Staying Buoyant and a Resilient Job Seeker – Presentation

The job seeking process is definitely NOT one of my favourite things!  Although I have been successful in the past and I know I can do it again, I attended today’s workshop to get a little motivation and make sure that I’m up to date with the current ways of thinking. 
Here are some highlights of the presentation which may be of help to you.

This presentation was given by Peer Educators from The South Eastern Sydney Recovery and Wellbeing College, and a TAFE Careers Connect Coordinator. 

Resilience is how well people bounce back and recover fully from a challenge or stressful event.  It is also your capacity to continue forward in the face of adversity.  You can become resilient by taking the following actions:

  • Recognise that your struggle / loss is valid
  • Realise the ways that you’re already resilient
  • Don’t wait for the situation to fix itself – get proactive as this means you’re already achieving
  • Know your strengths and use them.  Ask friends and family to help identify your strengths.
  • Don’t try to do it alone
  • Find your favourite way to take a mental break
  • Be compassionate with yourself and see all the ways that adversity has made you strong

Using Your Strengths
You’ve been through a difficult situation before, and you can make it through again.  Take time to remember how you did it, so you can apply the same strengths.

  • What personal qualities or attributes did you reply upon?  Eg. perseverance, humour, knowing who I am
  • Who provided support?  Eg. Family, friends, a counsellor, a mentor, a mental health worker
  • What resources were helpful?  Eg.  Mental health centre internet-based support group
  • What helped you stay strong?  Eg.  Exercise, spiritual practice or religion, a healthy diet

Staying in a Positive Frame of Mind
Make a list of your positive character traits
For example you may be generous, empathetic, reliable, patient, creative, kind, hard working.  Carry this list with you or put it on the fridge to give yourself a boost when needed.  Others may wish to add words as well

Express gratitude  
Mentally list or write down three things that you are grateful for, on a daily basis.  Gratitude can shift your mindset and help you to see things from a more positive angle.

Use positive self-talk 
Catch what you are saying to yourself, and rephrase it in the moment. 
For example, replace “I’m so stupid”, with “Oops, I made a mistake but I can learn from that”.
Replace “I give up, I’ll never be able to do this”, with “This is really hard, but I’m going to keep trying”.

Give yourself a break! 
You can’t be expected to spend all your time job seeking.  Some time out will give you a chance to refresh and recharge your batteries so you get example, back into it again.  You may wish to take this opportunity to learn some extra skills or studies to continue to grow and occupy yourself.

Staying Buoyant
Have the right attitude, and be open to what you can learn during the recruiting process.  Remember, all job seekers (even those who specialise in recruiting!) get turned down at some stage.

Employers are looking for the following soft skills which can you can learn from rejection:

  • Resilience and persistence – don’t take it personally.  Ask for feedback and what you can do better next time – this turns a negative into a positive.
  • Problem solving and adaptability – can your skills be used in a different role or industry?  Think outside the box.  Do you need to upskill or re-train to open up more doors?
  • Communication skills and persuasion – develop your written communication skills by tailoring your resume and cover letter for each role.  Be courteous and professional, and provide examples of what you have achieved to prove that you are the best fit for the job.
  • Emotional intelligence and organisational skills – have all of your documentation prepared and up to date.  Be punctual and appropriately dressed.  Ask thoughtful questions, and reflect the interviewers’ style to help make a connection.

What Else Can I Do to Help Myself?

  • Keep to a daily schedule.  This helps to keep you focused, positive, confident and healthy.
  • Set daily tasks and goals, and stick to them.
  • Only apply for the jobs where you already have the skills, and tailor your resume to suit.  Otherwise it is a waste of your effort and the employer or recruiter’s time.
  • Keep a record of jobs you have applied for, so if you are contacted you know what the call relates to and you will give a better impression on the phone.
  • Be open to working in other areas or volunteering as a way to build confidence and skills and meet new people.  This also looks good on your resume.

Additional Resources:
Counselling and Career Development Service 131 601
Transcultural Mental Health Centre of NSW offers bi-lingual services
TAFE students can use the Careers Connect Service at

Written by Penelope Smith
Key Into Australia, 3 November 2020

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