Four Ways to Manage Stress During Job Search
Applying for jobs is a stressful process. It entails a lot of effort – from identifying the jobs you need to apply for to hoping you get a job offer after attending numerous interviews. It is time-consuming and takes a toll on your mental health. Also, managing our personal life with our career while working from home, adds a whole new layer of tension.
I have been in this situation multiple times before. In fact, at one point, I applied for 1293 jobs to get one job out of it. I feel the pain. But during this process, I realized we all have two options when it comes to handling stress – continue fighting against it and amplify its effects on you or embrace and figure out ways to reduce it.
If you choose the second option, then I have good news for you. There are five ways you can reduce stress while searching for a new job.
Do the mind dump exercise
Without knowing your destination, it is hard to start. Say you are using Google Maps; if you put in the wrong destination address or, in the worst case, no address at all, you are probably not going to get to your destination. Later, there is no point complaining about Google Maps when you create the problem.
Our minds already have all the information about our goals, interests, passion, and motivations. We need to tap into this rich database by strategically writing this information down and making it visible. This is exactly what the mind dump will do. It is an approach to identify the things that you like and hate; then, of course, you can focus on the items you want to do in life.
It works like this:
- Set 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time.
- Make two columns on the page. In the first column, write down all the things you like to do. When I say all, I really mean all. There are no restrictions here; you can write programming, singing, dancing, mentoring, gardening, etc. all in this column—it’s not limited to just your profession. In the second column, list things that you dislike doing, following the same process. The point is to write down all the thoughts that are locked in your mind and bring them to the surface.
- From the first column, identify patterns or categories from the things you like to do.
- From those patterns, you can figure out what your ideal job could be and start focusing on that.
Regularly write down your feelings
Numerous studies have shown writing down your feelings and thoughts helps to reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. After experimenting with various approaches, I figured out a two-step process to help calm you down.
Step 1- Whenever you’re stressed, write down why you’re stressed. This will help to recognize different stressors in your life and make it visual.
Step 2- For each of the stressors you identified, ask yourself this question – can I control it?
If the answer is no, then let it go because you cannot do anything about it as it is out of your control.
But If yes, then write down different steps you’re going to take to reduce the stress.
Remember, you cannot control your circumstances, but you can control your actions under any circumstances.
It’s ok to take breaks
There are going to be times where you don’t feel like applying for jobs. Your mind feels blank; you may feel overwhelmed and may want to do something else. During these times, take a step back and try to recharge your brain by doing something different.
Go for a walk, read a book, watch a tv show, listen to a podcast, play with your kids or do anything that will shift your focus to a different environment. Once you feel energized, continue from where you left off in your job application process.
Have an accountability partner
The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. Their chances of success increase to 95 percent when they set systems to check in on their progress regularly.
Identify an accountability partner who could motivate you during the job search process. The person you choose may have gone through the same journey as you or may give insights that will help make your experience much better.
Keep in mind that a majority of us are trying to balance work-life while simultaneously applying for jobs. During these times, it’s important to give yourself some grace and tell yourself – I’m doing the best I can. Don’t beat yourself up. Stay inspired!
This guest post was authored by Raj Subrameyer
Raj Subrameyer is a tech career strategist focusing on helping people to land their dream job and become successful leaders. He has given multiple TEDx talks and is a sought-after speaker at various conferences and has been featured in numerous TV news segments, podcasts, and publications. His areas of expertise include career advancement, leadership, motivation, productivity, and entrepreneurship. In his spare time, he loves traveling and enjoying craft beer. You can find more info about how he serves people through his website, www.rajsubra.com or twitter.com/epsilon11