Content of the material
- 1. Get organised
- Take Regular Breaks
- Go that extra mile
- Don’t neglect self-care
- 6. Talk to other people
- Keep calm and search on
- Job search related anxiety
- 2. Stay Positive
- Keep a schedule
- 18 tips to reduce anxiety while job searching
- Manage your job search tasks
- Focus on what you can control
- Read success stories
- Set goals and deadlines
- Reward your successes
- Focus on your timely tasks
- Write a customizable resume and cover letter
- Manage your schedule
- Consider your own needs
- Practice for your potential interviews
- Stay busy
- Apply to more than one job
- Consider your qualifications
- Know when it's time for a break
- Ask for help
- Look at it as an opportunity
- Stay organized
- Know your triggers
1. Get organised
Organisation is the key to success. If you jumped straight into the search without giving it much thought, you might have found yourself becoming confused, frustrated and perhaps even unsure which jobs you have already applied for!
By keeping a list or better yet, a spreadsheet, containing the names of all the companies you’ve applied to, links to the job role and a column for the outcome (for example, invited for interview) you can stay on top of your search. This will help you to keep a clearer and calmer mind.
Take Regular Breaks
Your job search is a full-time job but that doesn’t mean it needs to encompass every waking moment of your day. You must take breaks—physically and mentally—so that you don’t burn out from the work.
During the day, while you are applying, take short breaks to walk around your room or your home. A little bit of movement will rejuvenate your mind. At the end of the day, go for a walk outside and get some fresh air. Don’t stay cooped up at home as that will only make you feel like working more. Additionally, you will find it harder to create a division between working time and resting time.
Another way to take a break is to disconnect from social media. Don’t check your emails after 5pm, even if job newsletters have come in. Try and avoid social media altogether. You don’t want to see posts from your friends and family about their work lives, which will act as a reminder of what you don’t yet have.
The best way to reduce anxiety during a stressful time like job hunting is to give yourself some much-needed alone time to exercise and rest.
Go that extra mile
Keeping in touch with former colleagues is an excellent way to get rid of job search related anxiety. Visit offices of others operating in your profession to get acquainted with latest developments. Joining profession specific groups on social media helps bolster sagging confidence.
Don’t neglect self-care
It doesn’t have to be a whole spa day, but sometimes when you’re hyper-focused on a goal, it can be tough to remember to do basic things like eat breakfast, drink water, or exercise. Put time in your daily schedule to take care of your body and your mental state.
6. Talk to other people
Sometimes voicing your concerns and frustrations can help to make you feel a whole lot better. Keeping stuff bottled up never helps, it can become overwhelming and consuming.
From your sister to your best friend or even other job hunters online, there are plenty of people out there that you can talk to and doing so can really help to lift some of the anxiety surrounding the job hunt.
Keep calm and search on
Job search anxiety is real and it affects a huge number of job seekers across the country, but the important thing is that you don’t let it defeat you! Follow our advice above for a calmer, more organised job search that won’t leave you feeling burn-out.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV—he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
Job search related anxiety
NIMH’s definition elucidates, job search related anxiety is occasional. It manifests during the entire span of job search process – from application to the first day at work. Anxiety levels are severe among unemployed yet qualified, experienced job applicants.
Fresh graduates have moderate job search related anxieties, a research in the UK reveals. Unemployed suffer more due to financial and social problems caused by joblessness. Uncertainty causes anxiety among fresh graduates searching jobs.
Job search related anxiety is lowest and almost negligible among people of all ages looking to change employers, due to financial and social stability they enjoy.
2. Stay Positive
It’s important to keep a positive mindset and take on one task at a time while job hunting. A positive attitude is much appreciated by recruiters and hiring managers in your contact with them.
The most difficult time to stay positive is in the face of rejection. The reality is that rejection is inevitable during the job search.. It is imperative to remember that there will always be other employers and other opportunities that are looking for exactly what you have to offer.
As you experience rejection, learn how to turn it into a positive learning experience to help you in the future. Consider asking for feedback from the hiring manager on areas where you could have improved or what they thought you lacked as a candidate. They may not have time to give you feedback but it is always worth asking and showing that you want to develop your skills. Constructive criticism can be the best gift an employer can give you.
When you are feeling down about your job search, you should practice taking your mind back to a time where you accomplished something. Take time to think about your successes, talents, and passions to draw inspirations from as you move forward.
Keep a schedule
The loss of a regular routine is a large part of what makes unemployment feel so disorienting. Using your time effectively when you do not have a work schedule to follow can be a real challenge. In the morning you will feel like you have all the time in the world to look for a job, but by the end of the day you will be left wondering where that time went and why you haven’t accomplished anything at all.
The best solution to this is to treat your job search like it’s your job. Creating a schedule and forcing yourself to stick to it comes with a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it. This is the best way to ensure that you stay on-task throughout your day and don’t start wallowing in the stress and uncertainty that accompanies many people’s job search. As Kevin Makra at Workopolis says, “Disorganization leads to added stress and an ineffective search.”
Your personal schedule doesn’t need to be a corporate nine-to-five, however. Create a schedule that works for you. You can dedicate certain times to certain things, like finding appealing job postings in the morning and applying to them in the afternoon, or taking long breaks in the middle of the day to hit the gym. Mary Sherwood Sevinsky, writing for SDMRCC, recommends setting each day of the week aside for specific tasks. For example, dedicate one day of the week to finding and applying to jobs on online job boards and another day to practicing your interview skills. The important thing is to establish a schedule that promotes an effective job search and strictly maintain it. “Get specific. Give yourself deadlines”, recommends Workitdaily’s Ariella Coombs.
