Advertising
Advertising

3 Reasons You Should Release the Weight of Failure When You Have No Job

3 Reasons You Should Release the Weight of Failure When You Have No Job

One of the best things you can do when you feel like a failure is challenge your perception.

When you have no job, feeling like a failure isn’t uncommon. The problem comes in when you give too much thought to your “lack of success” and failure becomes your identity. When this happens, failure weighs you down. The weight becomes so heavy, you find it hard to do what you can to better your situation and look ahead.

If you’ve been carrying the weight of failure while you’re unemployed, then here are 3 reasons you should release it.

1. The Weight Of Failure Makes You View It Negatively

You think failure is who you are when you carry this heavy weight. As a result, you go through a cycle of negativity. This negativity is destructive. Why? Because you forget an important truth: failure shows you tried.

You planned and executed your plan. Determined a university. Declared a major. Went to class for years. Graduated. Looked forward to getting a job in your field but haven’t yet accomplished this goal.

On the other hand, you might’ve gotten a job after college but now find yourself out of a job for some reason. You’ve been applying for jobs, but what’s been happening? So far, you’ve failed to land a job offer.

Advertising

But guess what matters more? You took action along the way and continue to do so. You didn’t let thoughts of failure stop you from embarking on your journey to professionalism. And still don’t despite rejections and let downs.

It’s a disappointing experience, no doubt. However, it shows how courageous you are. All you can do is give the job search your best efforts. From there, you learn, better yourself, and start over — with the wisdom acquired.

2. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget You’re On Your Own Journey

Unemployment not only brings feelings of failure, but it also brings the comparison temptation.

How often do you compare yourself to others (online or offline) and feel discouraged? How often do you question how others are securing job offers and you’re not? How often do you wonder why others are advancing professionally but you’re failing?

If you answered “often,” then you’ve most likely fallen into the comparison trap. This isn’t a healthy activity because this type of comparison increases the weight of failure. It leaves you feeling worse than others.

In an article on the Coloradoan, Dr. Lloyd Thomas, a Licensed Psychologist, states:

Advertising

“. . . As adults, when we compare ourselves to others, it is usually to evaluate ourselves as “worse than” or “better than” or “equal to” other people. When we measure ourselves against others, it causes us psychological harm.”

So, instead of engaging in unhealthy comparison behavior — and forgetting you’re on your own journey — consider the following tips:

  • Adjust Your Thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts, take them captive and replace them with truth. This is an important tip because your thoughts affect your actions. If you believe you’ll never make money (again), then you’ll never explore every legitimate opportunity available.
  • Accept Your Life And Career Journey (Including Your Failure). There might be similarities, but everyone has their own unique journeys in life. Don’t focus on the journeys of others. Instead, focus on your own and move forward courageously. Keep believing you can still succeed — or succeed again — at the right time.
  • Be Grateful For Your Achievements To Date. Take time regularly and do the following: remind yourself about your accomplishments. Think about the compliments you received in previous roles and jobs. Think about the people you’ve helped along the way. When you do this, you’ll be grateful for what you’ve done without a focus on what you haven’t done yet.

3. The Weight Of Failure Makes You Forget (And Reject The Possibility Of) Other Successful Outcomes

Failing hurts. Rejections sting in the job hunting process. But please don’t forget your other accomplishments.

Sure, you haven’t yet met your expectation of quickly landing a job offer. But remember, you’ve been successful in other things along the way: entering and graduating from high school, college, and for some, graduate school. You’ve acquired knowledge and valuable skills along the way. You have natural talents, which allows you to help yourself and others.

Please don’t take these things for granted because you’ve failed to find a job.

It’s easier to focus on the negatives when you’re dealing with unemployment challenges. I know. Yet, the better choice is to focus on your past and present successes with gratitude.

Advertising

You might’ve noticed I also said “present successes.” Here’s why: you can accomplish things while you’re unemployed. You know this, right?

In my case, if employers hadn’t rejected me, then I wouldn’t have started blogging. I wouldn’t have learned content writing, online marketing, and other skills.

I took the stings of rejection personally, but I didn’t let them stop my quest for professional knowledge and growth.

So to you: don’t let unemployment stop you from remembering past accomplishments. Additionally, don’t let unemployment leave you blinded to your accomplishments now. If you haven’t yet accomplished something because your failure has you down, please know failure isn’t the end unless you allow it to be. So, do what you can each day to move forward. Professionally, this might include:

  • Determining your strengths and the ways they’ll benefit an employer
  • Focusing on what you want to achieve in your career
  • Tailoring your cover letter and resume (for a job you want) to better your chance of interviewing
  • Trying something new (learning and applying a new skill, for example)

These steps are small, but this isn’t a problem. What matters is you’re moving forward with action and hope.

Professor Johannes Haushofer’s CV of Failures proves you can succeed after failing. Refuse to let your failure define your future. Boost your resilience and keep it moving.

Advertising

Conclusion

If you’ve been feeling like a failure while you’re looking for a job, then please believe this: you’re not a failure. In the words of Zig Ziglar,

“. . . failure is an event . . .”

It won’t negatively impact your career without your allowance. So, though it won’t be easy, make an effort to let go of this weight. Consider its benefits. Use it as a learning opportunity. Better yourself, do what you can to move on from your “lack of success,” and look onward.

Take things one day (and step) at a time, with your head held up high.

Featured photo credit: Milada Vigerova via unsplash.com

More by this author

3 Reasons You Should Release the Weight of Failure When You Have No Job organize your job search 7 Productive Ways to Organize Your Job Search Activities Daily Effective Job Seekers 9 Things Effective Job Seekers Don’t Do In Their Job Searches

Trending in Career Advice

1 10 Job Search Tools Every Jobseekers Need To Know About 2 10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day 3 50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry 4 If You Have This Key Behavior, You’ll Be More Successful Than 90% Of People 5 How To Climb Up Your Career Ladder Faster Than Others In A Big Corporate.

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

Advertising

So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

Advertising

For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

Advertising

No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

Advertising

Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

Read Next