The job search can feel stressful, particularly if you're applying for competitive graduate roles or you're just starting out on your chosen career path. After a while, the constant searching, applying and waiting for a reply can take its toll on even the most resilient job hunters and if not managed effectively, can trigger job search anxiety.
So if your job search is having a negative impact on your mental health, we’re here to help. Don’t let this impact your progress or stop you from finding your dream role. Below, we’ve pulled together a list of six simple ways you can reduce your anxiety and approach your job search with a fresh out-look each day.
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.
2. Do your research
Before you spend hours agonising over an application, becoming stressed and ultimately being swallowed by your job search anxiety, make sure you’ve done your research! Firstly, doing proper research makes it much easier to write your application.
Secondly, your research will help to quickly reveal whether the company and role meet your expectations and requirements. And if they don’t, then there’s no point applying or getting stressed over it.
3. Take regular breaks
On a similar note, make sure you give yourself plenty of breaks from job hunting – reading endless job descriptions and firing off countess emails can get tiresome. This will give you a chance to clear your head and think about something else for a while. Use this time to exercise, see friends, read a book and just generally give yourself a break.
4. Set goals and time limits
If you spend every free moment of the day searching for jobs, you're going to burnout. Instead, set yourself time limits for how long you’ll spend searching and applying each day. You could also set yourself goals such as ‘find and apply for three jobs you really want each week’.
This can help to keep you on track and show you your progress. This way you won’t become overwhelmed but you’ll know you're making positive steps towards finding a job.
5. Reward your hard work
The job search isn't always easy and if you're having a particularly tough time of it, be sure to re-ward yourself for all the wins, no matter how big or small. If you’ve hit your job application target for the week - great! Been invited for an interview? That’s a big deal, so give yourself a pat on the back.
Even if you're applications or interviews are unsuccessful, remember that you're making strides and you're doing great. Just keep going.
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.
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