By Felicity Edwards
When someone mentions the two words: job searching, I’ll be the first to admit that my mind automatically goes, “Arrrrg, not today!” And I know for certain that I’m not the only one who has this defensive mentality when it comes to the topic. The entire process of looking for a new role can be extremely exhausting both mentally and physically, not to mention time-consuming.
First we start with the job search; scouring sites and having endless tabs open of positions we’re pretty sure we’re qualified for. Then comes the actual applying and tailoring our CVs and cover letters for each and every opportunity before pressing ‘Send’. Afterwhich, , if you’re anything like me, you’re constantly refreshing your inbox waiting for that invitation for an interview. Finally, when that golden email inviting us to come in arrives, we have that momentary euphoria of ‘Hallelujah!’ before the inevitable anxiety over the actual interview steps up. What shall I wear? How much about the role and company do I know so far? Will they like me? Oh god, what’s the ‘Hell-yeah-hire-that-badass-professional-woman’ outfit in my closet? Do I need to go shopping?
If the interview goes well and the role is secured then that’s fantastic, but most of us have had to deal with a job rejection or several at some point in our lives. t can certainly play havoc with our emotions and ego. aAt times, it can even make us feel defeated. But it’s important to not let the process and these rejections get to us and to remember that our worth is not measured by our success rate in employment.
There are plenty of helpful ways to deal with the process and keep our heads held high whilst remembering our own value and taking care of ourselves. Here are my handy tips on keeping it together!
Take advantage of inclusive networking events!
Berlin has a plethora of excellent female-centric networking events to help you boost your group of contacts and meet like-minded women in your fields of interest. Applying for jobs all the time solo can feel quite isolating, so it’s a great idea to go out and look for inspiration in the form of coffee mornings, focused talks and seminars, workshops and meetups. Whether you are looking for solidarity with other women looking for positions, handy tips for breaking into your dream field or even some potential leads for your next role, then don’t be shy and check out the friendly and empowering female networking scene! You can also check out Clustered’s list of badass fem-initiatives which regularly held events here.
Research the field you want to get into and learn from the experts!
Knowledge is wealth and that certainly is the case when it comes to applying and interviewing for that dream job. If there are specific fields you want to break into then it’s a great idea to spend time researching them and identifying the experts in such areas and how they progressed into their roles. Find articles about the trends in your industry, scour Linkedin and look at the credentials of experts, subscribe to newsletters with insider tips, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people for advice on how they got to where they are! It might be a little nerve wracking to email someone you’ve never met asking them on how they got to where they were, but you might be surprised at the enthusiastic response. And hey, what have you got to lose?! Regardless, the more background research you do on your field of interest, the more ammunition you’ll have at your disposal to dazzle potential employers with.
Note down what YOU are looking for in a role and what YOU expect to get out of your employer!
All too often when it comes to job searching, we put ourselves at the mercy of our potential employers and create an internal sense of urgency and desperation to work for them. But it’s important to remember that the whole process is a two-way street and you should ensure that you’ll be working for someone who can respect your needs as an employee. Remind yourself of what is needed for your job satisfaction, such as a fair and decent salary, challenging and rewarding work with a scope for career progression, an inspiring workplace with like-minded colleagues, a boss who recognises your potential and respects boundaries, etc. Knowing your worth as an employee is a powerful tool. Figuring this out beforehand and demonstrating this within your application and interview is impressive to future employers. Be assertive and map out the key skills and expertise you will be bringing to benefit and shape the business and why you would be of value. You want to be treated respectfully and valued as oppose to being moulded into a faceless cog within a company’s machine.
Take time out to care of you!
The whole (often) arduous process of job hunting can leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and this leads people down dark paths of depression and anxiety. So it it is crucial to take care of your own wellbeing and mental and physical health during this time. If your days are currently filled with endless applications and interviews then make sure you take time out for enjoyable activities. Go for a walk, do an exercise class, read a new book, go to a meetup event, explore a new area or activity, talk and share your feelings with loved ones or give yourself little rewards and treats to keep your momentum up!
At the end of the day, I’d say that most of us find the job search a pretty annoying task at best and a downright chore and minefield at times. But when the going gets tough, keep your head up and try not to let the process get the better of you. Plan accordingly, ask for advice, network, treat yourself well, know you’re not alone in this and remember your awesome worth. You’ve got this!