How to Effectively Manage Job Search Stress and Anxiety

How to Effectively Manage Job Search Stress and Anxiety

Job search! Job search! With the way the economy is going, everyone seems to be searching for a job, even those already employed are looking for new sources of income to make ends meet. The truth is that at the point you are searching for a job you are not at the best place in your life. No one seeks a job for its own sake. You are usually looking for a job to gain something from it, usually money, to make ends meet. This means that you are not in your ideal financial state.

For women, it could even be more tasking especially when there are children in the mix. Now you are not just thinking about giving yourself the best life possible, you are also trying to insure your children’s future. However, the stress and anxiety that comes with the search for a job usually make us shoot our own selves in the foot. We want to be our best for our families, and for our children however, anxiety and negative stress ensure that you are never at your best, ever.

The truth is that challenges never cease in life. As long as you are alive, you will always be seeking one thing or the other. The bone of contention then is how you react and how you live your life as you face challenges. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The sum of life ought to be valuable when the fraction and particles are so sweet”. Since life is full of challenges, if stress and anxiety continue to be associated with every new challenge that we face, job search included, it means that the sum of our lives would not be valuable because the fraction and particles are all filled with stress and anxiety.

For us women it is even more critical because our outlook and demeanour affect our children and family, however, we want our family to have valuable lives filled with sweet fractions and particles, the key to this is stress and anxiety management. Let’s dive in!

What is stress? According to WHO stress can be defined as “a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. It goes further to say that stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives.” Medlineplus defines stress as “a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand.”

From the definitions above we understand that stress is actually a feeling, it is a state of the mind. Secondly, stress is a natural human response to challenges. Its aim is to prompt us to address challenges. It becomes clear that to manage stress we have two points of entrance- choosing what to do with the feeling of stress.

This is because we have discovered that challenges will never cease in life and because stress is our body’s natural response to challenges which we cannot really interfere with unless we are sedated or entirely hopeless. Secondly coming up with strategies to increase the chances of victory. How do we manage our feelings to prevent stress and what can we do to emerge victorious?

What is anxiety? As recorded by medicalnewstoday the American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”. The difference between anxiety and stress is that anxiety continues even in the absence of the cause of the stress. This means that the feelings of stress persist in the absence of a stressor. This is what could lead to health disorders like high blood pressure and the like.

Since stress is our body’s natural response to challenges it means that during the period of job search which is typically filled with uncertainty and doubts, we are bound to be stressed but if we do not know how to manage this natural stress properly we will wound up in full-blown anxiety. However, if we learn how to manage job search stress and anxiety we will end up managing our stress properly in other areas of our lives and the positive results are boundless. Let’s discuss a few ways to effectively manage job search stress and anxiety.

1. Maintain a Positive Perspective:

Don’t forget to always remind yourself that the best could happen and not the worst. Have you ever appreciated a work of art inspired by the same source but represented by 2 different artists? You will notice something rather quickly, that while both artists had the same inspiration, their perspectives are totally different. This is the same thing with life.

Learn to always think that the best could happen for you at all times. It is a function of evolution that human beings usually consider the worst outcomes. But we have evolved you see, we are no more at the mercy of wild beasts and have to run for our lives. You can change the wiring of your brain to always maintain a positive outlook. Begin this lifelong journey by maintaining a positive outlook on life as you search for a job.

2. Frame the Problem Properly:

Your job search is a temporal situation, it could never be permanent. You will have a job sooner than later. Never let yourself be overwhelmed by the weight and become hopeless. When many things are at stake and depend on your ability to find a good job or not, it is easy to begin to think that the problem would never end. This is not true.

You have the needed qualifications, you are upskilling regularly too, so soonest you will not just find any job; you will find a job that you love and that will contribute to your career immensely.

3. Have a Plan:

You should have a plan of action. This plan should contain your winning strategy. Now is no longer the time to just put up your resume at different places and then wait for a message with folded arms. Your plan should include how to brand yourself on social media. It should also include your plans to upskill. Your plan could include different resumes that highlight different strengths and competencies for different job titles too.

4. Maintain a Full Life:

Do not let the job search take over your life and become the only thing that you are living for. You have a family; you have friends, live your normal life. Make sure that you have a routine in place. Don’t just live for the job or else you will have no alternative than to think about your job situation day and night. Know that the permanent thing is not the job. Your family, friends, relationships and you are permanent, so strive to maintain them at this point.

In fact, you can begin to design your life the way it would be once you land your dream job. Have a routine and spike up on self-care.

5. Broaden Your Horizon to Reduce Stress and Anxiety:

In the workplace today there are many skills that overlap. Very many jobs can be done by a person with some common competencies. Nowadays our career paths are no longer as streamlined as they used to be. This could end up shooting you in the foot if you have your eyes on a particular job title and choose to be blind to every other thing that you can do with your competencies. While you may wish for experience in a particular position, it is the wise thing to do to keep your options open. Knowing that you have more options will inevitably reduce your stress and anxiety.

Another place to avoid being narrow-minded is with the choice of where to work. It is not very difficult to idealise things. You may find that you love a particular company so much that now you do not want to consider other options anymore. Limiting yourself at a time like this is inevitably going to add to your stress and cause you anxiety. While a particular company may be the perfect place to work, it may not be the place for you right now. Be wise and keep your options open.

6. Conquer Your Fears:

“Failure knocks on the door of the unprepared minds very often” Mehmet Murat IIdan. Most of the fears that we have during job search are founded on what we perceive to be our inadequacies i.e. competencies that we feel that we do not have an advantage in and in which other people would surely be considered before us. What do we do in this case? If it is possible it is the best thing to gain that competency. Take an online course, intern somewhere, so that your self-confidence rises. When your self-confidence rises, your stress levels go down and anxiety goes even further away from you.

However, if at this time you do not have many opportunities to gain the needed competency to conquer your fears, it is important to keep hope alive. There are people who were in your very shoes but got the job and that will be your story too. However, you need to ensure that the basic competencies are in place and that you are indeed the best that you can be right now. To do this, check out our courses.

7. Join Communities, Network:

This cannot be overemphasized. The job you are looking for today is probably on some group chat or community somewhere looking for who will take it. They are limitless; the opportunities that abound when people come together. So join communities, maintain your old networks and create new ones. Someone may know someone that knows someone that knows you; this may be the story that lands you your dream job. For a step-by-step guide on networking head over here.

It is always good to ensure that you are one of many who know that you are looking for a job. Someone else, no, some other people should know. Apart from the fact that a problem shared is half solved and takes a lot of weight off your shoulders therefore reducing your stress and anxiety; a problem shared is also solved more quickly, because any day, anytime two good heads are better than one. For more ways to keep yourself sane on those bad days, read up.

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