Even in times of a pandemic, the job search continues and there are a 1000 jobs posted daily on platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed or Monsterboard. Choosing the right job can be really exhausting. You’re confronted with questions like: what do I actually want? And am I good enough for this job? So much so that looking for a job might be more stressful than staying in your current situation. Time to do something about that! In this post, I want to give you some tips on how to not get overwhelmed by a job search.

Well, what DO you want?

There’s always a reason you’re looking for a new job. Whether you’re unhappy in your current one. Or you just graduated and are ready for your first job. You must know why you are looking for a job. With that “why” comes a list of must haves and nice to haves. What are some of your non-negotiables?

Consider these things for your must haves:

  • Size of the company
  • Job description
  • Culture
  • Salary
  • Working days/hours

I’m sure there are more things you consider important, like the distance from your house or the size of your future team. Write down a list of things you absolutely look for in your next job.

You might know all of the things you want – but are they actually good for you? Let me give you an example: you might want a job that pays a lot, but if that means you have to consistently do things you’re not comfortable with – is the money worth it? Is it worth the stress? If you’ve thought about it and answered yes – go ahead and apply. Otherwise, keep reading.

“What am I supposed to do?”

This question is in my top 5 FAQ. “Should I be a marketing manager or should I start my own business?”

To be honest, it’s difficult to answer. As a coach, I can’t give you the answers, I can only ask you more (efficient) questions so that you get closer to your answer. However, there are a number of things to consider when you want to know what type of job gives you the most fulfilment.

It takes a deep dive into your interests, skills, behavior, preferences, childhood, and life path to figure out what you are meant to be doing on this planet. To manage your expectations: it’s a process you’ll go through that can take anywhere from a week to a couple of years depending on your willingness to dive deep and take action. Use the Career Compass to guide you!

Meet your enemy – fear gremlins

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to job descriptions — is the fact that the employer lists this HUGE list of requirements. You need to have a degree, 10 years experience, extra certifications, speak 10 languages, be a fun-loving, friendly, supportive person who is able to generate 1 million in a month and juggle 20 projects at once without complaining.

Ok, I’m exaggerating, but you understand what I’m saying, right?

The first thought that comes to mind when reading the description is “am I that person?”.

Am I good enough to do this job? Am I the one they’re looking for? I meet some requirements, but definitely not all. What if I can’t do the job? What if I get rejected? But what if I do get the job? What are their expectations of me? I’m sure I can meet some expectations, but not all – I’m not a fun-loving, friendly, supportive colleague all the time, I have my off days….

So to sum it up, you are most likely dealing with a fear gremlin named “I’m not good enough”. The feeling of self-doubt is what causes the overwhelm. All of a sudden, you start questioning your previous accomplishments, your degree and your skills. Only because you can’t tick off every box in the description.

It’s easier said than done, but the only way to get rid of that “I’m not good enough” voice is to face your fears, gain more confidence, and embody success.

Fears create stress

The reason the “I am not good enough” gremlin creates overwhelm and stress in your life is because it triggers a certain response in your body. At the root of stress is fear. Fears activate your fight, flight or freeze response. So whenever gremlin “I’m not good enough” pops up – even if you’re unaware of the fear – your brain and body react.

Listen, you’re already under a lot of pressure. Work is busy, a social life is busy, keeping up with trends on social media is busy, finances are tough…and then, boom, pandemic…. We’re always busy. Always “on”. Adding the fear of “I’m not good enough” while job hunting then creates more havoc. And is probably the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Hey, it’s ok!

We’ve all experienced the above scenario at least once in our lives. Recognizing the situation for what it is, can sometimes be enough to “solve” the issue. Being aware of the fear gremlin is a big step in the right direction. From there you can take action steps to overcoming the fear. You’re human, you have feelings and fears. It’s all part of this beautiful experience! Embrace it.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, your fears won’t disappear overnight. And that’s ok! It’s a continuous process consisting of (small) daily actions that change your life over time. For example, if you feel like taking a course will allow you to become the next marketing manager, you’ll need to establish daily habits that allow you to finish the course (cum laude, of course ;)). Once you’ve finished the course and have proven to yourself that you are smart enough/good enough to apply for that position, your confidence rises. You’ll have enough ammunition to fight mr. fear gremlin!

Don’t get overwhelmed by a job search

Understanding the root of the problem – fear, insecurities, limiting beliefs, old patterns – is the key to success here. Once you’ve gained enough insight on these topics and what they mean to you, I promise you’ll be able to handle this situation.

Now, for some practical tips:

  • JUST APPLY – even if you feel you are “underqualified”. You now know that’s not true. It’s mr. fear gremlin talking.
  • Understand that recruiters write these job descriptions thoroughly to weed out unmotivated job hunters.
  • Recruiters are required to list all the (impossible) requirements because their boss expects them to. It’s literally their job to find the best possible candidate. Obviously they’re going to write out high expectations so that they attract the right people.
  • The best possible candidate for a job is not someone who has all the written down requirements. The best possible candidate is someone with the right attitude and mindset (aka you). You see the job description & are up for the challenge. That’s what recruiters are looking for.
  • In fact, if I were a recruiter and I would receive an application from someone who ticks off all of the requirements, I would be skeptical. This person wouldn’t be able to grow in the position…?!
  • If you have enough experience to do >65% of the job description, it’s your sign: APPLY. You’ll learn the rest.
  • The job description is written so that you can grow into the position. Once you apply and get the job, it’s your mission to EMBODY the job description they gave you.
  • If you do get rejected after all of your effort – that’s not a reflection on you. They’re missing out. Life has bigger plans for you! The universe always knows best. Trust the process. Trust the timing of your life. Rejection is redirection.

Grab a virtual coffee

Listen, I’ve had 6 jobs in 5 years, and I’ve had over 24 job interviews in that time. This process is all too real for me. I am also living proof that you DO get to have a job that brings you joy and fulfilment…once you adopt a positive mindset & know your purpose. When you need me, you know where to find me!

Much love from my side of the screen <3