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How to Deal with Stress When Looking for a Job

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Searching for a new job can be an exciting part of your career meanwhile it might cause a great deal of stress which can impact your physical as well as mental health. Stress is our body’s response to pressure. It is often triggered when we experience something new, unexpected, or that threatens our sense of self, or when we feel we have little control over a situation. 

Worrying about uncertainty, feeling overwhelmed, time constraints, and financial pressure are some common reasons for job search anxiety. Unemployment is very stressful, that’s why even a short job search quickly becomes frustrating for many people. 

Job hunting is usually a long process, and it’s not as straightforward as updating your resume and sending it to as many prospective employers as possible. Rather, it’s a multistage process that involves researching career options, selecting appropriate job search engines, identifying relevant job advertisements, writing cover letters, responding to specific job criteria, securing interviews, preparing for interviews, and so on. 

Whether your job search takes a week, a month, or a year, it is important that you take steps to keep your mind and body healthy. Managing your job searching anxiety can help you stay focused while ensuring that you’re making the most of your time.

How can you deal with job search stress? Accept it as a personal challenge and rise above it. You can do this by remaining positive and active throughout your search. Surround yourself with upbeat people and don’t allow negativity to creep into your day-to-day efforts. Keep your job search on track by paying attention to all aspects of your health.

Here are some healthy ways which alleviate stress and help reduce your anxiety while looking for work:

Take care of yourself

Stress causes mood swings. You may feel hopeful at a moment, and helpless the next. Learning to identify the lower points of your journey and to engage in self-soothing activities is crucial to navigating through them. They need not be complicated; examples include taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea, listening to music, or opening your windows to let in the fresh air. Taking care of yourself also means adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Ensure that you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet. Make time each week for exercise and physical activity. Go to bed at a decent hour. 

See everything as an opportunity

Sometimes writing resumes and cover letters, going to interviews, and networking seems tiring, boring, and useless processes for the candidates. However, try to think of each activity as an opportunity that will only make you a better candidate. If you are interviewing for a job, try to think of the interview as a chance to network and to work on your interview skills. Think of each cover letter as the chance to hone your writing and editing abilities. Simply thinking of tasks as opportunities rather than chores will put you in a positive mindset.

Focus your mindset

Try to remember that worrying can’t resolve anything faster. Reminding yourself that this period of job hunting will not define the rest of your life can ease your anxiety. Understanding that you aren’t the only one going through this right now can also put things in perspective. Train your mind to focus on the wins and to see failures as learning experiences. Even the most experienced employee is bound to fall short of a goal now and then.

Read the motivational stories of successful people

Motivational stories are stories of hope, promise, and encouragement. They arouse emotion in the reader, and they build a strong connection between reader and writer. The main goal of a motivational story is to inspire the reader with an emotion of positivity. If you are worried about not getting a job, research success stories about people who have overcome obstacles and who have not been disappointed in finding a job. This can inspire you to write a better cover letter or resume.

Don’t take rejection personally

Expect some rejection as a normal part of the job search. You are not going to get every job you apply for. Don’t think of rejection as a catastrophe, but rather a learning lesson, and adjust your job search accordingly. By doing this, you’ll be able to turn rejection into action, rather than inaction.

Be flexible

Stay open to new ideas, think creatively, learn new skills, take risks, and believe in yourself. It helps you to become more competitive and more demanded. And Instead of focusing on a single opportunity, pursue more than one position. The more jobs you apply for, the more chances you have of getting a job offer.

Get organised

Create a structure for your job search, a plan (schedule) for tackling and managing  your tasks more efficiently. At the start of each week, make a list of specific, manageable goals that you would like to achieve. Perhaps you’d like to write five cover letters that week or go to three job fairs. By focusing on small, achievable goals, you will feel more accomplished throughout your job search.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.


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