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3 minute read

Job Searching: How to Take Control of Your Negative Thoughts

The ups and downs of job hunting might get tiresome, but what if it doesn’t have to be this way? Here’s how you can ride it out and come out top.

Most things are out of our control. But for everything else, let’s be mentally prepared. Accepting that there will be uncertainty, is the first step towards handling any curveball that will come your way.

From the job application stage right up to your final round of interviews, stay focused, be well prepared and equip yourself with the freshest knowledge and skills to stay ahead.

“Employers must redesign jobs so that we can make the best use of the skills of our people, make full use of all the tools that we’ve put out under our industry transformation maps … when the COVID-19 situation passes they will emerge stronger,” said Mr Heng Swee Keat as Finance Minister in 2020.

This would also be a good opportunity to explore the SkillsFuture Series, a curated list of short, industry-relevant training programmes that focus on emerging skills.

When you’ve landed your first interview, passed the second and aced the third, don’t let this sense of euphoria cloud your view on the larger goal.

There’s still that final meeting to seal the deal. Fuel your confidence with every little victory won but keep complacency at bay.

Start every day from scratch and continuously gain new knowledge that will put you one step closer to that job you yearn for. Meet new people in your industry and always keep an eye out for new opportunities. 

Find a career that fits you on MyCareersFuture. Over 80,000 job opportunities daily for you.

Remember, the job search journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

Keep your eyes on the prize where perseverance is key. 

There may be moments when you feel like you’re going two steps forward but one step back. Be objective and put things into perspective.

Think about this lull period as an inconvenient event that isn’t just happening to you alone. While it might feel like a hassle, ask yourself what you can still appreciate and be thankful for in the meantime.

Don’t be too hard on yourself especially given the current hiring climate in Singapore, where the fall in employment is expected since the circuit breaker period was in the second quarter this year.

Weighed down by career stress? Learn more about how it affects your mental health and how you can combat it.

Keep your spirits up because “although Singapore’s overall unemployment rate rose in the second quarter to its highest level in more than a decade, unemployment rates remained lower than previous recessionary peaks during the global financial crisis and SARS.” (Source: CNA)

Or perhaps you might want to rethink where you’re looking. Take comfort that there are still pockets of hiring, among electronics and precision engineering firms in the manufacturing sector.

The Government is also trying to move forward with hiring plans in the healthcare and early childhood education sectors, two out of the top 10 industries hiring as of mid-2020.

“From Aug 1, mid-career individuals can start applying for the 13,000 available traineeship positions as part of the SGUnited Traineeships Programme.”

(Source: ChannelNewsAsia)

“We need to recognise that emotions tend to energise primitive, short-sighted impulsive actions, and humans live in a complicated age. Thus, we must learn to adaptively regulate the more problematic action-oriented aspects of feelings, and effectively merge them with our long-term goals and valued states of being.”

— Gregg Henriques, Ph. D., professor of psychology at James Madison University


Regardless, it’s essential to process your emotions. Amidst your hectic schedule, remember to allocate time for meditation, therapy, or a favourite activity to reinvigorate your soul.

It could even be as simple as giving yourself an uninterrupted 15-minute quality time each day to do something that is just for you.

Anything at all. A hot shower, deep soothing breaths, closing your eyes to your favourite music.

Your mind and body deserve a daily refresh. Perhaps it might be also good to just get out there and clear your head once in a while.

No man is an island, so be sure to reach out to your family, friends, or even a career coach to help sort out your thoughts. 

Remember, the more prepared you are for the unexpected ups and downs, the more likely you are to achieve success in your job search.

All the best!

*The Mid-Career Pathways (Company Attachment) Programme (SGUP-CA) will cease by 31 March 2022.

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