Because… well, it does. Whatever reason you have for job searching, whether you’re just starting out or your current situation has deteriorated to the point where you are now desperate for a change, you’re out on the market. And being on the market is just plain hard.
Here are 4 reasons that can help explain why this is the case, along with suggestions to make the process just a little bit more bearable.
1. It’s like a job unto itself.
It’s exhausting, even if you aren’t also working on top of job searching! Updating resumes, compiling references, writing cover letters, doing market research, interviewing, stressing out, chewing your fingernails! And that’s before we even get on the subject of the emotional drain that is networking.
To keep from burning out and losing heart, consider taking a personal day or two, or cutting back on the horsepower of your work at your existing job (if you have one). To devote yourself even 50% of the time to finding a new job, you can’t be giving 110% at your old one. Figure out which balls you can temporarily put down in order to find the job you want.
2. It takes time.
The job search process doesn’t honor your impatience. Good opportunities take time to find, and that can be annoying when you’re dedicating all you have to the pursuit of them!
To keep from going mad, try and recognize ahead of time that this process will not resolve immediately. Pace yourself. Dole out your energy and time and focus across a couple of weeks or months, rather than expecting to find a new job and hop straight into it by magic.
3. It will be disappointing.
You know you were qualified for a job, and you didn’t even get an email confirmation when you sent in your materials. Or you made it to the final round, made a really personal connection with your boss-to-be, then never heard back. You found out that job went to someone else. Repeat, repeat. Little heartbreaks like this are everywhere in your job search.
To keep from despairing, focus instead on maintaining—and building—your network. That way, no matter how many heartbreaks pile up (be that 5 or 50), you’ll know that you are constantly maximizing the number of opportunities that will come your way.
4. You might have to lie to your boss
You’re running out of excuses for why you have so many dental appointments in the mornings during work that call you away from your desk. It’s awful having to cover for yourself, even if you don’t particularly love your boss.
To avoid the shame of lying, try to schedule your interviews for early or late in the day—or at lunch—to avoid conspicuous absences. And it never hurts to have a list of minor medical things that would require immediate attention, just in case.
The 4 Most Painful Parts of the Job Search (That You Always Forget About Until You Do it Again)