How to Deal With Job Search Stress

Members of my career mentoring site tell me that looking for a job is very stressful.   It just so happens that my friend, Amanda Wilks has some great ideas on dealing with job search stress.  Take a look to see what she has to say….

Looking for a job is a stressful process.  You have to deal with a lot of rejection – oftentimes by machines.  Getting rejected might feel like the end of the world. Ending up in a job that is not a good fit for you may be just as tough. The worst thing you can do is to let the stress of a job search get you down. Here are five tips for dealing with the stress of a job search.

Identify the Root of the Problem

When you rejected for a job you want, begin by figuring out what went wrong. The universe is not trying to tell you that you’re never going to find a job. It’s telling you that there’s something that needs to be fixed. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the problem part. Focus on the solution. Maybe you just aren’t looking in the right place. Maybe you’re concentrating too much on the job description, and not enough on your own wants and needs. Whatever it is, if you see it as a fixable problem, you’re bound to find a solution.

If you’ve applied for jobs in the past and have been rejected, ask for feedback. It’s better to hear some clear, to the point criticism, than allowing your imagination to run wild. Remember not to take it personally. There were probably dozens of other candidates who applied for the same job, and were rejected, just like you.

Don’t Give In

If you start spending a lot of time just thinking about all the things that are going wrong in your job search and do nothing about it, you’re bound to get more stressed. It’s OK to take a break once in a while, but don’t let it turn into chronic procrastination. The moment you realize you’ve been spending hours upon hours sitting around without any positive action, do something about it.

Procrastination is a vicious circle. It adds to the stress of not being employed.  The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get moving again. Get into a daily routine.  Spend some productive time every day on your job search.  But also, include other activities, like exercising, or working on your hobbies.

Keep Getting Better

Focus on polishing your skills or take some online courses while you’re looking for a job. This will help reduce your stress levels, and spruce up your CV.  New skills will give you a better chance of landing your dream job.

You can also try applying for a job at a company that offers a wide range of employment possibilities. Having a job, even if it’s not exactly the one you wanted, will give improve your self confidence and make you more optimistic. It’s a great opportunity to gain some work experience, and perhaps some new skills that might prove useful in the future. You might even discover a job you love.

Don’t Work at it Alone

When your stress seems to be spiraling out of control, go talk to someone. Talking to friends is the best way to vent frustration. You may be surprised to discover that you are not alone: quite the opposite. Your friends probably have some stories of their own to share. You might gain some insight into your own situation.

But you can’t expect your friends and loved ones to solve your job search problems for you. Whatever worked for them, might not work for you. But sometimes, just hearing your problems spoken out loud can give you some perspective. Having to tell someone about the things that bother you is a useful exercise. Things might appear dismal in your head, but when you have to put them in words, you might come to realize that the images you’ve been using in your head are a little too dramatic.

Remember that this is a two-way street.   Listen to your friends’ worries as well. Taking some time away from your own problems to help somebody else can be a very rewarding experience. And maybe by trying to find a solution to their problems, you end up solving your own.

Remember to Have Fun

Focusing on finding a job every minute of every day isn’t good for you.  You’ll reach a point of diminishing returns.  Take a break. Go have fun. Remember the activities you used to enjoy before you started stressing out.

It might seem impossible at first. Start with the little things. Buy yourself a treat from time to time. If you want to see a movie, go out to the cinema with a couple of friends, instead of watching something at home.

PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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