Why waste time applying when there’s so much competition for jobs and not enough jobs to go around?
I’ve been out of a job for much longer than 6 months, so I’ll never land a job in (or out) of my field.
I’ve been struggling in my job search for too long. What’s wrong with me? I must work harder.
Do you feel this way? Or, have you ever felt this way?
If so, then I understand your frustration.
Interested in knowing something though?
You’ve noticed your mood swings when your mind runs in diverse directions, right? Each of these questions reflects the mood you’re in.
In Secret #6 of their book Inside Job: 8 Secrets to Loving Your Work and Thriving, Sherry Platt-Berman and Julie Gleeson, founders of the Career Wisdom Institute, discuss 3 “Moods for Living” you should know about: Victim, Hyper-Responsible, and Grace. While others refer to them as mentalities, these authors explore them as moods.
Why should you know about them? Because these moods affect your ability to properly function through your transition.
In the words of Platt-Berman and Gleeson:
“Looking for work requires the awareness to recognize what moods are at play with you, as well as the client or employer.”
Let’s look at these moods a little further from my perspective! I want you to take note of one significant fact: your thoughts affect your emotions and moods.
Mood for Living #1: Victim.
At some point, you hit rock bottom and feel like a victim. What’s crazy about it is: you don’t always realize – right away – you’ve hit the bottom (mood wise).
In my case, for example, it came after one too many job interviews.
I interviewed for what I considered a decent job – relevant to my field of study.
After the interview, the hiring managers complimented me on my professionalism and interviewing skills. Then, some days later, informed me of another candidate securing the job offer.
By this time, I’d been on several interviews and had yet to land a job. I became discouraged.
I felt like a failure. I blamed myself for my inability to get a job.
I questioned my skills and abilities.
I questioned my academic study choices.
I questioned whether I’ll ever measure up to an employer’s expectations. Whether I’ll get past this point in life.
For a few days, I focused on what was going wrong in my life. Thing is: I didn’t realize I’d succumbed to the victim mentality.
Upon realizing I couldn’t go on in this way, I snapped out of it with gratitude. I’m glad I did.
Something wants us to move about like our unemployment situations aren’t temporary. Like we have no chance of things turning around.
Hitting brick walls while job searching causes us to: focus on our situations and everything negative about them, such as the many job rejections and lengthy wait – much longer than we should. When this happens, we live as victims.
This mood fosters negativity and isn’t healthy.
Mood for Living #2: Hyper-Responsible.
Above the victim mood is the hyper-responsibility mood. This one’s better than living as a victim but comes with a couple negatives.
What are the negatives? We “work harder” in this state. We believe we must stretch ourselves too far to accomplish our goal of landing a job.
According to Platt-Berman and Gleeson, when we’re in this type of mood:
“We overanalyze, second guess, and spin our wheels. We feel huge amounts of overwhelm and lots of pressure.”
A little further, they say:
“It’s being on the very edge of life, hurtling around the corners, hoping you don’t crash and burn.”
If you’ve been reading this blog, then you know I experienced job search burnout. At one point, I was so “aggressive” in my job hunt I didn’t stop to care for my health and well-being like I should have.
I worked at it constantly (with no break) until something negative happened. For those new to the blog, you’re possibly wondering, “what happened?”
I’ll tell you.
Though I double checked before submission, I submitted a resume with an error. I believe in resume quality, but it slipped through the cracks.
I was in the ‘hyper-responsible’ state of mind. I worked from a place of exhaustion because I wanted to quickly reenter the workforce.
I believed I had to hustle harder if I wanted to achieve my goal of getting a job. I pressured myself too much.
I changed my perspective with the passage of time, however. I stepped back for evaluation, managed my overwhelm, and built structure and a job search schedule. Doing these things have proven beneficial in every way.
Just like the victim mood of living, the mood of hyper-responsibility isn’t healthy. It cultivates frustration.
Mood for Living #3: Grace.
If you want to press through this transition in a healthy manner, then grace is the “mood” for you.
Consider the words of Platt-Berman and Gleeson:
“The mood of grace is the only place peace-of-mind can occur.”
Grace brings peace. Inner peace.
When you’re in a graceful mood, you work on achieving your goal with less frustration, pressure, and stress.
You don’t let the negativity of naysayers get to you.
You also don’t question whether you’ll measure up to the wants of employers or others.
I know from experience.
In the graceful mood, my perspective on unemployment changed. The sting of rejections lessened. And, I began exploring every opportunity with the following belief: there’s an opportunity for me – somewhere and in some form.
When your mood swings to grace: you see this as an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in every area of life. You make improvements where necessary. You do all you can to get a job, for example. But, you don’t focus on the outcome (i.e., whether employers will call you back.)
When your mood swings to grace: you don’t neglect your health and well-being. You know you must take care of your whole being – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically – daily because there’s more to your life than looking for a job.
Living by grace doesn’t mean a slack in your efforts. It’s all about moving forward with serenity and efficiency.
Warning: Living by grace also doesn’t mean you won’t fall to anxiety, discouragement, and frustration sometimes. But, when you experience these moments, you know to get back up, fight against these thoughts with truth, and keep moving.
What’s Your Mood for Living Choice: Victim, Hyper-Responsible, or Grace?
Different moods come into play when transitioning.
More likely than not, you lived in the victim and hyper-responsibility moods. You focused on your situation and the negativity it brought. You stretched yourself too far and became frustrated.
If you’re interested in a positive and healthy transition, however, your mood must swing to grace. When you enter this mind state, your frustration diminishes.
You understand you don’t have to put in all those extra hours of job searching – hoping you’ll secure a job faster. You realize rejections aren’t the end of the world, and the right door of opportunity will open in time.
Most importantly, you experience peace. The peace needed to get through unemployment with your sanity intact.
P. S. So, from now on, will you live by grace? Or, will you live victimized or hyper-responsible? Don’t hesitate to connect with me on FB and let me know!
Disclaimer 1: Moods and emotions affect each other.
I believe in controlling emotions as opposed to giving control to emotions. So, even in the ‘non-healthy’ moods listed above, we should exercise the divine gift of self-control.
Disclaimer 2: This article contains the work of Sherry Platt-Berman and Julie Gleeson as presented in their book referenced above.