Job Search Tips – How to cope with the stress?

One of the most important ventures all of us have to undertake at one time or another is a Job-Search. Looking for that new job can be a very stressful undertaking and this can be counter-productive and result in opportunities being missed. However, job hunting does not need to necessarily turn into a harrowing ordeal – or at least you can take a few steps to prevent it from becoming a nerve-wracking experience.

Take a few moments to map out your job search so that it is a healthy endeavour and not one that saps you of money, time and emotional well-being. During your job search you may even find yourself out of work for a number of weeks but you can make that time feel shorter by following a few simple tips.

Create a quick and simple budget

  • Being broke isn’t fun and can cause a lot of stress and if you’re not working – whether you’ve got savings or you’re collecting unemployment benefit – most certainly you’re seeing more money leave your accounts than come in.
  • Reduce unnecessary expenses: Try to avoid unnecessary expense or temptation to over-spend. Look for bargains in the Super-Market and get in the habit of cooking at home rather than the costly approach of eating out. Buy what you need and put off buying what you “want” for a little while – You will be back in the workforce soon and be able to buy extras with your new wage.

Manage your time effectively
Even when you’re not working you should behave as if you were – starting your efforts at a set time in the morning and working to a schedule – punching the clock as it were! Effective time management is essential to a successful job search. It’s not just about using time efficiently, it’s about making sure you can focus on your job search without having it overshadow everything else going on in your life.

  • Treat your job search like a job: Schedule yourself into shifts during which you’ll give your undivided attention to updating your Curriculum Vitae, searching for jobs and networking. Then move on for the day. Spending 12 hours a day is a quick way to burn out and lose momentum.
  • Work smarter not harder: Driving around town running up costly fuel and or walking for hours looking for “Staff Wanted” signs in shop windows is an idea that went out with the Dark ages. Take advantage of online job search sites, communities and networking tools such as LinkedIn, Pinterest & Twitter etc.

Treat yourself now and again…

There’s no better motivator when you have a tough, frustrating task to complete than having a “reward” to look forward to – something you will enjoy but doesn’t have to be a costly one.

  • Find a job search buddy: Find someone who will proofread, perform mock interviews and even commiserate with you when things don’t go your way. Look outside yourself for motivation and support, and make it a goal to improve your job search skills so much that it’s noticeable to others.
  • Give yourself goals (and rewards) to work toward: If you applied to “X amount” of jobs in so many days and wrote up a certain number of interview thank-you notes, then it is time to treat yourself: A movie, a bar of chocolate or a cup of coffee in a local café.

Quality time for yourself:

  • Take time out: When you are dealing with the pressures of searching for a job it is very important that you take time to unwind. It is very easy to get bogged down and become fixated on the job search process so you need to take time to completely unplug from the job search process. Read a book or take a walk… whatever helps you relax.
  • A Bit of Light Exercise: Strange as this may seem, when you are out of work it is a good time to get in some exercise. Even a ten minute brisk walk will help you de-stress and the endorphins produced by the exercise will help to encourage a sense of well-being.
  • Learn Something New: The local library runs a number of very good courses so why not take the time to learn something new… It will help to build you self-esteem as well as providing a bit of diversity during your job hunt.
  • Remember To Breath: Every day take five minutes to yourself to just sit still and take a few deep breaths.   Your lungs and heart are cleansing machines: with every breath they expel carbon dioxide and take in oxygen which helps to counter the body’s stress response and induce relaxation.

It is important to remember that stress can sneak up on you very quickly and have profound effects on the Job search process. If you a white-knuckling it you will find it hard to cope with the highs & lows of looking for work, but it can also affect your overall health. In the event you really are struggling we would recommend that to talk to your Local Doctor as they will be able to help.

There are no hard or fast rules on dealing with stress but do remember – If you manage to deal with pressures of looking for a job without letting it wear you down the more likely you are to get the job you really want and deserve.

If you have any stories of your own or ideas on how to help cope with job search stress then we would love to hear from you via our comments section.

Post by Patrick James Horan

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