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 It’s normal to feel hurt, vulnerable, lost and angry after losing a job or when a search yields no immediate results. Despite the stress of job searching however, there are things you can do to take control of the situation and yourself. By stepping back and digesting the experience, your job search can be a time to rethink your career goals and discover what truly makes you happy.

Face Your Feelings- Most people see their job as not only a way of making a living but also how they define themselves and gain a sense of value. Fear, depression and anxiety will only make it harder to get back in the game so it’s important to actively deal with your feelings. Try talking with a friend or family member about what you’re going through or writing your thoughts down on paper.

Accept Reality- Acknowledge your difficult emotions surrounding your job situation, but steer clear of wallowing. Sooner or later you’ll need to accept the situation in order to approach it with a fresh perspective. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll be able to move on and enter the next phase of your life. During this process take it easy on yourself and don’t start criticizing or blaming yourself. Self-confidence is a necessary part of the job searching formula.

Stay Connected Through Networking- Being around others who are are in the same boat can be energizing and motivating. Having somewhere to go and meet will help you stay on track and get you out of your head–where things have been known to get traitorous. Moreover, a vast majority of job openings are never advertised, they are filled by word of mouth. While you may hesitate to take advantage, for fear of seeming pushy or self-serving, remember that networking isn’t about using other people or aggressively promoting yourself. You are building relationships. As you look for work, these relationships can provide needed information and advice to guide you in the right direction.

Maintain Balance- Don’t let job searching consume you. Make time for fun, rest and relaxation. Not only will your job search be more effective when you are at your best, but you’ll have greater energy to devote to it.

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