How To Manage Stress During Your Job Search

June 15, 2013

Need to manage stress

by Adrienne Erin

If you’ve been looking for a job, you probably know that new opportunities don’t show up as quickly or as easily as you would like. There can be long stretches between jobs, when money and your happiness starts to run thin. When this happens, you can become frustrated and disappointed.

No matter how long you’ve been looking for a new job, stress can enter in as part of the process at any time. Everything from customizing cover letters to waiting for a call from the hiring manager can cause major tension and anxiety. It’s important to cope with this stress, both for the sake of your sanity and for the success of your job search. Seeming desperate, depressed, or cynical can hurt your chances at scoring an interview or an invitation back.

How do you manage stress when the phone doesn’t ring or there are no emails asking for an interview? Well, the good news is that although job hunting can be challenging, there are choices you can make to decrease stress.

Get a Support Group

Every stressful situation is handled more effectively when you have people around you who are supportive. Reaching out to your family and friends about how you’re feeling during your job hunt is a good way to relive stress and lessen the burden. These individuals can give you a boost of confidence right when you need it most and help keep you feeling motivated.

If you don’t have a support group and you’re feeling uneasy with your job search, try joining an anxiety support group or a group for job searchers to help ease the tension. Being around others who are in similar situations will remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. Plus, it can be great networking – most of you will not be in direct competition, and you may have contacts that could help your fellow members and vice versa.

Don’t Overdo It

Don’t apply for any and every job you find just because you’re feeling a little desperate. Take it easy and only apply for jobs you’re highly qualified for. Even if the bills are piling up or you’re fed up with your boss’s demands, applying for too many jobs will most likely result in a lot of rejection. It will also drain your energy and open the doors for stress to come into your life.

Make Time for Relaxation

Your job search should not consume your life and only take up a few hours of your day. Take time to relax and rest so you will be energized when you get back on the job-search grind. Have fun while you’re job searching by keeping an active social life with family and friends. You can also try to take on new, relaxing hobbies, such as organic gardening – this one is excellent to manage stress. It’s important to focus on positive thinking instead of looking at the downsides.

When you are mentally relaxed, your job search will be more effective — and mentally relaxed candidates are more attractive candidates.

Keep a Positive Attitude

It can be hard to keep a positive attitude if you’ve lost your job or hate the one you do have, but you must have one in order to keep stress away. Your job search will be more useful if you remain focused and motivated throughout the process. If you don’t think you are worthy of being hired, this will be evident in your interview skills and affect your desire to look for work. Instead, put your best foot forward and focus on the positives. When you have confidence, it will show in your demeanor and transfer over to your job searching skills.

Image Credit: Alec Couros