Looking for a job is stressful in and of itself. Add in the holidays or facing mounting bills or even trying to figure out the unemployment/job search process itself and the strain of it all can multiply. Maybe even reading just this far has raised your blood pressure. Well, let’s take a breath and talk about a few tips that can help reduce your job search anxiety.
First off, stay positive. I know this is easier said than done, but it will help keep you from spiraling into an abyss. One thing you can do set a daily schedule for your job search activities, say from nine to noon and then reward yourself by engaging in a pastime you enjoy. By doing this you can do your due diligence on your job search and also keeping your mood uplifted with positive pursuits.
Make a plan. Our article “I’ve Lost My Job. Now What?” can help you make a step by step plan to prepare for and do your job search. Schedule out what you are going to accomplish each day in manageable chunks. Having a solid plan in place with help ease the immediate panic of feeling like you have to doing everything at once and jump in with both feet, which could increase your anxiety.
Remind yourself that it’s a process. It’s likely you won’t get an interview to the first job you apply for. It doesn’t mean you weren’t qualified or a good candidate. Hiring managers can get “application fatigue” if they receive a lot of resumes. Sometimes they just settle on the first few qualified applicants they find. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should rush the process by short-cutting your way through the application/resume process. This’ll only hurt you as they will look rushed. You’re always better off looking polished. If you’re concerned about your application process, resume, or cover letters, you can always come to a career center to get them reviewed and get tips on what you can do to improve.
Do some homework. Take your areas of concern and do some research. Think interviews are your weak point? Look up commonly asked questions and prepare some answers. You can also come to a career center for a mock interview. Feel your resume is a bit lackluster? Study some online resumes in your field and get some inspiration. Tackling your shortcomings will increase your confidence.
Decide what you have to do and what you don’t. You’ve made a schedule and plan. Stick with them. You may decide you want to apply for three jobs each week. That’s fine. But consistently searching for job updates throughout the day, every day or constantly checking the status of an application will only serve to make you crazy. You don’t need to do relentless updates. Do what you need and only that.
Celebrate your wins. Okay so maybe you haven’t landed a job yet, but you have completed a few interviews and handled some tough questions well. Stop and congratulate yourself. Perhaps your resume was complimented by one of our employment & training specialists or a prospective employer. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
Use positive affirmations. I know, I know, it may sound like woo woo nonsense, but studies have shown that negative self-talk does decrease motivation and increase anxiety. So what can it hurt to tell yourself repeatedly that you are going to ace your interview rather than you’ll mess it up?
Lastly, take a day off. If the stress of it all is getting to you on a particular day. Consider just grabbing a cup of coffee, a good book, and just take a day for yourself. Think of it like work-life balance. After all, looking for a job is work, and everyone deserves a day off now and again.
What do you do to stay stress free when looking for a job? Let us know in the comments!