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Managing Job Search Stress: Our Top 7 Tips

We all experience stress occasionally, but being unemployed and searching for work can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming times in our lives. Job search anxiety can stem from worrying about uncertainty, feeling overwhelmed by application requirements, and comparing yourself to other applicants. Feeling nervous during the process is expected, so we have put together our 8 Top Tips to help you manage your Job Search Stress.




Tip #1 - Set goals and deadlines

Job searching is a huge task and can quickly become overwhelming, so it's essential to break it down into more manageable chunks. For example, you may decide that updating your CV is the priority, so set a goal to have it done by a specific time, after which you can then set a goal to complete a different task. Doing this will help to motivate you to get it done and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed. We would also suggest setting a reward for reaching the goal, as this gives you something to look forward to.


Tip #2 - Create a routine

It’s a common mindset in job seekers that you should focus 100% of your effort on looking for work, but this will do you no favours in the long run as spending every hour of the day can leave you feeling overwhelmed. By creating and sticking to a schedule, you can ensure that your personal and social needs are met, as it will set specific times for you to complete your job searching while setting time aside to ensure you are not neglecting the important stuff like taking care of your personal and mental well-being.


(Bonus Tip: Job searching isn’t just sitting at a computer applying for jobs. It also includes updating your CV, workshops to improve yourself, job fairs, networking, and attending appointments. Utilising a variety of job search techniques will prevent you from feeling stuck)


Tip #3 - Read success stories

Finding fulfilling employment can seem impossible sometimes, especially when facing barriers. Reading others' stories about how they overcame their own obstacles can inspire and motivate you to keep pushing towards your own goals.


Tip #4 - Be Prepared

"Failure to prepare is preparing to fail." This statement holds true for many aspects of life, including job searching. By creating a plan for your job search, you can define what you hope to achieve and the tasks you need to complete to reach your goal. For example, if you aim to re-enter the workforce after a period of absence or want to swap industries, assessing whether you are up to date with the industry and possess the required skills is essential. Having a plan from the outset can help you address this and gain the necessary skills and knowledge.


Being prepared also extends to the interview process. By preparing beforehand, you can enter an interview confidently and ready to answer questions. This can be done by practising possible interview questions and having an understanding of the position before attending. If you need additional help, organisations like Routes To Work offer Interview Skills Workshops to help you prepare. Learn more here: Employability Skills | Routes To Work


(Bonus Tip: Researching the company on sites such as Glassdoor beforehand can help you understand how you can fit into the company and sometimes give you insights into the interview process and questions.)


Tip #5 - Take regular breaks

It's important to know when we need to take a break, as powering through can lead to an increase in anxiety. Consider taking a step back after a certain amount of time spent job searching, or when you start to feel overwhelmed, for some well-deserved me time. This can help you decompress and allow yourself to refocus


Tip #6 - Look at it as a learning opportunity

Sometimes, things don't go how we want them to, which is no different when job searching. When things don't go well, it can leave us feeling defeated, but by changing our mindsets, things can go from being a problem to an opportunity for improvement. If you're not hearing back from employers, consider reviewing your CV to ensure it's well-presented, up to date and contains relevant keywords that employers are looking for. If an interview hasn’t gone well, consider why so you can be better prepared for your next one.

(Bonus Tip: You can ask for feedback after your interview to see what went well and what didn’t)


Tip #7 - Reach out for support

It's easy to feel isolated when Job Searching, but you are not alone. Reaching out to someone who has been through the process before can ease your worries; they may even be able to help you in your search, whether they keep an eye out for jobs or even share some of their job-searching wisdom with you. They may know something you haven’t considered, such as new job sites or contacts with people or organisations that helped them. Friends and family are a fantastic source of support; however, you can also reach out to Organisations such as Routes To Work to see if you can get additional support during this process.


In Summary


Managing stress during the job search process is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. By following these tips, you can make the job search process more manageable and less overwhelming. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and get in touch for free, confidential support and advice from Routes To Work.








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