The Emotional Stages of Applying for a Job

You’ve reviewed it maybe seven times to make sure there are no spelling mistakes – and maybe eight times to make sure your name is spelled correctly – and you finally press submit. Now that you’ve sent in your application, you get to explore the emotional spectrum of applying for a job. Let the resume waiting game begin! May the odds be ever in your favour.

What’s next? You wait. And it can all be a little bit (or a lot) overwhelming. It’s no surprise that applying for a job can be taxing for your mental health. Sometimes, it can be helpful to give your brain some time off after your application. Here’s a list of the emotional stages you’ll go through after submitting a job application.

The Five Stages of Applying for a Job

1. Confidence

You’re pretty pleased with your resume and your cover letter cleverness. You reassure yourself that you are unique, you stand out and you know that you’re more than qualified for this job. Let this feeling overwhelm you. Carry it as long as possible. When entering the other emotional stages, keep this feeling in mind. It will help you.

2. ‘We’re only human’

It’s been a few days, but you give the employer some slack because he or she is probably swamped with work and just hasn’t had time to look at the application yet! Right? You tell yourself that people are busy. After all, we’re only human! There’s no reason to fret over someone not responding after a few days. At this point, make sure you’re only focusing on how strong a candidate you are.

3. Doubt

Here’s when worry starts to kick in. You still haven’t heard back yet.  Resist the temptation to go back and dissect every aspect of your application. Was it the syntax of your cover letter? Should you have not included that one skill? Were you too generic? Did you over-embellish too much and they could tell? Here’s the time where it’s helpful to limit your email time. Stop checking every two seconds. Go for a walk.

4. The Flip Flop

This comes right after the doubt comes into play. You go back and forth on whether or not you’re currently doubting yourself – and then telling yourself that you need to stop doubting yourself. This is the time to reflect on stage one. Where did that confidence go? You’ll get it back after some doubt, don’t worry.

5. Over It

This is where you either have heard back from the employer, or you’ve been left in the dark. If you are still in the dark, now is when you might feel like downgrading your self worth. Don’t! You owe to yourself to take a break and clear your mind. You’re worth it! Realise it’s just not meant to be. Treat it almost like a relationship that ended or a person that never really liked you back. All that matters is that you gave it all you’ve got.  And, anyway, you didn’t even want that job that badly.

It’s time to get back on the horse and do it all again.

Breaking the Cycle

The best way to get off the emotional rollercoaster that is applying for a job is to actually get one. Of course getting a new job comes with its own list of things to think about. Stuff like what to wear, what to do and not do. The best thing you can do at this point is to remember what you did that helped you get the job this time. If you decide you need to leave your job sometime in the future, it will be good to know what worked for you this time. Finally, if you did get the job, congratulations!

If you haven’t, no worries, the right job for you is out there and it could be just around the corner.

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