Feeling Overwhelmed? Drop The Job Search


Most people I would guess walk around each day with at least one thing on their mind beyond what they are doing at the moment. Could be the family pet is in rough shape, there’s some house repairs that should be looked into and actioned, a close friend doesn’t seem the same etc. Fortunately, we have within us the ability to function at the same level of performance when we need to during the day, and we can manage to set aside the time to address those personal issues we have.

However for some people, it’s not just one or two things that are going on but rather many things going on; could be 10 – 15 issues all at the same time and of varying degrees of importance. In addition for example to the pet problems, there’s a friend with cancer, children that need attention, a spouse that mentioned off-hand wanting some ironing done, dinner plans with the neighbours, a car that is stalling all of a sudden, an unexpected bill that arrived yesterday with ‘past due’ on the envelope, floors that need cleaning and dishes in the sink from two nights ago. Then there’s an issue at work that’s becoming bigger than it should, a boss that is asking for a commitment to doing some overtime and it’s a busy time of the month; oh and it’s soccer night and gymnastics night for the kids.

You’d think that this is a lot of its own but on top of all this throw in the prevailing thought the person has that in some way they are failing both those around them and themselves. Great! Let’s add guilt, anxiety and a growing sadness or depression. All this does is lead to falling asleep unexpectedly at 7:20 p.m. and then have a sleepless night when the brain won’t turn off, until exhausted, sleep comes an hour before its time to rise in the morning to let out the dog and wake up the kids.

Does this ring a bell with you? Even if it’s not you, I think it safe to say someone in your circle of friends, co-workers or family just might have a life that looks like this one. You may or may not be aware of what’s going on of course, as some people are working hard to cover up these issues lest they be perceived as weak or unable to cope.

Wow, that’s a lot to be coping with and at the same time trying to be productive and a real team player at work, or worse yet, trying to find employment when focusing on a job search and putting out 100% effort is expected. Of course if you can’t maintain that energy to job search for 6 or 7 hours a day, somebody somewhere is wondering if you’re really serious or not about getting a job. That’s rich; if they only knew!

Somehow in 2016, it seems that we’ve got more to manage and less time or resources to do so. Some would say technology is to blame, others would argue that in the past one family member stayed home to handle all the domestic chores and family or that we just have more on the go now than people had to manage in the past.

What of you though? How are YOU coping? If you’re sailing along happy and managing everything in stride, well good for you and your family. What if however, you’re not doing so well, you’re not coping at the level you feel you should, and things seem to be getting more out of hand instead of more under control?

Maybe, just maybe of course, dropping the job search for a month or two would be healthy. Concentrating on taking care of some of the things that are bugging you might give you a sense of accomplishment and achievement; thereby lifting your spirits a little. Ironically, the best way to get and keep a job might be to hold off even looking for one until you really can devote the time necessary to find the right job. Lurching into a job you don’t really want but feel you have no choice but to take could be disastrous if the things going on outside work cause you to be late, call in absent or underperform. Then you’d have a failed job to add to your list of worries. Yes it’s true; putting off looking for work while you sort out some issues may be the best job search strategy you can gift yourself with.

One thing you might find hard to believe is that you’re far from being alone. There are a growing number of people who aren’t coping well with all their outside and personal issues. Like you however, they may be doing their very best to put on a happy face at work and keep busy. Like you too though, it could be a fragile outer shell or façade that you see as they go about their day.

Juggling one or two items is far easier than juggling many, so do your best to juggle only what you can reasonably be expected to handle. So put off the job search and get the pet down to the vets. Spend an afternoon with your friend, pay the overdue bill, do some ironing while watching a television show that will make you laugh.

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