The emotional stages of the job search (INFOGRAPHIC)

Linda Le Phan

We’ve all been there before.

Whether it’s the feeling of just looking for your first post-grad job / entering the work world for the first time, getting laid off from a decent job, or simply finding yourself in a crappy job situation and knowing that you need to find something else – the struggle of job hunting is something that pretty much ALL of us can relate to.

And the funny thing is – even though everyone’s life, education and professional situation is different (which totally impacts how their job search goes) there are some common things about every job search that makes it a universal pain in the you-know-what. Those common things are the emotions that go along with the crazy job search process.



For example, imagine yourself in the job search process (if you’re not already in it!). Have you ever felt:

  • EXCITED to jump in and start shaping a better future for yourself? 
  • OVERWHELMED from all of the choices, information, and things you need to learn and know? 
  • OBSESSED with a job, even before you have it? 
  • FRUSTRATED because everything seems harder and more complicated than you thought it would be? 
  • INVISIBLE since out of all of the applications you’ve sent you’ve barely heard from anyone?
  • HOPEFUL that there’s still the perfect job out there, you just haven’t found it quite yet? 
  • IMPATIENT because it feels like the companies that actually DO seem interested in you are taking forever to respond back? 
  • ECSTATIC.…because you finally found what seems like the perfect job? 

Our guess is yes, you probably have (or will) – at some point or another!

These emotions are in the rough order that you might experience them during a job search, but it’s also very possible that you’ll feel more than one of these at the same time, or bounce around to different emotions throughout the whole process too.

Knowing is half the battle though, as they say, so to help you make sense of your emotions in your next job search (or just to keep you entertained!) here’s a fun graphic that represents all of the emotional stages of the job search:


What do you think? Are these emotional stages accurate? Is there any that we missed OR that you feel particularly drawn too? Let us know @kununu_US!

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Linda Le Phan is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu US, a place where job seekers can get an authentic view of life at a company and where employers have a trusted platform to better engage talent. When she’s not creating content about the modern workplace, company culture, and life & work hacks, she is probably going out to get an iced coffee (even in Boston winter), raiding the snack drawer, or jamming to kununu’s Spotify playlist.