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Promoting Emotional Wellness During a Job Search

by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D.

Chairman, The National Center for Emotional Wellness


The process of job searching can be emotionally challenging. It is not uncommon for repeated rejection to negatively impact our self-esteem, resulting in feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Engaging in negative self-talk can feed the cycle of diminished emotional well-being and perpetuate negative feelings. However, by consciously adopting a positive mindset—cultivating a belief in our abilities as well as a skill set—taking specific action to secure employment, we can improve our emotional well-being throughout the job search process (Liu, Spector, & Shi, 2007).


It is important to recognize that negative self-talk can have detrimental effects on our mental health and self-worth. Research has linked negative self-talk to higher levels of anxiety and depression (Gollwitzer, P. M., 2018). Therefore, it is crucial to actively challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Begin by recognizing that rejection is a common aspect of the job search process. Then, remind yourself of the value you can bring to potential employers or organizations.


Adopting a positive mindset can be particularly helpful during a job search. Research suggests that individuals with a growth mindset see failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning (Dweck, 2008). Embrace the idea that each rejection brings you one step closer to finding the right opportunity. Cultivating a growth mindset will help you stay motivated throughout the job search.


In addition to the importance of mindset, taking action is also crucial. It is essential to develop a skill set that encompasses enhancing your resume, networking, and improving your interview skills to boost confidence and increase the likelihood of obtaining employment. By taking action and concentrating on measurable goals, you can gain a sense of control and satisfaction.


Maintaining emotional well-being during a job search necessitates a positive mindset and the cultivation of a proactive skill set. By actively challenging negative self-talk, adopting a growth-oriented perspective, and consistently taking actionable measures to secure employment, we can promote emotional wellness throughout the job search process.


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