Four Ways to Manage Job Search Stress

Stress is a constant in life. There are ways you can reduce it, but I don’t think that anyone has been able to eliminate it completely. Maybe the Dalai Lama has. But even though we can’t eliminate it, we can reduce it, even though exceptionally stressful times like a career change. There are obvious quick fixes, like take a short walk (preferably somewhere green and leafy), playing with a stress ball, and listening to soothing music, but here are a few less obvious ways you might be able to handle this stressful situation.

Positive self-talk

We’re not saying that you can manifest all your dreams and wishes with the power of positive thinking. But it’ll make your life a lot harder if you keep telling yourself that you’re a failure, or that you suck, or that something’s wrong with you, or that you’ll never get hired. Beyond the fact that none of those thigs are true, they’re really not helpful. Recognise that these thoughts are false, and replace them with more positive thoughts. You needn’t be Pollyanna-ish, either. There’s no need for false positivity. Just be realistic. “I can do this.” “I’m a good person.” “Changing a career is not a negative.” Positive thoughts like this will help you get through it.

Make Self-Care a Priority

You can’t spend all your time looking for work. You need to do other things. Get enough sleep. Eat properly. Permit yourself a treat. Denial, asceticism, and restrictions won’t help you find work. Make sure you can recharge, regenerate, and renew. Your job search will be better for it. You’ll be rested, able to focus, and less likely to make careless errors.

Find support

Get help. Family and friends will be there to support you. And employment agency like WIL can offer all kinds of help: resume tips, for sure, but also an encouraging word or a nudge in the right direction. You can also get help if you’re having difficulty coping. There are community resources you can use. Call 519-433-2023 (1-866-933-2023) if you’re in crisis in Middlesex, Elgin, or Oxford Counties. Or find other resources. Across Ontario, you can call 1-866-531-2600.

Set goals

“Find a new job.” Is a goal, but it’s not a great goal. It’s intimidating. And so many things are outside your control. Set more manageable goals that you can influence, if not control. Decide how much time you’ll spend on job boards, and then do that. See how many networking opportunities are coming up, and try to make one or two. These are things you can do. They are things you can control. A goal of sending thirty resumes a week might be doable, but it might also mean that you’re applying for jobs you don’t want or aren’t qualified for. That’s a waste of your time and effort.

This isn’t easy. And there will be stress. If you need a hand, reach out. Find someone who can help. And good luck.