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Job Hunting Jitters: Overcoming Fear In The Post-Pandemic Job Market

There you are—sitting at your current job and unhappy either with your job duties or your work environment. Or you find yourself in between unsatisfying jobs. The job market is a little crazy in a post-COVID world. Many employees want to now work from home and employers are not either willing or prepared to do that forever. One thing remains the same, and that is the fear some people have around the process of searching for a job. Here are some common things people tend to fear when in the process.

Fear of the Unknown:

Anxiety about what's next, sound familiar? You're not alone. Many of us have that gnawing worry about what's coming around the corner. It's like we're bracing for a curveball or waiting for the other shoe to drop. But here's the thing, if you're considering a job switch, you've got to make friends with the unknown. After all, when you're in the thick of job hunting—sending out resumes, networking, interviewing—you can't possibly have a crystal ball for every situation. The trick is in the way you think about it. People with a fixed mindset might feel they can't really sway the outcome, whereas those with a growth mindset believe they can roll with the punches and adapt to what's thrown at them. So yes, your mindset can be your secret weapon in battling those fears. And the best part? You have the power to shift your mindset.

Fear of Rejection:

Let's talk about that sting when you've got your sights set on a dream job, and silence from the potential employer. Ouch. But here's a truth bomb: rejection is pretty much part and parcel of the job hunt. It's not the nicest thing to hear, but it's all part of the process. On some occasions, an interviewer might give you a heads-up about why you didn't bag the job. Even if it's a hard pill to swallow, this feedback can be incredibly valuable. It's like getting a cheat sheet for what to improve. So, in a way, each rejection can give you back a bit of the control that you might feel you've lost. It all comes down to how you handle it.

Fear of the Interview:

Interviews, huh? The mere thought can spike your heart rate. You're not alone—it's normal to feel the jitters. Let's face it, an interview is like a speed date where you're being evaluated, and that can make anyone break into a cold sweat. But let's flip the script: there's a silver lining here. You can totally take steps to manage that interview stress. Preparation is your new best friend—deep dive into researching the company, it'll give you a confidence boost. Practice also goes a long way. Try role-playing an interview with a friend or mentor—it's a safe space to stumble, fumble, and get better. And here's a pro tip: before you step into the interview room, jot down your strengths. And remember, it's not just about your job-specific skills—don't forget those soft skills. Your knack for teamwork, your stellar rapport with colleagues—these things count, too. So, when it comes to interviews, remember you're there not just to be assessed, but also to shine.

Fear of Making the Wrong Decision:

In the current job market, there is a growing trend called the "gig economy," which has substantially altered traditional employment. This has resulted in an increase in contract work, freelance jobs, and part-time employment. For some, this has opened up new opportunities for flexibility and control over their work-life balance. For others, it has resulted in uncertainty and instability, exacerbating fears about making the wrong job choice. Meanwhile, the rise of automation and AI is also causing anxiety, as job seekers grapple with fears about their future job security and the need to continually upskill. It is, therefore, crucial for job seekers to extensively research potential employers and job opportunities, assessing not just the role but also the stability of the industry and the potential for growth and development. Consider the potential for contract-to-hire opportunities or the need for continuous learning and skills development. Treat your job interviews as a two-way street, where you also get the chance to evaluate if the job and company align with your long-term career and personal goals. By doing so, you can help mitigate the fear of making the wrong decision.

Wrap-up Thoughts:

Hunting for a job isn't just about your career—it's a reflection of you. It's like holding up a mirror to your hopes, fears, and how you see your future. Feels a bit overwhelming.

A career coach can be your superhero sidekick.

They can help you challenge those niggling self-beliefs that might be throwing a wrench in your job search. Take a minute to think about which fears are throwing the biggest shadows for you and bring them into the light with your coach. They're there to help you tame these fears and to set you up for knocking your next interview out of the park.


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