Looking for a job can be stressful, and when you add anxiety disorders into the mix, you might feel that the odds are stacked against you. You’re certainly not alone, however. Australian Network on Disability reports that 3 million Australians live with anxiety or depression.
Fortunately, Asuria provides a support structure to assist you every step of the way, including overcoming anxiety on your job search. Whether you’re suffering from anxiety disorders like panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress, our Job Coaches believe in you and respect you for who you are. And when you’ve found your new position, we’ll still be with you to mentor you and offer any help you might need to succeed in your new job for the long term.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at 7 tips to help you overcome anxiety as you search for a job.
1. Prepare Early & Challenge Negative “Self Talk”
Whether it’s practicing your interview skills with friends and family, or even taking a dummy trip to the interview location days before your interview, preparing early can take the edge off any job seeker jitters, and help you to challenge negative “self talk”.
According to Beyond Blue, challenging your negative “self-talk” is important in managing anxiety:
“How you think affects how you feel. Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it.”
By preparing early, you’re giving yourself more confidence in your ability to handle stressful situations, even if that’s knowing exactly what bus you’ll need to catch to arrive on time (or early!).
2. Keep a Long-Term Perspective of your Job Search
Your job search may take longer than expected, but it won’t last forever. If you persevere, eventually, you’ll find a position that makes you even more excited to wake up in the morning.
When you start to lose faith in your job search, talk with your Job Coach. Sometimes you need a pep talk from someone who believes in you and understands your capabilities.
3. Stick with Your Plan
If you don’t hear back from potential employers right away, it’s easy to lose faith in your initial plan. But instead of adopting a haphazard approach to your search (randomly sending out applications to unknown employers), stick with your arrangement. Again, work with your Job Coach and communicate openly. Their experience and connections will help you through the process.
4. Document Your Wins
Your ultimate goal is to land a great job, but that’s not the only win along this journey. So from time to time, take the time to reflect on how far you’ve come.
If you don’t have a journal or diary, start keeping track of your little successes. For example, maybe you’ve had a few excellent interviews, even though you didn’t get those jobs. Or perhaps you learned how to answer a tricky interview question that baffled you earlier in your search.
By documenting your successes, you can look back and see your progress. And when you have a difficult day, you can read through your wins and remind yourself that you’ve already come a long way.
5. Prepare for Interviews
Everyone gets nervous during interviews. However, if you’ve experienced panic attacks, obsessive thinking, or other anxiety symptoms, your nervousness might feel overwhelming at times.
Fortunately, thorough preparation can significantly reduce your apprehension and help you to stay cool, calm and collected. Try these suggestions:
- - Picture yourself in the interview being composed and self-assured.
- - Focus on what you can control by researching the company ahead of time and preparing answers to common interview questions.
- - Get a good night’s sleep before your interview.
- - Prepare your clothing the night before so everything is ready to go.
- - When it’s all over, treat yourself to something nice. You made it through!
6. Practice Mindfulness
Employment is essential, but we’re so much more than our jobs. If your search gets you down or heightens your anxiety, take a break and try mindfulness techniques.
According to Better Health Victoria, mindfulness, relaxation and breathing exercises can release muscle tension. Stretching, focussed breathing, meditation and even just taking time to enjoy a cup of tea can help to ease anxiety. Then, after a healthy break, you can return to your job search with a fresh outlook and renewed energy.
7. Look for an Anxiety-Friendly Job
Some jobs can cause more anxiety than others, and if you’re applying for a job you know will stress you out, the road ahead may look rocky.
Therefore, it’s important to consider jobs that won’t exacerbate your anxiety symptoms. In the short term, you’ll feel more comfortable with the job search, since you’re seeking a situation where you’ll feel comfortable. In the long term, you’ll find yourself in a place where you can spread your wings and develop new skills and friendships.
According to JobEdge, it’s helpful if you focus on positions that enable you to:
- - Leave your work at the door
- - Work independently
- - Avoid stressful deadlines
- - Have clear processes and structure.
8. Get the Employment Support You Need
One of our clients recently said, “I’m not used to having normal healthy support, it’s always been supported with motive, but it’s actually really healthy support. To know that I’m supported in that way and that I’m not just another number, it’s a really nice feeling!”
With healthy support, you will feel your anxiety decreasing. Our Job Coaches work hard to get to know you and provide the help you need.
To set up a consultation with one of our Job Coaches, fill in this form. Within one working day, an Asuria Job Coach will be in touch for an in-depth conversation to determine which services you qualify for. We’ll then guide you to the next step toward landing a job. Talk soon!