Anything that involves a major transition in our life is bound to induce some form of stress and the job hunt is one of those events. Until you find the right opportunity, you will come across rejection, a lot of pressure and mixed messages. Quite often the situation gets out of your control. It may require long waiting periods of uncertainty hoping for a positive answer. Luckily there are ways to mitigate your stress levels during your job search which will help you go through a smoother and less anxiety-inducing process.
Understand your goals
What do you want out of this job search? Understand the kind of work you want to move away from as well as the work you find more rewarding. This will help you exert some control over the process. If you’re unhappy in your current role, you don’t want a repeat of the same role. Take this time to understand what you want and what you’re looking for. This will give you a sense of control on what can be an overwhelming process.
Shift your focus
Once you’ve submitted your application, you may start to focus on the potential outcome of the job search and when and how they’ll get back to you. That is out of your control, and thinking about when and whether you’ll receive an answer will only cause you more stress. Instead, try and focus on giving yourself the best possible chance by improving your application. Then submit it knowing you’ve done all you possibly could for this role.
Manage your time
If you’re employed whilst looking for a job it can be draining to find enough time to dedicate for the job search. Consider allocating part-time hours to your job hunt, that way you can keep track of your job search tasks and help you better manage your time. If you’re not currently employed, you have the benefit of dedicating your full time towards the job hunt. Consider tracking your applications through a spreadsheet, indicating what needs to be done for each. Having everything written down and accounted for will help lower your stress levels and help you keep track of the process.
Each rejection is a redirection
The job-search is not one-sided. Instead of focusing on whether you will be chosen for the role after an interview, you also need to determine whether the company is right for you. The questions asked during the interview will often highlight the priorities of the company in question and will help you gauge whether or not you will feel comfortable working there. Remember that the company may not be the best fit for you personally. You may gather that the company favours a more rigid approach, but you prefer a culture where more creativity is encouraged. If you’re rejected, consider it a redirection instead. It wasn’t right for you, and something better will come along that is a better fit for you.
Stop the negative thinking
Breaking free from a cycle of negative thoughts coming from a place of panic and anxiety is not easy. It is important to at least be aware of these thoughts and understand what triggers them. Recognise your thought processes and take steps to calm down and break away from negativity. What calms you down? What triggers you? Being self-aware is already a step in the right direction.
Do not let it take over your life.
When you’re actively searching for a job you may find that the hunt consumes you. It’s important to give your mind a break from the laborious task of job hunting. Indulge in activities you enjoy and that energise you. You’ll find that when you’re back at it, you have a more positive outlook and you will soon start to see results.
Relish the opportunity
Rather than looking at the job search as a burden, remind yourself that this is a rare opportunity to improve your life, after all you spend a lot of hours on the job. It is a chance to spring-clean what works and what doesn’t and hit the reset button. Your career is more than just one experience, it is about the journey. Embracing this transitional period will allow you to select your next step carefully and with a positive mindset.