No question about it. Job hunting can be an emotional roller-coaster. If you’re “normal” in any sense of the word, and have found yourself looking for work, you’re inevitably going to experience a gamut of emotions ranging from nervous to scared to angry to jubilant on a daily (or hourly!) basis — depending on your progress and how much family/financial support you happen to have behind you.
Just out of curiosity, though, I wanted to see what the DOMINANT emotion is that people in transition are experiencing these days. So I threw out a poll question last month, asking:
“If you’re job hunting at present, or have done so recently, what emotion do/did you most commonly experience?”
The five response choices were:
1) Confusion around how to market yourself
2) Excitement about new possibilities
3) Frustration about the hiring process
4) Fear about your future
5) Guilt around not searching even harder
A total of 25 people cast their vote on this particular topic, and while you’ll see a small graphic of the results below you can click here to access the full set of results.
The Analysis? Well, I’m obviously not going to tell people how they should feel, so there really isn’t a “right” answer in terms of this particular survey. It’s obvious from the results, however, that the occasional burst of optimism and excitement a job seeker might feel, at times, will often get crowded out quickly by weightier concerns. This is compounded, of course, by the ambulance-chasing news media and the constant negativity that assaults us on the airwaves. My wife and I were watching the local news the other night, for example, and decided to switch to Seinfeld reruns after the fourth murder that was mentioned in the space of about three minutes!
At any rate, it’s also pretty clear from the poll results that there is a ton of anger/frustration brewing about HOW companies are interviewing and hiring people these days. I won’t bore you with the many stories I hear about “bad behavior” on the part of employers in this regard, but I do implore you all to make sure you are “part of the solution” when you get re-hired — and to make sure the hiring/interviewing efforts YOU conduct (if you’re a hiring manager) end up being as humane, fair, and equitable as you can make them.
So I don’t think there are any easy answers to flatten out the emotional turbulence of looking for work. It’s just part of the process and you’ve got to anticipate it — and do your best to manage it. Plus, you need to realize that these feelings you’re having are the norm, not the exception. If it helps at all, give a read here to an article I wrote a couple of years back that I think has some important things to say about the topic. I got good feedback on the piece when I first ran it, so it’s probably high time for a re-run. And my feelings about the issue haven’t changed one iota on the matter since I originally posted it.
As for the coming month? You’ll find my latest LinkedIn poll question here, asking: “If you could go back in time 10 years and alter something about your career, what would it be?”