Let’s face it: taking that next step on the career ladder isn’t easy. You can take lateral moves easily enough, but the difficulty ramps up quickly when you start trying to move up to the next rung — or even just get your foot on the ladder at all following a period of unemployment.
Most frustratingly, it isn’t entirely under your control. There are no doubt things you can do better, but even if you polish everything, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll catch a break.
With all that going on, it’s understandable if you start to struggle. You can get disheartened, feeling that you’re never going to get an opportunity. You can even struggle with your sense of self-worth, wondering if you’re good enough to achieve your goals.
Because of this, while you need to keep applying for positions and honing your credentials, you also need to look after your mental health. It’ll improve your life, and makes you a better candidate.
So how can you protect your mental health while putting all your time in the job game? I recommend listening to podcasts. You can check out a podcast while you’re working on other things, so it’s highly convenient.
Additionally, it’s reassuring to hear friendly voices, particularly when they’re recounting stories and tips that apply to your journey. To that end, here are 5 podcasts that can help you deal with the job-seeking experience:
1) Find Your Dream Job
“Find Your Dream Job is a podcast for professionals focused on finding work that matters. Join us every week for a new episode full of job search tactics, career resources, and insider advice from nationally-recognized experts on job hunting and career management.”
Mac Prichard is a career expert and the founder of Mac’s List, a site about tips and tricks for job hunting, so his Find Your Dream Job podcast is an obvious destination for job seekers everywhere. Each episode features Prichard interviewing fellow experts in a search for smart and easily-actionable tactics.
For instance, recent episodes (at the time of writing) touch upon topics such as using volunteering as a tool for changing your career and figuring out why you haven’t heard back from an employer. Want to learn what recruiters are looking for and how you can create the perfect resume? This podcast has the information you need.
Additionally, since it delivers the goods in a prompt 30 minutes per episode, you shouldn’t have any issues finding the time to listen. Pick out whichever episode seems most relevant to your interests and give it a try.
If you want more, there’s a substantial archive to explore (plus the broader website has plenty of supplementary resources, including relevant books, events, and courses that you can pursue if useful.
2) Copeland Coaching
“The Copeland Coaching Podcast is made for job seekers who want to jump-start their job search. Each week we dive into career topics from interviewing to personal branding to applying and negotiating. If you want to switch industries, change careers, or make more money, this is the podcast for you!”
Angela Copeland is another career coach, and her podcast (for her Copeland Coaching company) is a goldmine for anyone curious about how they can get to that next level. While it also features guests, the focus is on a broader range of issues from changing careers to dealing with workplace isolation.
The most recent uploads have concerned getting employed in the law field and finding ways to future-proof your career. Since Copeland works as a career coach, there’s extra value in listening — should you decide that you like her approach, you could reach out to arrange a coaching appointment.
If you don’t mind the 45-minute episode length (or even welcome that pace), then be sure to give this one a try. There haven’t been any updates since August 2019, but there are almost 200 episodes at this point, so there’s hardly a shortage of material for your backlog.
3) Stellar Life Podcast
“Stellar Life podcast is about taking your life to the next level; from just “Ok” or “good” to “STELLAR”. This podcast features world-renowned experts in various topics – from self-development, health, wealth, and sexuality to relationship advice, women’s empowerment, biohacking and much more.”
Orion Talmay is a wellness coach, and her Stellar Life podcast covers a wide variety of topics with the broad goal of providing “helpful tools for building your dream life”. While it’s primarily aimed at women, it’s accessible to anyone interested in learning how to achieve greater contentment and deliver on their potential.
When you’re looking for work, it’s easy to get stuck on the details of your professional life: namely your formal experience, your qualifications, your education, and your current activities. This isn’t enough to keep you going: you also need to work on yourself as a person. It’s vital for your confidence, morale, and general contentment. It’s really hard to come across as optimistic and enthusiastic when you’re feeling at the end of your tether.
If you’re having doubts about your value, checking out this podcast is a good way to start getting your comfort back. A new episode (of around 50 minutes in length) drops every week, and the 200th episode is approaching rapidly. Why not start working on your well-being?
4) The Tim Ferriss Show
“Each episode on the Tim Ferriss Show, I deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. This includes favourite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.”
Tim Ferriss is a world-renowned entrepreneur and author of The 4-Hour Workweek. He’s done a huge range of interesting things, including holding a Guinness World Record in tango and being a National Chinese kickboxing champion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his podcast is one of the most popular in the world — so there’s a strong chance that you’ve heard of it (and/or heard of Ferriss himself), even if you haven’t listened to it yet.
This show is all about self-improvement and achieving personal and professional goals. There’s no such thing as a perfect entrepreneur, and the key to getting ahead is constantly learning — this podcast fully embraces that ethos with an open-minded stance and a commitment to extracting value from wherever it can be found.
What’s more, given the host’s fame, you can always expect some powerhouse guests: for example, a recent episode featured Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Having been around for quite a while, the show is currently approaching 400 episodes, meaning that it’s hard to overestimate the amount of value on offer. If you’re going to add just one podcast to your rotation (and keep it on there even when you’ve found the job you’re looking for), this is it.
5) Kwik Brain Podcast
“Kwik Brain is a fun, fast-paced show designed to help busy people learn and achieve anything in a fraction of the time! Your coach, Jim Kwik (his real name), is the brain & memory trainer to elite mental performers, including many of the world’s leading CEO’s and celebrities.”
Jim Kwik is a learning expert, and with that surname as a bonus, he created the Kwik Brain Podcast intending to help people “unleash their true genius and brainpower” to learn faster and have a better life. His backstory is interesting: he suffered a brain injury when he was just a child, and it led him to wonder if he’d ever been capable of thinking as quickly or effectively as other kids. This ultimately drove a quest to figure out how he could “fix” his brain.
Along the way, he discovered that his brain wasn’t broken and that the human brain is capable of remarkable things when trained correctly. When you’re stressed and pushed for time in your arduous job search, mental efficiency becomes vital, so every tip you can get on improving your mental process is going to make a big difference.
Each episode is just 19 minutes, so you can breeze through 3 in under an hour. At this point, there are just over 150 episodes in the archive, so why not add it to your routine? Some episodes are built around specific tips, while others bring in expert guests to advise on their chosen fields.
Being a job-seeker is far harder than most people want to acknowledge — they instinctively want to think it’s easy to find work because otherwise, they’d worry about ending up in that position themselves.
It’s why someone can blame the employment system when they can’t catch a break, then get a job and suddenly decide that they were in control all along and anyone who couldn’t find work just wasn’t trying hard enough.
So don’t put yourself down if you’re struggling, because your struggle doesn’t mean you’re inept or lazy. Instead, do everything you can to improve your chances.
For instance, try turning to one or more of these podcasts to start building up your confidence and your ability to communicate your value. The more time you put into it, the better you’ll get, and more realistic your career dreams will become.