Job Search Got You Down? Take the Day Off!

Today so far has been one of those rare days I look up to the sky and ask “could we just start this day over again please?”

At 5 am today, I was snuggled up with my 7-month-old daughter when I felt something crawling on my neck (cringing already, anyone?).

I jumped and woke up my husband to ask him to flip on the light. Much to my horror (and despite that we are very clean people), there was a big, disgusting cockroach sharing my pillow with me. I let out one of those involuntary shrieks that come from deep, deep inside – which made the baby cry as my husband deadpanned, “Oh, like THAT is going to help…”

Needless to say, the day just went downhill from there for some reason, touching on every hot button I have – more crying baby, financial surprises, investment setbacks and I even hit my knee on the side of my desk so hard I let out yet another involuntary scream.

It was like a marathon of irritating and unfortunate events.

About 10 am, I broke down in tears.

Fortunately, I have a pretty great support system. I called my husband, vented and then asked him to pray for me and I also called my Priest and asked him to pray as well. Then I left my office, had a snack, got in the car with the baby and went for a nice walk along the river.

Ah…much better!

There was a time I would have just pushed on through such a bad morning. But some years ago, I realized that working in a bad mood results in little, if anything, positive.

If you are in a career transition (and especially if you are currently not working), you must be especially careful of “bad days.”

Any transition is daunting. A career transition is at the top of the list of things that make us feel vulnerable because so much is intrinsically tied to a job search such as: your sense of self worth, various components of a job search that push you out of your comfort zone, pressure from family or pressure to take care of your family, the unavoidable feeling of “rejection” that inevitably comes with a career transition, and the list goes on.

It’s because of all these complexities that things like hiring a career coach, having your resume professionally rewritten and having a really clear blueprint of your goals and your plans to get there help so much. It lightens the pressure on you, makes your search manageable, saves you a huge amount of time and boosts your confidence.

I have a business coach for many of the same reasons. It helps me maintain my peak performance, crystallize my goals and balance my time. When I don’t do those things I am less effective with my clients and my husband would probably say I’m not as fun to be around.

So, if you are having a particularly bad day on the job search, don’t delay. Get up from your desk, get out of the house and get your mind off things, even if it’s just for an hour…but even for a day! The time you invest in your mental and emotional health will pay off abundantly.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

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