an excellent way to interact with others, to read different or similar stories or simply to know that you’re not alone.

When you are looking for a job, the entire world seems like a gigantic job opportunity. If your friend has just had a baby, you may get the idea to offer her to babysit, or if your friend or someone you know tells you that their company has just had an enormous investment, you may be tempted to ask them to start working there, even in the field of quantum physics. We all know Newton’s First Law, don’t we?

Since we are all human beings and as such adaptability runs in our veins (at least the evolution meant it that way), then it is not unthinkable for us to apply for some jobs we have never done before in the period when we are looking for a job.

This period of my unemployment taught me that there are many things I can do for myself in order to become employable. I would like to share that with you:

Ilustrations by Bojana Jemouvić

Learn a new language

You have the time and it’s going to be a great reference in your CV.

Work on your development

Start attending some trainings on communication or developing the assertive skills. No matter which job we find it is inevitable that we’ll have to communicate continually with the rest of the world. Be skillful, exercise influence on other people through good communication.

Prepare yourself whenever you have a job interview

That is the advantage that can give you the possibility for the future employer to realize how serious you are about the position you would like to take in that company. So, explore and obtain important information about the company you would like to work for.

Be self-aware

Don’t be afraid to take risks and be aware of your abilities and performance you could offer at work. Even when we do jobs that are not in the field of our expertise, we gain experience and adaptability skills in every situation. Which employer doesn’t like that?

Learn the self-control

You will be rejected more than once for positions you applied for. It will be difficult, you will be annoyed, but don’t lose it. That’s life. Don’t give up.

Empathize with others

Perhaps this may seem as an awkward component of employment, but it is important to keep normal relationship both with people we care for and the colleagues in our perspective work place. Understanding feelings of a person we are talking to and giving them good feedback is basic for communication. Empathy can save us from numerous unpleasant situations and simply provide us patience that is necessary when we are looking for job.

Stay open for various possibilities

Often we won’t be able to find the job that’s within the field of our profession. It doesn’t mean that you are supposed to give it up, but treat it like a possibility to have a diverse career.

So, looking for a job is a process which demands exploring, investing and dedication. Somehow it’s similar to being employed; it’s just that you don’t get paid in the first case.

I found somewhere an old Chinese saying: “If you neglect work, your skills will disappear.” Perhaps it’s not so much about neglecting work, because it’s going on without our involvement and will, but it is about the idea that every day we work on our development and growth, whether we are employed or not.

In life we experience many ups and downs, and it’s the same with the career. The career curve goes up and down and it’s often unpredictable, and it all makes the final goal worth achieving.