Searching for a job is a stressful time, particularly when you are unemployed. You are sending out hundreds of applications a week, and you consider yourself fortunate if you get five replies, forget interview requests.
The process is exhausting enough, but the lack of success in job searches can act as a huge demotivator. With no idea when or how the search will end, stress levels are likely to rise, giving you anxiety, and may even lead to burnout.
However, there are some ways that you can take care of yourself while job hunting. Here are six ways your can beat job search anxiety.
Think of your job search as a job all on its own, especially if you’re unemployed. Structure your day like you would at work—start your search at 9am and stop at 5pm. If you are employed while looking for a new role, schedule time for it like you would a freelance gig.
With that attitude in place, you can start to organize your search. Create a simple excel sheet with the name of the company you have applied to, the date of application, and the role. Keep a column for the keywords you have searched for to find the job (you can read this keyword research guide to learn more).
Try and include a section for links to the job advertisement, the company website, as well as contact details like emails and phone numbers, so you can follow up.
Also make a column to track interview requests and job offers, as well as a column for notes if you receive any feedback. For instance, if you are applying to a company that makes custom t shirts, they may want you to work on a particular skill you don’t already have.
An organized sheet for tracking your applications will ensure you don’t have to keep double and triple checking who you have or haven’t applied to. This will help you feel less anxious about the task at hand.
Before you begin your job search in earnest, ensure that your LinkedIn profile is updated. Social media is the first place many employers will check when they receive an application. Thus, your professional profile should have your most recent employment and academic information.
You should also ensure that you have your references at hand. Contact past employers and tutors and get their go-ahead for using them as references. This way you won’t have to scramble when you do get a job interview.
Your resume has to be ready before you start looking for job. Study available resume templates that you can use. Remember that you will have to customize your resume for the job position you are applying for, so choose a template accordingly.
Alongside the resume, you will need to have a customizable cover letter. Use a cover letter builder to make an attractive cover letter that will get people’s attention.
By preparing for your job search in advance, you will find yourself feeling far less anxious during the actual job search.
It may be tempting to structure your job search around one job search engine. That will cut down the amount of work you have to do, won’t it? But this is not the best method for you because it will only prolong your search.
By limiting yourself to one site, you will miss out on lucrative opportunities hosted on other portals. You will also limit the amount of jobs you have access to, as well as the number of replies you will receive. This will only increase your anxiety levels.
For instance, if you’re looking for customer service jobs, the more sites you send your customer service resume to, the better your chances.
Sign up with a number of popular search engines and check their listings regularly. You can also sign up for their newsletters. These websites create emails that convert casual job seekers into loyal visitors, and they will personalize the emails to suit your job search needs.
With the regular newsletters coming in, you will know when, and to whom, to send your resume and cover letter.
Don’t apply to any and every job that comes your way—not all of them will be the right fit. The last thing you want to do is spend an hour on a job application for a job that only sounds good on paper, but doesn’t suit your personality.
You want a job that utilizes your talents, so if you are an animator, look for the best animation companies to apply to, instead of applying to every company you see.
If you do get an interview for such a job, you will only be wasting your time, and the company’s, because chances will be high that you will ultimately not be able to take the position.
Remember to also study the companies you are applying to, not just the jobs. Even if you have found a wonderful job that you will love, if the company culture isn’t to your taste, you will likely be miserable. Check out the reviews for the company and find out about their payroll. Look at the social media pages to see if you can find out anything about their company culture.
Though you may be desperate for a job or a new role, it isn’t worth the effort and anxiety to apply for jobs that you will eventually not be happy in.
Your job search is a full-time job but that doesn’t mean it needs to encompass every waking moment of your day. You must take breaks—physically and mentally—so that you don’t burn out from the work.
During the day, while you are applying, take short breaks to walk around your room or your home. A little bit of movement will rejuvenate your mind. At the end of the day, go for a walk outside and get some fresh air. Don’t stay cooped up at home as that will only make you feel like working more. Additionally, you will find it harder to create a division between working time and resting time.
Another way to take a break is to disconnect from social media. Don’t check your emails after 5pm, even if job newsletters have come in. Try and avoid social media altogether. You don’t want to see posts from your friends and family about their work lives, which will act as a reminder of what you don’t yet have.
The best way to reduce anxiety during a stressful time like job hunting is to give yourself some much-needed alone time to exercise and rest.
One of the biggest fallouts of the job search is how often people internalize their anxieties. You may not want people to know that you are worried but keeping your concerns to yourself will only cause you more stress.
The important thing to remember is that other people have been in the exact same position you are in now. They could have tips and tricks, or contacts with marketing influencers, who can help you get through the anxiety or to get a foot in the door.
Talking to other people will also help you prepare for the eventual interviews you will be giving, many of them via video recruiting software.
Talking to people you are comfortable with will help you alleviate your anxieties to some extent because you won’t feel so isolated in your situation.
When the job-hunting process feels like it is getting to be too much, remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will eventually find a job—even if it isn’t the dream job you want—and then the search will end. Take time to care for yourself as that will help you avoid stress and anxiety. The process is arduous but you will get through it.