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Stress Management During a Job Search

Sep 15 , 2020


The coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdowns have caused high levels of stress for many people. Not having a job is also a highly stressful situation. Stress management can help you cope with the feelings associated with these two highly challenging circumstances so that your stress will not keep you from effectively searching for and finding a job as conditions improve.

You have great skills.

It's important to take a thoughtful inventory of your skills--both hard and soft--before you sit down to update your resume and LinkedIn or write a cover letter for an application. Besides technical skills, soft skills like adaptability, leadership, and communication skills are in high demand right now as companies try to pick up the pieces after closures and figure out the best way to go forward. Being well prepared for job search activities prevents stress and helps increase your confidence when you get an opportunity to show it.  

You can take care of yourself.

While you're pounding the (likely virtual) pavement, it's essential to take care of yourself, because self-care is a vital stress-buster even in the best of times. While it's tempting to eat junk food, binge Netflix until the wee hours, and sit on the couch all day, doing this won't put you into a good frame of mind when you get a call about doing a video interview on short notice. Instead, be sure to eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise, preferably outdoors, so that you are in good fighting form when it comes time to shine through the computer screen. 

Woman holding her hands to her temples.

You can take a time out.

Maybe you're more likely to be looking at job listings than Netflix recommendations at two a.m. Diligence in your search is not a bad thing, but you can definitely increase your stress level by spending every waking moment on it. Taking breaks is absolutely essential to lowering your stress levels and will prevent you from being too burned out to show your best qualities when an opportunity does come along. 

You can be grateful. 

It's easy to feel depressed and anxious when you don't know what the future holds for your career. One important technique for stopping negative thought spirals is to choose to focus on the positive things in your life. Writing out a list of things you are grateful for is one way to short circuit negative thoughts and reduce the stress they can often bring. 

You're not alone.

The prospect of 30 million people out of work may make you feel like it will be impossible to get another job. But the flip side of that feeling is that there are a whole lot of other people in the same situation. If you know others who are also looking for a job right now, starting up a group--on Zoom if necessary--to share tips and commiserate, which can be a source of emotional support and a proven stress reducer.  

Another way to get support while job searching is to work with a recruiter. GDH has a talent network and job listings to connect you with companies that need your talent right now.