How to Keep Job Search Stress to a Minimum
Your job search is starting to resemble a bad house guest. You thought it would only stay with you for a short time and remain more or less on the fringes of your life. But a few weeks have gone by and this just isn't the way your story is playing out. Your friends and family have started asking about your search every single time they see you, and you find yourself repeating the same stories over and over again all day long. No, you haven't found anything yet. Yes, it's definitely been a while. Yes, you really are trying your hardest. No, you're not giving up. Meanwhile, you've starting thinking about your search the moment you wake up each morning and it's on your mind until the moment you fall asleep at night. At this point, you aren't driving it; it's driving you. Here's how to cope.
1. Distribute updates on a need-to-know basis.
Share the details of your search only with people who have the power to help you. Don't distribute general updates to friends and enemies, relatives and strangers, well-wishers and ill-wishers alike. As Werner Herzog says, "despair should be kept private and brief." The same rule also applies to frustration. Unless you're reaching out to a network contact or asking a specific person for specific advice, the status of your search is your own business. When people outside of your inner circle ask you about it, provide the shortest possible answer and then redirect the conversation to another subject.
2. Stay in motion.
Some tasks related to the job search require full focus and all the courage you can muster (for example, attending a high-stakes interview). Others require only a fraction of your attention and you can do them late at night or while you're attending to other things (for example, scrolling through job boards). Choose easy tasks when your energy is low, and complete challenging tasks when your mind is sharp…but don't stop moving. Start the day with a list of items you'll need to accomplish and put one foot in front of the other until you've done them all.
3. Take care of yourself first.
Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, lots of water, showering, flossing, exercise, and daily contact with loved ones are all essential to your health. And your health is essential to a successful job search. If you cut your health short, you lengthen your time on the market. Don't be fooled. You aren't doing yourself any favors by depriving yourself of the items listed above.
4. Keep your perspective.
When you're out of work, panic isn't your friend. Worry and hand-wringing won't get you where you're going any faster. So don't let these things take up residence in your mind, your heart, or your home. No matter how hopeless your situation may look right after a rejection, stay in the moment and tackle each day one step and one problem at a time. The mountain in front of you just isn't as steep as it may appear to be in your darkest hours. And when you've climbed it and you're looking back, it won't seem so steep at all.
Keep moving forward and remember: a steady flow of water can wear away a stone. Stay in touch with your goals and visit MyPerfectResume for help and job search resources that can help you reach those goals as soon as possible.