What is your experience about your job hunting? Do you feel stressed, do you feel overwhelmed, and does it shatter your sense of security and make you feel helpless, vulnerable in an uncertain world? All of those symptoms are indicators of emotional or psychological trauma. For some people, the job hunting process is a traumatizing experience, isn’t it? Especially during the season of recession, the news from every channel is, either no jobs, or not qualified, or over qualified, or not enough experience, or simply no reply. Facing those negative responses again and again can drag down your self-esteem, confidence, and values. After a few months of the same replies, anyone could sink into depression.
So how do we take care of ourselves? How do we survive this traumatizing experience and continuously rejuvenate the positive energy is a request for a desirable outcome? Here are some practical tips that may help you relieve the pressure:
1. A Desirable Goal: The Treasure Hunt
When the goal is desirable, it becomes an efficient motivator, the key is to make it meaningful. A story about three stone cutters well illustrates this point: the first one regards his job as boring, since it only involves cutting the stone into the same shape again and again. The second one regards his job as a means of taking care of his family; he is proud of what he can achieve. And the third one regards his job as contributing to the history, the stone he cuts will make the building and the building will last for thousands of years. Job hunting is a repetitive action, make sense of what you are doing; brain storm some ideas to make it meaningful or fun can motivate you to do it again and again with love and interest, not with fear or loathing. Maybe you can regard it as a treasure hunt.
2. An Interesting Means: Hide and Seek
Kids love the game of hide and seek, because it stimulates curiosity and you never know exactly what, or when they will find it. But certainly they know someone is hiding somewhere. Could we regard the job hunting process as hide and seek? You are the seeker and your job is hiding somewhere. So in order to find the hiding objects, you have to call out, search, and check around. The process of seeking can become a game and fun exercise. Hopefully, it will be an easy topic to communicate with your children your friends.
3. Taking Care of Our Heart and Mind: Story/Tea Time
Job hunting is a full time job and requires specific skills: resume writing has to follow specific structures; interviewing skills. A person may know how to do the work well, but may not know how to settle into the job process. And unfortunately, the courses offered in university only teach us how to do the job, but not how to find the job. So job hunting is a learning process. It not only challenges the mind, but also the heart. In order to take care of heart, one suggestion is sharing your story with your friend- a person who you can trust, or a counsellor and let him/her know that you need a person to listen and to encourage you on the way. It is called the “mirroring effect”. When you share your stories with your friend, your friend becomes the witness of your effort and whatever you have experienced is being validated. Sometimes we just need someone there to say that “I see you have made your effort, and I am proud of you.” no matter what the result is.
4. Being a Friend with Your Feelings
Fear, uncertainty, anxiety, loss, eagerness are all strong feelings that accompany the process of the job hunting experience. Sometimes, or quiet often, the negative feelings are dragging us down. The feeling of fear chases us with such intensity and does not give us a break. The strong sense of loss, and uncertainty could immobilize our mind, mood, and spirit, leading to depression. So taking care of your heart is a mandatory task for achieving a desirable goal. The suggestion is to be friends with our feelings, be aware of, and be sensitive toward our feelings, viewing your moods as weather indicators, some days it is raining, or sunny or storming. If it is raining, then we put on the rain coat and rain boots. If it is sunny, then we put on sunscreen. If it is storming, then we hide in the room and rest, enjoying a movie.
As long as we know how to deal with different weather and choose wisely what to do on a certain day and certain thing, then we do not need to be confined by the weather, we actually flow with the weather. This same theory applies to our mood, no matter what kind of mood, as long as we have a method to deal with it, then you don’t need to be afraid. If you feel sad, fearful or anxious, take some time to take care of the mood: make yourself happy, relaxed or simply witness the feeling. Life has two journeys, the external journey and the internal journey. The internal journey is to deal with your own feelings, emotions and spirituality and all these feelings become our tools of understanding, cultivating, and transforming ourselves to the next level.
Job hunting is a challenging experience, same as parenting, studying, or doing the actual job, it involves learning new knowledge, skills, and is an experience of different stages of life. Nowadays very few people can avoid job hunting. Let us prepare for it, take it easy, and ready to open our mind, heart and spirit, turning this daunting experience as a treasure hunt.�
Hailing Huang, MTS, Canadian Certified Counselor, Practitioner at KW Fellow Traveler Counseling www.kwfellowtraveler.com, Mandarin & English
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA