The Depressing State of Job Alerts


When you’re searching for a job, do you sign up for those email alerts from recruitment websites? I know I do. And I know I despair when I only ever seem to receive emails for jobs unrelated to my skills and experience, no matter how many times I reset the search criteria. Well, I decided to do something about it.

This morning I took the bull by the horns (so to speak) and spent about an hour tidying up my email inbox. It had got to the stage where, on a good day I was only reading the subject lines of emails without opening them and on a bad day I simply ignored that flashing envelope in the corner of my screen with a seemingly impossible number next to it.

After recently being enlightened as to the reason we procrastinate, it got me thinking. Maybe by not checking my emails (when I really, really needed to), I too was procrastinating. The reason we do this ultimately comes down to a fear of failure and I can see how this applies to me. I’m afraid of not getting a job, so I don’t even open the emails that contain job vacancies—a sure fire way to never get employed! All those negative thoughts were narrowing my mind and only making it concentrate on one thing—fear. And what do humans do when they are frightened? They run the other way. (We can’t help it, it’s seemingly a leftover feature from our prehistoric days.)

So, after clearing out my inbox (with a good deal of deleting and unsubscribing from email alerts!) do I feel better? Well, I’m still worried about getting that job but I do feel less stressed than before. I feel more in control of the situation. Instead of being bombarded by hundreds of, mostly irrelevant, emails everyday I can go and search for the ones I’m actually interested in. I no longer feel the need to retrain as an accountant, an engineer or anything else!  The positive feeling of calm I get when I look at my beautiful and tidy inbox help open up my mind to other possibilities. Like the possibility that my degree is perfectly satisfactory to get a job.


Written by Alex Ashton-Cobb