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Taking Care of Your Emotional Health During a Job Search – A 14 Point Plan

I am a newcomer to Canada, with a goal to establish a successful career as an HR Professional. I was forewarned that making this transition would not be easy. The short-period I’ve been here has been a journey of learning and growth.

Other blogs on The EO List have talked about the useful tips/strategies one must put in place for successful integration into our new homeland and indeed I have used these throughout my job search. In addition to that, however, I recognized early that I would not achieve my goal without a plan to take care of my mental and emotional health.

This is my 14 point plan to stay steady during my job search:

1. Create support group-friends, family, mentors (personal and professional).

Re-establishing one’s life in a new country is never easy. Thus, my first step was to create a support group of family, friends, as well as mentors in personal and professional life. These were the people I could reach out for emotional support and encouragement.

2. Create a schedule-job search can take entire day, but schedule it with different activities.

A schedule with list of targets for the day always helps me stay focused. In addition, the change of activity helps rejuvenate one’s mind.

3. 1 thing in 1 day-at least do one thing a day towards job search.

The job search process at times is emotionally exhausting. Often, I would reach a state of dejection, with no motivation to apply for any more postings. At such times, I would be reminded of a piece of advice I got early one day which was to do at least one thing towards job search, to keep the momentum going.

4. Openness to learn-inculcating an inquisitive mind and an attitude to learn from everyone around.

As a newcomer to the country, there is a lot of learn and there are many who would love to share their experience, however, it is imperative to inculcate the zeal to observe and learn.

5. Surround yourself with encouragement & positive thoughts.

There will be many who will be around you to encourage you to continue in your endeavour, while others who will tell you things are tough. Positive thoughts and emotions are generative. They help provide the energy to take action. Personally, I would always read quotes or books which would give me the encouragement to keep going.

6. Acknowledge the challenges and keep moving forward with a positive attitude.

While, positive thoughts and words help boost my morale, I felt it was important to have a realistic picture in mind. The economy is tough, competition is fierce. I invested time to understand my challenges, but never letting it overwhelm me.

7. Appreciation-with all the challenges that surround us at personal and professional level, one can always find reason or things to be appreciative about.

I would find those reasons and have gratitude and appreciation. Scientific studies support appreciation and gratitude as a short-cut to positive mood.

8. Treat yourself to a day off.

There are days when the challenges appear bigger than us. At such times, I would take a day off to do things I enjoy, collect myself, and start the next day with a fresh vigour and enthusiasm.

9. Indulge in small things that make you happy-a walk in the park with loved one, play-time with kids, or something as small as cup of coffee. Even though temporarily, such small gestures help elevate the mood.


10. Believe in yourself.


11. Never give up.


12. Seek spiritual help for emotional health.

I remember taking a class on spirituality and positive psychology. Spirituality is, more often than not, a topic that we rather not talk about in our scientifically-advanced era. Spirituality is a very personal topic. However, when faced with life-transforming challenges like coming to a new country, sometimes we need more than just positivity, a leap of faith, to get us through.

13. Darker the night, nearer the dawn.

I came across this phrase while reading a book of Buddhist philosophy. The night is darkest just before the dawn breaks. When we struggle the most, our situation is perhaps on the brink of changing. It’s a phrase that gives me tremendous hope.

14. ‘Balance’ is the word-not to be disheartened by setbacks.

During the course of facing all these challenges, there were times when doors were shut and queries were not welcomed, on the other hand, there were also times when people were more than happy to support. I decided not to take these setbacks personally.

Dr. Martin Seligman once explained that greatest form of happiness is the one we get by helping others. Personally, I set myself a goal to be at such a place where I can help many others through their journey to create a new life here. That goal, which is beyond my personal happiness, motivates me to keep moving forward.


  1. Hi Shalini,

    Great blog. I fully agree with you that transitioning to a new country and establishing yourself in your new home (including in your own profession) requires a lot of courage, planning, patience, positive attitude, support and more importantly self recognition & motivation.
    Keep up the Great Work!!

    Regards, Dinesh

  2. I agree totally with you that moving into a new country to settle is not easy. Sure, “Rome, they say; was not built in a day,” it’s a gradual process. You’re starting a new life in a different land, you’ve got to mix with people of different diverse, learn as if you have no knowledge, open your eyes wide so that you can see more, take a step after the other, it’s a transition program! Though lots of resume has been dispatched to various sectors with either no response or auto reply like “thank you for your interest in our company…. your application is under review.” You have to be “courageous” and “be focused” relent not in your effort because there is light at the end of the dark tunnel!

  3. Hi Shalini,

    Great blog. It indeed is a big step to transition to a new country like Canada and to establish a career, especially if leaving an already established career behind. I totally agree, it is extremely important to stay focused, be open to new learnings, and to keep positive attitude. They will definitely help in achieving this goal.

    Your blog, I am sure, will also help all other newcomers.

    Wish you all the best!

    Vinay Danam

  4. Hi Shalini,
    This is a wonderful and valuable list for anyone in transition. One other element that inspired me to keep my spirits high and keep going is ‘gratefulness’. I found myself consistently feeling grateful for the time to concentrate on what I really want to do in life…to reflect on the ‘real me’ and what I want and need in life and carreer to be happy and fulfilled. I also found myself feeling mighty grateful for the people I met and/or reconnected with along the journey. I was learning something new about myself every step of the way. This perspective gave me strength in feeling ‘advantaged’ versus ‘disadvantaged’. I start a new job on Monday!!! Hurray!!!

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