They ALL can be quite stressful at the best of times – and if you’re currently job hunting without the success you both hope for and expect, it can be even more stressful. It’s worse if you end up reading those little quotes on someone’s Facebook wall about keeping your head up and staying positive. Or about what to do when life gives you lemons… I think about the amount of lemonade I meant to have made. Or even worse, family and friends encourage you to sing along to Kelly Clarkson’s “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Then you may well end up feeling much worse. But feeling worse can affect your confidence, which can affect your ability to perform in selection interviews, and then you may not get the chances you wanted. Then it all starts again and then you find yourself wanting to throw Kelly Clarkson at an interview panel.
So what is it that helps us get through these difficult and stressful times?
One area of my research is Career Resilience. It’s looking at how some people are able to keep going when they face rejection and difficulties. If you’ve recently experienced a restructure or redundancy at work, and are now job hunting, the feelings of having to keep going might even be harder. Career and job change, like all change is a tough thing to face. But we all know of people who do manage these difficult times. They didn’t get killed and they do seem to have got a bit stronger. We may even have done similar ourselves in the past.
My research, which I will occasionally blog about, is looking at Career Resilience and how that affects our employment success. A sneaky peak at Wikipedia says that psychological resilience is an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or simply not showing negative effects. It’s the ‘bounce-back’ ability I will return to and look at influences, causes and techniques.
To start off then, how do you keep going and bounce back from job rejections? The initial findings of the research talks about having high self-efficacy; part of this means staying goal focussed. It also uncovered stuff about having a higher level of internal locus of control; which means thinking about what else can you do to improve your chances – taking on responsibility for your career development (too much internal locus of control isn’t too good either by the way – you’ll just think everything is your fault. Its isn’t). But if you’re getting rejection after rejection, it’s horrible – no doubt, and yes it’s the economy, but maybe it’s worth talking to a careers consultant and getting some expert feedback on what you can do to improve your chances. Maybe you might need to think about getting new skills, qualifications, experience, contacts, better quality applications…..
Let me know your thoughts.