Searching for a job can cause a rollercoaster of emotions. Some job descriptions fill you with hope as you imagine a new challenge, new skills and new friendships. However, some interviews can leave you feeling despondent when you think you didn’t perform well.
If this sounds all too familiar, take heart. It’s possible to control your mindset and harness your emotions, even amid a stressful job search. And if you’re one of the approximately 2.71 million Australians who suffer from anxiety, this becomes especially important.
In this article, we’ll look at several helpful strategies for managing the stress associated with searching for (and keeping!) gainful employment
Extend the Horizon
When you first start looking for a new job, you probably feel hopeful, optimistic and excited. Your new position could lead to endless opportunities: a new career, interesting friendships and impressive skills. But when you don’t hear back from any prospective employers right away, your spirits can sag.
Adopt a mindset of patience. Most job searches take time because finding the right fit simply doesn’t happen overnight. Shoe shoppers rarely purchase the first pair they try on, and the same is true for employers and applicants.
Finding the right fit may require many interviews, so extend your time horizon and be patient with yourself. And if you suffer from anxiety, be kind to yourself and considerate of your condition. After all, searching for work can be a mentally tiring process.
Dr. Pers, the Chief Medical Officer of Jobedge, says that our bodies respond to positive emotions, and even small physical steps can make a big difference to our emotional state. Getting up and staying active, he says, can contribute to a more positive mindset, which can fuel your employment search.
Listen to more of Dr. Pers below:
Prepare for the Silence
These days, employers might receive dozens or even hundreds of online applications for a single position, and replying to each query could consume all of their time.
Remember that it’s not uncommon to apply for a job and never hear back. If this happens to you, don’t take the silence personally. Many employers only respond to applicants they want to interview in person. Although their failure to reply might feel insulting, they probably don’t have an efficient communication method with so many people. Remind yourself (again and again, if necessary) that their silence isn’t a reflection of your worth.
Don’t Try to Understand Why
It’s human nature to try to solve mysteries. And when you don’t get a job you wanted, it’s tempting to concoct a story to explain why.
Few businesses explain their hiring decisions to applicants for fear of accidentally stepping into a legal battle. Instead, they stay silent or give nebulous answers. Instead of fabricating reasons inside of your mind, let go of the rejection and move on.
Looking at the job description, you might have thought you were perfect for the position. But the truth is that you have no idea what factors were in play, and, most likely, you never will. Maybe they had an internal employee in mind for the job. Perhaps they cut their budget and didn’t have enough money to fill the role. Maybe they had a bad experience with an employee who went to the same school as you. Crazier things have happened.
Instead of trying to guess what happened, just move on. Don’t waste your time speculating. You couldn’t have done anything differently to achieve your desired result, so focus your energy on the next prospect.
Remember that Worth Doesn’t Come from Your Job
It’s easy to get down on yourself if your friends all have jobs they like while you’re still searching. Tell yourself (because it’s true!) that your worth doesn’t come from your job. We work to provide for ourselves and contribute to our communities, but human value is intrinsic.
In the difficult moments of your job search, take out a piece of paper and write down the things you’re grateful for. You might have met a kind, interesting person at your interview that you would never have met otherwise. You could feel thankful for your former employer, who wrote a letter of recommendation. Remembering these things will help you to stay in a healthy frame of mind until you land the job that’s a perfect fit.
Staying Positive in the Workplace
After weeks of submitting applications and interviewing with potential employers, you finally receive the call you’ve been anticipating. Congratulations! When you land a position, it’s time to celebrate.
And once you start your new job, keep working on maintaining a positive mindset. During the first days and weeks at a new business, it’s easy to get discouraged because there’s so much to learn. In addition to mastering your new responsibilities, you must remember your co-workers’ names and navigate the social norms of your new workplace.
Remember that everyone goes through this transition period. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety over your work, talk with your job coach and supervisor. It might be helpful to review your successes at the end of each day. You might be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished, and these small victories will help you breathe more deeply and feel more confident.
Working with a DES Provider
Endurance tests push us out of our comfort zones, and a rigorous job search certainly requires endurance. Working with a DES provider can help you control your emotions and keep a positive mindset.
Here at Asuria, we know that anxiety and depression don’t have to prevent you from having a successful and life-enriching career. We believe in you, and we have a number of services that will help potential employers to see the real you. A job search can be a long road, but you don’t have to walk it alone. We will assist you on the journey towards a position you will value for the long-term.
If you’re ready to start the search for a job you’ll love, start by filling out this form. One of our job coaches will contact you for an in-depth conversation about your experience, interests, goals and mindset. We’ll find out if you’re eligible for any of our services, and then we’ll guide you to your next proactive step.