How to Stop Hating Your Job Search

Anxiety. Rejection. Frustration. Judgment. Ambiguity. Unfairness.

It’s understandable why people dislike the job search.

While most job seekers express excitement at the prospect of landing a new job, the actual job search process isn’t an inherently enjoyable experience.  In fact, it kind of sucks.

If you think about it though, the job search process is not so different from, say, purchasing a new car. It’s exciting to visualize yourself in a “ding-free” shiny SUV with that new car smell. But, most dread the buying process – dealing with aggressive Sales Associates, haggling over price, selecting coverage terms (“Do I really need that tire protection insurance???“), and figuring out financing options.

Planning to move to a tree-lined street in a quieter neighborhood?  All of the same rules apply. Before you get to the “prize” of settling into your cozy new home, you need to get through the packing, lugging boxes, broken dishes, clutter, and lost mail.

So, to state the obvious, many of the most exciting things in life require a lead up process that is anything but comfortable or easy.  And sometimes the statement “enjoy the journey” just doesn’t cut it.  But, if you really want it, don’t let common barriers stop you from attaining your goal.  For most, the sweet taste of success is worth dealing with the temporary discomfort.

Here are some ideas to get you through the hurdles:

  • Plan for the 30%.  Even the best planners experience situations they can’t control or foresee.  When planning for a major change, incorporate time into the schedule that allows for approximately 30% of your plans to go wrong.  Add an extra week to the timeline when you’re moving. In the job search, leave 45 minutes to get to the interview rather than 30 minutes.  This will significantly decrease added stress in an already stressful process.
  • Take a tip from Tom Hanks.  In the movie, “A League of Their Own,” when Tom’s best player quits the team right before the playoffs because “it just got too hard,” Tom comes back with one of the best lines in the movie.  He says, “It’s the hard that makes it great.”  And it’s so true!  Successful professionals often have a series of incredible difficulties they’ve overcome to get to the prize.  So, go the extra mile because it’s rarely crowded!
  • Focus on the benefits. To tag onto the last point, the people who are most agile, adaptable and resilient are also those who have overcome many challenges. With each new set-back that you conquer, you’ll be able to handle future struggles with more ease and less anxiety (which means you’ll be comfortable taking greater risks, leading to even more success!). You know the saying – “What doesn’t kill you….”

Remember, nothing worth having comes easy.  But that’s okay – you got this!

Happy hunting!

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