I can almost diagnose a person’s mental state by the length of time they’ve been in the job search.
At 1-2 weeks, we’re usually in a manic state, (overly) positive and full of (often unsustainable) energy.
A month or 2 in, our mood starts dropping. We may have anxiety and even panic attacks thinking about the future, which is starting to look blurry. We can’t see ourselves in it as easily.
By 3-4 months, we’re showing signs of fatigue, dropping out of our healthy routines, staying up late and sleeping in. We make excuses to ourselves and to others about why we’re not doing what we should be doing.
At 5-6 months, we’re likely entering a full-blown depression. Negative thoughts dominate. “What’s the point of looking? I’ll never be back on top.”
Here’s the tool you need to break this cycle: It’s not you. It’s your job search.
As humans, we seek connection, achievement, and purpose, regardless of how “social” we view ourselves to be. Work is a big part of this. We find a CONNECTION with people who inspire and validate us. ACHIEVEMENT comes from setting a goal and getting there. Think of PURPOSE as a longer-term achievement; attachment to a greater good.
Work – even crappy work – brings these elements into our lives. Without it, we lose the magical trifecta, and start slipping, which is why we must find ways to bring these 3 things back into our lives, unemployed or not. So there it is: Pursue Connection, Achievement, and Purpose. Reclaim your energy and be your best self again, *before* you find the (perfect) job.