We rang in 2021 with the hope for new beginnings and opportunities. But we’re two weeks in and have just begun the second lockdown – not at all ideal for jobseekers.
With worries over the employment market, financial uncertainty and an unknown future, jobseekers are probably struggling with their mental well-being. However, it is so important to not give up despite the current climate
Put aside your qualms for a few minutes and come along with us as we explore a few ways to overcome job-seeking anxiety.
1. Get Organised and Set Goals
“I need to get a job by the end of the month”. While setting such goals are great for the long term, they can be a little daunting especially in these times. If the month passes and you’re still without a job, your motivation and drive can be severely affected, leading to anxiety.
Instead, organize yourself and set short term goals. For instance, this week can be about listing out companies and places you’d like to work with. And your goal of the week is to clean up your resume and write a phenomenal cover letter. Incremental goals and organizing yourself accordingly can alleviate the pressure and anxiety that comes with setting an ultimate goal.
2. Savour Every Win
In the midst of interviews, application forms and the non-stop race to finally getting a job, it’s of utmost importance to stop and smell the roses. The job-seeking process can be a long, anxiety-inducing one, especially during a pandemic. So, always give yourself a pat on the back for the small wins.
If you manage to avoid slipping up when answering difficult questions or if you get a call back interview, take a moment and be proud of how far you have come. By savouring every win, no matter how small they may be, you are avoiding the overwhelming anxiety that comes with prolonged job searches. Also, with the added bonus of boosting your self-confidence.
3. Stay Positive
Keeping a positive attitude while on the job hunt is not the easiest thing to do, especially during a lockdown, but it is the best way to circumvent anxiety. Keep reminding yourself that rejection is part of the process and it is in no way a reflection of your capabilities. Like they say, rejection is a necessary step in the pursuit of success.
If a job application goes south, keep your head up and tell yourself that better things are to come. If possible, try to turn your negative experiences in to positive ones. For instance, you could ask the HR manager what went wrong so you can improve yourself for future opportunities. Take every rejection as a learning experience and that way, you will remain hopeful and positive.
4. Get Support
Although you may not be able to meet friends or family in person, give them a call to speak about any anxiety you may be feeling. It’s best to talk it out rather than allowing it to fester. You could even speak about your rejections and discuss ways you could improve. Sometimes, different perspectives are needed, especially when dealing with job prospects.
Discussing your rejections will also help you realise that we’ve all been in the same position at some point of time. This could restore your hope and drown out the anxiety. If talking to people is not your preference, then finding resources could also help in circumventing anxiety. The more you read and prepare yourself, the less nervous you will be. Here’s an example of a good read to prepare yourself in this new norm.
5. Take Some Time Off
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, we tend to forget that we’re living in unprecedented times. So, if the job hunt is causing you anxiety, then take a day or two off to recuperate. Securing work might be your top priority, but these efforts will not be fruitful unless your mind is 100% in it.
When suffering from anxiety, we’re unable to extend the same amount of energy in to this process. Take some time off to indulge in things you enjoy (from the comforts of your home!) and let your mind rest for a day or two. Also remember to carve out time, even whilst on the job hunt, to exercise, practice yoga or to whip up home-cooked meals. A healthy body always translates to a healthy mind.
These suggestions may not all work for you but you’ll never know if you never try. So start your day off by practicing one of these tips. Your mind might feel that tiny bit of relief it has been longing for. And that first step will have you on your way to beating job-seeking anxiety!