18 tips to reduce anxiety while job searching
Though job searching can cause a great deal of anxiety, managing your stress can make the process easier overall. Turning it into a positive experience can put you in a better mood and make you excited about the prospect of new employment. Use these tips to help reduce your anxiety while job searching:
Manage your job search tasks
If you feel overwhelmed with completing your job application, create a schedule to help you manage your tasks more efficiently. For example, set aside a specific amount of time to work on your resume, then take a break and work on your cover letter. Breaking everything into manageable tasks can help you complete your duties without unnecessary stress.
Focus on what you can control
Instead of focusing on the potential outcome of your job search and how long your job search may take, focus on what you can control. For example, instead of worrying about whether you'll hear from a hiring manager about your application, focus on the specific actions you can take to improve your application. This shifts your focus while also increasing your chances of getting a job.
Read success stories
If you're worried about not getting hired, research success stories about people who've overcome obstacles in order to find employment. This can leave you feeling inspired and may give you the motivation you need to write a better cover letter or resume.
Set goals and deadlines
Instead of getting discouraged, set manageable goals to give yourself something to work toward during your job search. For example, you can set a goal to update your resume one week and work on your cover letter the next. Setting goals and deadlines can make the process easier and provide you with the motivation you need to keep searching for the right employment opportunities.
Related: How To Set and Achieve Goals
Reward your successes
As you start your job search, look for ways to stay motivated. For example, if you finish one task by a certain time, reward yourself with a night out with friends or a nice meal. Rewarding your successes can give you the motivation you need to push past any anxiety you feel about your job search.
Focus on your timely tasks
Take care of any tasks that need to be done by a certain time. For example, if you were laid off, make sure to apply for unemployment benefits as soon as possible. In addition, make sure you have references lined up who can vouch for your qualifications as you start to apply for new positions. Taking care of these details ahead of time can alleviate stress and allow for a more pleasant job searching experience.
Write a customizable resume and cover letter
When you look for a job, it's important to tailor your resume and cover letter for the exact position you're applying for. To help you save time, create a basic resume and cover letter that you can customize for each job you're interested in. Having a framework for both of these job application materials helps you better manage your time, which then allows you to have more time to devote to your other job search-related duties.
Manage your schedule
If you're currently employed while seeking a new position, consider scheduling part-time hours to devote to your job search. If you're not currently employed, consider making your job search your full-time job. When you fit your job search duties into your schedule, it's easier to keep track of your tasks and helps you better manage your time. Since you're keeping track of what you've done and what you still need to do, a schedule can help lower your anxiety.
Consider your own needs
As you look for jobs, remind yourself that it's not just about the company's willingness to hire you—you also need to determine whether or not the employer is the right fit for you based on your career goals. For example, if you start feeling anxious about whether or not a company will hire you, remember that they may not be the best fit for you personally. With enough research and potentially an interview or two, you can better determine whether the company is well-suited for your career development.
Practice for your potential interviews
When you look for jobs, you may start to feel anxious about potential interviews you may have. To alleviate any nerves, start preparing for your interviews ahead of time. For example, consider conducting a mock interview to improve your interview skills and to help you feel more confident in your abilities. Make sure to research each company you apply for and practice common interview questions to help you prepare the best answers. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll feel on the day of the interview and the less time you'll spend worrying about your interviews during your job search.
Keep busy by sending out resumes, going to career events, networking and if you're lucky, interviewing. Even if you think staying busy can add to your anxiety, having something to focus on means you'll have less time to spend worrying about every detail regarding your job search.
Apply to more than one job
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. Keep in mind that it's important to not apply for too many jobs, though, as this can cause additional stress. Consider sending out 10-15 applications per week.
Consider your qualifications
When you look for jobs, make sure to only apply for the ones whose requirements you meet. This gives you a greater chance of getting an interview. Make sure to read through each job post and take note of any key skills or requirements mentioned and ensure the position's requirements align with your own experience and skill set.
Know when it's time for a break
Focusing on your job search every second of the day can increase your anxiety. To prevent this from happening, stick to a job search schedule and take breaks as needed. For example, after an hour of job searching, consider exercising, reading a book or walking your dog. Stepping away from your computer or your phone while you're in the middle of job searching can help you relax and lower your anxiety levels.
Ask for help
To help reduce your anxiety, get words of wisdom and advice from people who've been through the job search process before. Knowing that others have been in the same position you're currently in can help ease your worries. Sharing about your anxiousness can help you work through your feelings while lowering your stress levels in the process.
Consider getting support from your friends, family, a career support group, a career coach or a career counselor. The latter two can help you focus on your career goals, help you target your job search and help you prepare a strong resume and cover letter.
Look at it as an opportunity
Changing your mindset can help you have a more pleasant job searching experience. Look at your job search as an opportunity rather than something you have to endure. Remind yourself that your career is more than just one position or one company. Instead of worrying about getting the right position, embrace the opportunity of an employment change. Make sure to look at your job search as a way to make your life better in order to adapt a positive mindset.
Spend time organizing your job search to help you feel less overwhelmed. Create a plan for tackling each of your tasks, organize any paperwork such as hard copies of your resume and have your portfolio ready to go. Having your job applications in order can help you find them more easily and can greatly reduce any stress you're feeling.
Know your triggers
As you continue your job search, make note of any situations that trigger your stress. For example, maybe you start to feel worried when you don't hear back from a job right away. This worry and uncertainty may even lower your motivation to continue your job search. When you identify situations that trigger your anxiety, you can anticipate your reaction and find a way to cope with your emotions. For example, if you anticipate yourself feeling anxious about not hearing back from a job for an extended amount of time, ask your interviewer when you can expect to hear back from them. This can lower your anxiety and lessen the trigger's impact overall.