Q. It worked, I have a job. It is less money than I had hoped for and it took months longer than I anticipated. I am trying to be happy, but it has been a tough time. I want to start on a high note, and with high energy. I need a plan.
A. The emotional roller coaster of a job search can’t be underestimated. Staying motivated and positive while involved in every aspect of networking, researching, interviewing, and dealing with rejection over months is exhausting. Hoping for the best is what gives most people the energy to stay the course.
The letdown is understandable. Job seekers often need to breathe a big sigh of relief when their search succeeds. Developing a plan to join your new employer in a positive frame is worth the time and energy.
People in longer searches question their capabilities and the self doubt can spill over to nervousness about their new job. The change in compensation can also be frightening and reinforce the earlier experience of job loss.
Job seekers often use the time before they start the new job to talk to others who have gone through similar transitions. If you worked with a networking group, discuss your feelings. Look for support from your closest friends and family.
The last step of a successful job search is one step past accepting an offer — a strong start. Review the company. Recall the reasons they are a good employer for you. Look at the work you will be doing and how you can make contributions. Learn more about your new colleagues.
Update your LinkedIn profile and take the time to thank everyone who helped you.
If these feelings of disappointment and sadness continue, consider getting support through your new employer’s Employee Assistance Program. If that is not available, consider a therapist. You want to start your job with all the energy you can, and with a level of excitement that will help you succeed.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston, and serves on the board of Career Partners International.