Searching for a job without any success can be very stressful for most people. The constant rejection emails, the financial strain and all the pressure that comes with being unemployed can have a ripple effect on your mental and even physical health. This is why it’s very important that as you continue with your job search, you pay attention to your mental health and try to manage the anxiety that comes with the job search process, regardless of how long you’ve been at it.
Here are some tips on how to deal with job search anxiety:
1. Have a job search routine
Designing a routine for your job search gives you a sense of control, which can in turn help you stay positive. A routine makes it easy for you to accomplish small wins every day. When you have a plan in place, you are able to keep track of what you have achieved and what is left to do. This gives a sense of fulfillment. Your routine could involve sending your optimised resume to advertised vacancies, visiting job boards, engaging on LinkedIn, building thought leadership and expanding your online footprint daily, etc. Whatever the tasks are, they can be done in a scheduled and organised way to eventually give you the results you desire.
2. Job hunting is a job
Treat your job search like you would a full-time job. That means setting strict office hours so that your search doesn’t interfere with other areas of your life. Set deadlines so you can work more efficiently and set at least an hour in between to take a break, so you don’t burn out from the stress.
3. Get a good support system
Don’t underestimate the importance of a good support system as you job hunt. Have someone or some people you can talk to and pour out your thoughts or frustrations to. Bottling up emotions is not a healthy way to handle any stress you may be feeling. Being surrounded by loved ones can provide the positive energy you need to get through the tough days. Take some time out to spend with family and friends, unless they are a source of stress too.
4. Stay positive
It’s important to remain positive as you continue searching for a job. This is one of the hardest things to do especially when you have just been rejected for the umpteenth time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling depressed but try to keep upbeat and focus on the things that are working out in your life. Staying positive will also help you spot opportunities that could lead to that job you have been waiting for.
5. Take breaks regularly
Take some time to rest physically, emotionally. If you don’t and you keep going on with your search you would surely burnout after a while. Use your breaks to practice stress relief exercises such as reading, exercising, listening to music, and so on. The point is to do what makes you relax.
6. Know what sets you off
Try to identify people or situations that gets you frustrated. Once you do, you can anticipate your reactions and create buffers to help get over it. For instance, if you get frustrated when you wait a long time to get a response from your interviewer, then go ahead and ask when you should expect to hear from them, this helps manage your expectations.
Start an exercise routine. Breathing exercises such as yoga helps to manage stress and anxiety, while aerobic exercises are said to stabilise moods and improve sleep and self-esteem. You can get exercise routines off the internet and get one or two of your friends to join in so it’s fun and you are more motivated.
8. Keep mentally active
It’s important to keep your mind active just as you are keeping your body active. Take courses, learn a new skill, or learn a language. Ensure that you keep engaging yourself intellectually.
9. Be prepared
If you are fully prepared and confident about what value you can add to any organisation lucky to have you on board as a member of staff, then this should increase your confidence about landing a job soon. Take time to hone your craft properly and extensively and then brush up your interview skills. Remember that when preparation meets opportunity, magic happens.
10. There is light at the end of the tunnel
When you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, remember that there is a job out there for you and it will just be a matter of time before you find it. Take time to care for yourself to avoid breaking down physically and emotionally before you do.