How to Manage Job Search Stress

As a job-seeker how do you relieve some of the stress that often accompanies seeking a new position?

In this post we highlight five ways to help you boost your spirits and keep your momentum going:

#1 Limit Your Isolation. Networking is the most likely route to your next position so get out and meet people at every opportunity. There are several ways to interact with others and each may payoff by connecting you with valuable people while boosting your confidence.  Different opportunities include taking a class to increase your skills, becoming active in professional associations, volunteering in a related field, or joining a local job search group.  Each of these will allow you to make connections in your field while sharing job search tips, exchanging leads, and providing moral support.

Note: Be sure to do some things not related to job hunting; however, job number one is finding a new or improved position.  So don’t allow volunteering, socializing, or your hobbies take up more than a day or two per week.

#2 Diversify Your Search. The monotony of a job search can bring you down so be sure to vary your approach. For every fourth resume packet you distribute to potential employers, make a point to attend one networking event. Choose events that offer the opportunity to learn something new and meet other professionals.  Look beyond your field to broad events that can connect you with a wider audience, think open morning coffees or leadership groups.

#3 Track Your Progress. One of the most frustrating aspects of looking for a job can be how you’re spending large amounts of energy without seeing an immediate return on your investment of time and effort. To help keep you focused keep a simple checklist of your efforts. By tracking how many face-to-face contacts you’ve made, the number of emails you send out each day, or the amount of phone calls you’ve made can give you a sense of accomplishment as you work toward your ultimate goal.

#4 Stop Self-Blame. It is easy to start criticizing yourself when you’ve lost your job and are unhappy in your current work environment. It is important to avoid putting yourself down. You need your self-confidence intact as you’re looking for a new opportunity. Challenge every negative thought that comes in your head. If you start to think, “I’m a loser,” write down something to the contrary “I am unhappy in my current position because of the work environment, not because I am bad at my job.”

#5 Take Care of You. Remember that in the job search process you are your most valuable asset. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and engage in some form of exercise. Be sure to make stops along the way and give yourself small rewards on a regular basis; a relaxing massage, a sharp haircut, or a new book to read.  When you feel good it shows and will be obvious to potential employers.

By using these tips, you should find your job search a little easier. Taking small, consistent steps and making certain to network as much as you can will help. With a bit of luck and a can-do attitude, you may just find yourself landing a job before you know it.  Remember, returning to the ranks of the happily employed is a huge stress reliever!

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