There’s plenty of frustration during job search. After all, the process is often characterized by a lack of control and never enough feedback, not to mention the slow pace of good news coming from hiring companies.
Then there’s the fear and anxiety over the unknown, not knowing where you’ll end up or how you’ll pay the bills as the months move along.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt those fears.
But reasons to feel good are plentiful, too, if you pay attention and change your perspective.
Here are five reasons to feel good about your job search:
1. The ability to compete
The job search process can be taxing. There’s a pressure to succeed quickly and it’s all on you. But if you can look at the pressure from a different viewpoint, there’s much to be learned.
Now that we’re adults, how often do we get to compete in life?
Now it’s you against four others for the same job. You have the chance to prove yourself and to show what you’ve got.
Life offers precious few opportunities to do this past high school and college. The days of competitive sport are likely behind you, and the cheerleading or debate team tryouts are a distant memory.
So learn to enjoy the idea of putting it all out there for an important job interview you’d really like to dominate.
2. The opportunity to accomplish a few great tasks
You can create a list of 101 (other) tasks to do during transition, but the key is to create a plan to get them accomplished. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time for?
How about getting in shape? Eating better? You can write a novel or organizing the attic?
You can also volunteer to help a local organization with your subject matter expertise. Or start your own company, one that may provide additional stability and income down the road.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to take advantage of this time. You’ll be back to the daily workplace grind before you know it.
3. A moment to take stock and re-calibrate
Are you in the career of your dreams? Can you honestly say your industry or last role in a company gave you goose bumps?
While you may not be in a position to change careers right now, you can certainly take some time to plan for the future.
• Look for career books that might stimulate new thinking
• Take a few classes at the community college in another discipline or industry
• Spend a few hours with a career coach
• Re-take a few career assessment test to confirm your natural skills and interests
So allow yourself a few quiet, uninterrupted moments to re-confirm your career choice or to begin taking a few steps toward a new one.
4. The excitement of a new challenge and a fresh start
Whether you lost a job that really mattered or just one that paid the bills, think of the possibilities that could result from a fresh start.
When you arrive at a new job, there will be a new work environment (new desk, new building, new community of potential friends) with a whole new set of opportunities and challenges.
And, before you get there, the chance to meet a ton of new friends during the networking process. You’ve joined the job-search fraternity. You get all the benefits of being forced to meet new people, share your story, and contribute to the cause of others.
5. The chance to re-connect with family and friends
It’s easy to caught up in work. Constant deadlines and high expectations from your boss often mean long hours and difficulty detaching from work thoughts. So you spend years working too hard and missing out on family events. Whether you are physically there or not.
And while job search is still hard work, it is a unique opportunity to connect in a big way with those who you care about most. Your home becomes your office and your family becomes your co-workers.
So use the time to re-build your team at home. Use your flexible schedule to walk your kids to school. Grab lunch with your Mom. And walk the family dog every day.
Tim Tyrell-Smith is founder of Tim's Strategy, a site that helps professionals succeed in job search, career and life strategy. Follow Tim on Twitter, @TimsStrategy, and learn about his two popular job-search books.