Ask anyone who is job searching and they’ll likely tell you about the stress they are experiencing as a result of it. Even job seekers who have a relatively good job search can find themselves stressed from time to time when facing a change in employment. To help you have a less stressful job search, we’ve compiled a list of ways to combat stress.
Do you know where your job search stress is coming from? It’s very possible that it’s more than one single thing. Job seekers not only experience stress from uncontrollable events such as hiring freezes and economic issues, but from the job search process itself.
Common triggers for stress in a job search include the lack of feedback given to job seekers, not knowing who you are in competition with, and hiring decisions taking a long time—and then not knowing if you’ll hear back from an employer or not! These can be compounded by personal and financial issues as well.
So, how do you make a stressful job search less stressful? Here are a few tips:
1. Identify Your Stressors and Triggers
Everyone is affected by stress at different times and different levels. Take stock in your own stressors and triggers. Once you figure out the major triggers in your search, you’ll be able to address them, work through them, or learn to work with them.
2. Set Realistic Goals
It might sound like a good plan to map out your entire job search. While it is good to have a job search strategy in place, having a specific roadmap in front of you can cause anxiety and stress, especially if roadblocks occur.
Make a few long-term goals, but make sure to break everything down into smaller, more realistic goals. Then, focus on a few each day or each week. Rather than setting yourself up for failure by missing unrealistic goals, set yourself up for success by setting reachable goals.
3. Take Breaks
Powering through isn’t going to make your job search any easier or successful. In fact, taking breaks will help you. Rather than stressing and pushing through tasks you simply can’t focus on, walk away for a few minutes and get your mind on something else. Then, when you go back to job searching you will be refreshed, calmed, and better able to focus.
4. Use a Support System
Having a job search team on your side can help with a stressful job search. From people who will hold you accountable to people who simply offer a positive word, they all matter and can help you get through the tough parts of job searching.
5. Focus On Wellness
Health, nutrition, and overall well-being are an important part of reducing stress. For a less stressful job search, take time each day to focus on physical activity, getting adequate sleep, and eating healthy. Minor changes involving your health can help lower stress, allow you to focus better, and give you more energy to job search.
6. Don’t Take Rejection Personally
It can be incredibly difficult not to be hard on yourself or get down when you are passed up for a job you thought would be a perfect fit for. Don’t take the rejection personally, though. Being turned away or turned down for an opportunity isn’t necessarily a direct reflection of you. It simply means another person was a better match at the time. Your chance will come.
7. Apply Persistence, Perspective, and Positivity
These are three vital words to focus on. Throughout your job search, continue to be persistent when applying for jobs and following up. Maintain perspective by focusing on the tangible goals that you’ve met.
Lastly, but still paramount, practice positivity in your search. Be your own cheerleader and don’t let negative talk take over. By focusing on the positive things, you can help reduce your job search stress.