Don't let the job-search stress get you down.
Are you currently unemployed? Whatever the reason for your job status, finding a new role will be your top priority. But when you're applying and waiting by the phone, keeping yourself together can be tough. You have to ignore the niggly voice in the back of your head telling you that you'll never get another job. It can be stressful and emotionally tiring … but you need to keep calm and carry on. Here are five ways to do just that:
1. Make a daily schedule
Being unemployed doesn't mean that your schedule has to go out the window. Planning what activities you're going to do each weekday could help you stay focussed during this transitional period. In fact, maintaining a daily routine can benefit your mental health and lead to better cognitive functioning. In other words, creating a schedule could help you be more proactive during your job search while improving your mindset.
Decide on an approach that works for you. Some people find using a diary helps them to manage their time. You may also consider using a 'reminders' app or an online calendar to keep track of everything. Each day, decide on small, manageable tasks you plan to complete. For example, you might want to update your CV on Monday, revamp your LinkedIn on Tuesday and look online for roles on Wednesday. Determining your activity for each day ‒ and ticking it off ‒ brings you closer to landing a job.
2. Stick to a fitness routine
When you're feeling stressed out by your job search, it's easy to let other things slip by. Let's be honest ‒ your fitness classes are likely to be the first thing you drop from your 'to do' list. However, hitting the gym or a spin class after a long, hard day of job hunting might be just the ticket to feeling more calm.
What's more, taking some time away from your computer or phone screen can only be a good thing. In the midst of job hunting, it's easy to fall into the trap of checking your emails every five minutes. Put simply, that means that you're constantly thinking about your search. Giving yourself a break for 45 minutes or so will help you to reset and refresh.
3. Gain some extra experience
The truth of the matter is that you may not land your dream job overnight. The good news is that there are ways you can make the most of this time and use it to your advantage. For example, volunteering could help you gain extra experience, bolster your CV and meet new people. Take the time to scout around for any available opportunities in your area.
Alternatively, you could also try freelancing in this interim period, even if it's just a few short-term projects. Not only will these projects help you gain more experience, but they can also supplement your income. If you work in a creative field, such as writing, design, social media or photography, you could sell your skills online and learn new things along the way.
4. Boost your existing skill set
A surefire way to calm the nerves during a job search is to improve your candidacy. Why not gain a new skill that you can use whilst marketing yourself? You could take classes online at The Open University or similar digital institutes. Decide what skills will help you advance in your career and start chasing them. The fact that you're expanding your knowledge will be a big bonus for potential employers. Spending time on this task shows a high level of initiative and a real willingness to learn.
5. Confide in other job seekers
Sometimes, talking through your feelings is the best way to cope with them, so speaking to people who understand your situation could be the answer. An insightful study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal suggests that sharing your concerns and worries with someone in the same position as you can help lessen the burden of stress. Since fellow job seekers are likely feeling similarly to you, reaching out for a chat can help you both. For one thing, this activity will make you see that there are others in the same boat as you, which will help you feel less alone. Plus, you can share advice and tips on how to get ahead in the job market.
Searching for a job is mentally taxing, but you can get through it. By getting proactive, you can keep calm and carry on until you finally land that next role.
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