In Limbo: How to Survive the Unemployment Waiting Game

You’ve probably heard it before, “a watched pot never boils!” But did you know that the same is true for your job applications?

Imagine this: You’ve sent along your resume and application form; you nailed the interview, and you even established a timeline for following up with your potential employer. You’re feeling great! But as the time ticks by, doubt creeps in.

“Did I answer that question incorrectly? Was I that bad?”

“Maybe I’ll just check my email again. Nothing. Ok, maybe…now!”

“Why aren’t they calling me!?”

It’s the dreaded unemployment waiting game! No one likes to wait for an answer, especially when the question at hand is the future of your career. However, obsessing over your application status can cause unneeded stress, waste valuable time and even lead to over eager and unnecessary communication.

Before flooding a recruiter or hiring manager’s inbox with status requests, here are our four favorite tips for surviving the wait to hear back from your next job opportunity:

Talk it Out

At all stages of professional development, having someone to talk to about your top priorities, accomplishments and concerns is integral. Rather than worrying yourself sick about each step of the process, talking through specific details and reflecting with a trusted friend, family member or professional colleague can help ease your mind. Aside from acting as a safety net by calling out errors and missed opportunities, these individuals within your support network can offer a fresh (and positive) perspective.

Keep Applying

Don’t stop applying for jobs just because you haven’t heard back yet! Not only will keeping up with your search help to occupy your mind, but having multiple opportunities available only gives you more leverage as a job candidate. There’s no way to know what the response will be, so why waste time waiting? Keep applying and avoid worrying.

Focus on Personal Development

If you can’t pull yourself away from your phone or computer for updates, consider directing your focus towards professional development instead! Learning a new skill, such as web design, is a fantastic way to keep busy while waiting for a response from a potential employer. There are plenty of online resources for continued education, or you can unplug entirely and take a hands-on class at a nearby institution.

Have fun!

Most importantly, try and have some fun! The job search can be a tedious, grueling process. Rather than getting dragged down into depression from repeatedly refreshing your inbox or nervously watching your phone, break out of your routine and do something that makes you smile. Catching up with an old friend, cracking open a good book or just taking some time for a leisurely stroll can do wonders for your mood when waiting on big news. The job search is a job in and of itself, and every job deserves a break every now and then!

Just like staring at a pot of water won’t make your noodles cook any faster, anxiously awaiting a response from an employer won’t land you a job. If you’re still within an agreed upon time frame for follow-up, take a step back and do your best focus on something new.

Maybe by the time you’re back, there will be good news waiting!

Do you have any tips for better spending the downtime between job applications? Please share them below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>