Tips to Manage Job Search Stress and Anxiety

Tips to Manage Job Search Stress

Burnout. Overwhelm. Fatigue. Despair. Anxiety. Stress. There are so many adjectives that can describe a job search. Regardless of whether this job hunt is by choice or not, it can weigh you down. The average job search lasts three to six months, which is a daunting length of time to face uncertainty—more so if your job search is from your own home.

Submitting online resumes and searching job boards, it can be easy for the hunt to eat up all of your energy. Don’t find yourself staying in your jammies, hunkered over a laptop every waking hour. Instead, be proactive in managing stress before it gets overwhelming.

Prioritize Self-Care

A job search can steal your joy if you let it. It’s hard to focus on the exciting changes if it drags on for a while. Simple changes to your routine can help you to maintain a positive attitude and lower anxiety during a job search.

Get Some Outside Time 

Building outside time into a regular work-life balance ensures a healthy routine, and it will do wonders for your perspective. Take a walk, move your laptop to the porch, or go sit in the city park for lunch.

Have kids or a dog? Getting yourself outside will help ensure that they are getting outside as well. Play a game of soccer, wash the car, have a tea party in the yard. You’ll get the double benefit of joyful connections and fresh air.

Design a Nutritious Diet

Support your productivity with healthy meals and snacks. Don’t give in to the temptation to only eat quick foods in front of your computer. Improve productivity with healthy snacks and nutritious meals. Take time to have a meal break away from your computer.

Keep Your Water Intake Up

Find yourself getting moody? Ensure you’re getting enough water. Excessive caffeine and lower water intake can cause dehydration, which can rob your focus in less time than you might realize. 


Intentionally build in time with friends and family. Schedule coffee dates with friends, or phone calls with long-distance family members. Socializing can help balance the anxieties of a challenging job search

Schedule Exercise Into Your Day

Create or keep your regular exercise schedule. It seems like working out is the first thing to get booted from our schedules, but physical fitness helps our careers in multiple ways. Whether it’s yoga or a sweaty run, keep movement on your calendar.

Treat Your Job Search Like a Job

Just as you wouldn’t show up to an actual job irregularly, you’ll want to set parameters for your job search.

Create a Tracking System

Being organized in your job search can help give you a sense of calm. Track your applications, follow-up emails, and other communications. Having a sense of control and knowing where you are with each resume will help keep you from being overwhelmed

Set a Schedule 

Determine how much time you’re going to dedicate on a daily or weekly basis. Hold yourself accountable, not just for being present and focused, but also for clocking out. Social media and other online distractions can suck away your opportunity to be productive if you let them.

When your job hunting time is over, step away. Don’t give in to a feeling of panic and devote all of your waking hours to submitting resumes. Creating space for mental breaks is essential. Set a time limit for the day, and honor it.

Take days off, and possibly even a longer break, if the job search has been going for a while. Recharge and try to put it out of your mind while you focus on relationships with yourself and your loved ones.

More: 4 Must-Have Time Management Skills for Your Job Search

Include Professional Learning Time

Similar to an established role, investing time in continued education makes you more marketable. When the budget is tight, you can find free certifications or webinars. You’ll feel proactive, and your resume or cover letter will benefit. 

Perhaps, investing in a resume review or a career coach can help you focus on the right phrases to get more interviews. Often, they’ll point you toward a role that you didn’t know existed, or highlight smaller companies you hadn’t been focusing on.

Maintain Balance, Stay Positive

Looking for a new position is rarely on anyone’s “most fun thing I’ve ever done” list. It can be daunting to consider all of the upheavals that it brings. Maintaining balance can help you keep your positive vibe and focus on the joyful changes coming.

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