If you’d have told me this time last year that I’d experience being put under national lock down, be separated from my family and that doing a weekly food shop feels like you're taking your life into your own hands, I'd have said you were bonkers.
However, as we all know that’s exactly what happened! Spring 2020 throws a curveball, and like many others across the country (and the world!) I found myself in the surreal situation of job hunting during a global pandemic.
Now the job market can be brutal at the best of times, and when you’ve searched LinkedIn for 16th time where roles, hours old, have hundreds of applicants or you have a recruiter sell you the dream job then disappear off the face off the earth, it starts to affect your confidence. You start to question your own abilities and whether you will ever find work – your brain swims with doubt.
How can you stay motivated and not take the rejection emails personally?
How do you remember your worth?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one single answer, and everyone will have their own ways to break the monotony and keep spirits up.
I could regurgitate the usual things that you see on social media – update your CV, take a training course, learn a new skill. Don’t get me wrong, doing all those things could be beneficial but it didn’t really resonate.
For me, giving myself permission to recharge was crucial. Stress has a funny way of zapping my appetite, patience and laughter so if I hadn't allowed myself the afternoon sunbathing in the back garden, cracking open that book, or listening to my favourite music I wouldn’t have had the energy or the resolve to keep looking for that elusive next role.
At times I felt like that guy out of Groundhog Day, where every day was the same. It was so hard to stay motivated. But then I remembered that so many other people were in the same situation. It's much easier to be positive when you got people to be positive with – even if it's tough at first. On those types of days, I found offering and accepting offers of support really helped me feel less isolated and boosted my universal karma points.
As I write this, I'm coming to the end of my 4th month with Zuhlke UK as Lead Agile PM, it was one of the first roles I applied for. As an organisation Zuhlke take the time to recruit the right people, and not just based on skills but culture plays a huge part too. The sense of community comes through in spades, even in the virtual world we now find ourselves in. I'm working on an awesome innovation data project with some amazing people.
One thing that really impresses me about the place is how professional and personal growth are considered a priority. You feel like you are being invested in as a person, not just a resource and you are challenged to stretch yourself and try new things – writing an article for example 😊. It’s refreshing and gives you the opportunity to think about how you want to improve yourself.
My final thought for anyone still job searching, keep your chin up! Trust yourself, take time out to listen to what your body needs. As a people person, being around others got me through the worst days. However, if that’s not your thing consider absorbing yourself into that thing you’ve always been interested in while you have the time – do what makes you smile! Ultimately, it’s not the dream job, or more money that makes people happy but the experiences and connections you make along the way, the right role is out there waiting for you.