How to manage stress while Job hunting


Job hunting is ranked the third most stressful life event that people dread for right after divorce and public speaking. It is an emotionally taxing affair due to the fear of the unknown. The constant wondering of when you will be invited for an interview, why you did not get an offer, and ultimately when you will get a job is what makes the process such an emotional roller coaster. 

Some top reasons why the process can emotionally draining include;

  •  Lack of feedback: Unfortunate as it is, most employees do not give feedback to rejected candidates for one reason or another and in most cases, this leaves the candidate feeling anxious as they are unaware of the status of their application.
  • Dealing with Rejection: For recruiters who take time to respond to candidates with negative feedback the rejection hits hard. It is difficult for the candidate not to take it personally heightening the stress levels.
  • Financial distress: Job hunting especially while unemployed increases money worries. This is due to the expenses incurred in the process such as printing, transport, internet fee, and application facilitation fee where documents such as Police, CRB, and others are required as one has to pay to get such documents.
  • Low self-esteem: For most people, their career is linked to their identity. As a result of this, unemployment greatly affects their self-worth. Such a period often leaves the individuals feeling hopeless, helpless, lack of purpose, and to an extent lack of a sense of belonging. This is feeling is often heightened when a candidate has dependants. The effects are dire as may lead to depression which will further inhibit a candidate’s ability to get and keep a job.

How then do you cope with the feeling of job search fatigue? How do you ensure you get through this process with your mental health intact? How do you manage your moods and emotions to ensure you successfully pass that interview and land that dream job?

1. Prioritizing your well being: staying mentally and physically healthy increases your prospect for success as you will be presenting the best version of yourself to prospective employers and colleagues. Some cost-effective ways to achieve this are; taking a walk, socializing, having a to-do list, eating healthy, and exercising. This makes the process less overwhelming and enables you to maintain the energy and motivation needed.

2. Have a job search strategy: create a winning strategy to sell your brand. Look into the value you want to propose to potential employers and translate it to your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and digital presence. Look into the platforms you are getting vacancy notifications and assess viability by evaluating relevant listing that matches your location and interest. Also, consider interview preparation and networking options available to increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers.

3. Get a schedule and stick to it. Treat job hunting like a job and have structure just like you would while employed. Do not spend all your time job hunting as this will lead to burnouts. Allocate time for job search. It is advisable to have a job search schedule checklist complete with a to-do list. This will help you be in control of the process and your time. Also, allocate time to do mindfully engaging things that nurture you.

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4. Reach out: Job hunting can stir up unwanted emotions. When such emotions are bottled up or suppressed., they can lead to undesired effects like depression. During these difficult times is it good to reach out to relatives and trusted friends. The familiar voice is always a gentle reminder that you are loved and valued despite the current shortcomings.

5. Know your triggers and build resilience: Take time and evaluate what triggers stress during your job search process. Is it a lack of feedback? Is it negative feedback? Is it interview preparation? Is it the uncertainty of the whole process? Evaluate your trigger areas and build resilience to help you cope. Some of the ways to help you build resilience in the process include; asking for feedback from the recruiters, Finding a mentor, networking, developing a will not give up attitude, and most important not taking feedback personally and instead, using it to grow needed skills and experience.

6. Be positive; Resilient people always have a positive outlook of the future. Keep negative thoughts at bay. Do not look and think of yourself as a victim. Use the available time and energy to focus on those things that you can control. Also, remember to keep off negative people during this period.

The road to getting a job might seem long and endless. Be sure to take good care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Stay productive. Be sure its all going to be okay and you will land that job very soon. These stress management tips can certainly help you remain relaxed and tension free during your days of the job hunt.

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