Whether you’re stuck in a job you dislike or struggling to find a position in a new town, it can be discouraging to feel as if your career had been put on standby. For too many adults, it is difficult to manage the anxiety and the disenchanted feeling that appear when your career is stagnating.
In fact, if you’ve been desperate to escape your current situation, any rejection or lack of movement in the right direction is not just demotivating, it is also extremely painful. But you need to focus on what you can do to help restart your career.
The more you listen to your fears, the more they’ll control your life. You will not be in the best position to tackle your next professional challenge when stress, low self-esteem issues, and anxiety cripple your every move.
However, positive thinking can only get you so far. If you want to feel good about your career, there is no way around it. You need to figure out the best solution to jump back when you’ve hit rock bottom.
1. Understand that rejection isn’t a personal criticism
When you’ve been applying to a few roles and have received only negative answers, it can be impossible not to be hurt by the rejection. You will also find that some recruiters can be tactless when it comes to rejecting your application.
Some hiring managers might use disheartening words to deliver the message, while others prefer not to get in touch. You need to understand that recruiters do not intend to break your heart over the news. Their role is to get on with the recruiting process, and unfortunately, some lesser experienced recruiters might affect your mood with a poorly worded email or a somehow childish ghosting techniques.
Do not take the rejection at face value. All it means is that your profile — or more exactly, the way you chose to present your profile – wasn’t suited for this specific company. Don’t let it affect you. Your skills and experience can be a better match for another employer.
2. Are you missing essential skills?
Ultimately, you might be very experienced, but when a hiring manager asks from applicants to have followed a specific academic career, the first thing they will check on your resume is whether you’ve got the right degree for the job.
Going back to school when you’re in the middle of your professional career can be a difficult choice, but you can find online universities such as Victoria University, that are specialized in helping people like you move their career forward. Through dedicated course models and online materials, you can juggle work and study effectively.
Besides, you’ll be pleased to know that, on average, online studies can be completed faster than on-campus paths.
From an applicant’s perspective, this means that within a couple of years, you can finally apply for jobs that were outside of your academic reach.
3. Do you need more experience?
It can be tricky to showcase your experience when you’ve been stuck in the same role for years. It’s fair to say that a stagnant position – whether you’re employed or unemployed – can cause professionals to deskill. But when there is no option to expand your functions in the office, you can start thinking outside the box.
Using volunteering organizations, you can not only help a community, but you can also help yourself. There is a ton of transferable skills to learn from your volunteering experience, starting with creative thinking, problem-solving and adaptability.
Additionally, it also demonstrates that you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone to make things happen, which is ultimately the right attitude in any candidate.
4. Is this the right career for you?
If you’ve been looking for a role that excites you and have so far failed to find it, it might be time to consider your career choice. Are you on the best possible path for your interests and passion?
Indeed, you will find it impossible to become the best candidate if you apply for a position that doesn’t appeal to you. Delve into the peak moments of your life to understand what makes them stand out. They hold the key to finding your passion.
Once you’ve identified the elements that made each experience valuable, you need to define the umbrella that keeps them together. This will be your ideal business or role.
5. Use your network
How many connections do you have on social media? These people could help you to land your dream job. 60% of all jobs are found through networking.
Contacting the people you know can help to generate information and even job leads. You can also rely on a more formal approach, and use business conferences and trade shows to exchange business cards and get to know participants who share your business values.
LinkedIn is also an excellent place to start professional networking if you prefer a digital strategy.
6. Be bold and brave
Success doesn’t always come immediately. Sticking to your guts and skill set can also be a profitable approach in the long term. J. K. Rowling, for instance, was an unemployed teacher living in poverty when she wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The manuscript was rejected by 12 publishers before it was finally accepted. And even then, J.K. was warned not to quit her day job because nobody expected her story to be a success. But it was. The lesson here is to be brave enough to believe in your dreams – however, just like J.K., don’t make rash decisions until everything is settled.
7. Invite your future employer
Are you an expert? Whether it’s marketing, data analysis, or even business strategy, if you can create a workshop to share your knowledge, you can attract potential leads.
Indeed, you could get in touch with companies you’d love to work for to offer your free online workshop. It’s a great introduction to your services. And who knows, it might be the beginning of a professional relationship.
Every career will go through low and high times. The secret to master the professional rollercoaster is to keep your head cool and come up with the right strategy. It takes time to land your perfect job, but with a smart approach, things could turn around quickly!