Conducting a job search is one of the most stressful things you'll ever do. In fact it ranks right up with losing a spouse or bringing home a new baby as the most stressful times in life. Stress in a job search is unavoidable, but there are things you can do to help alleviate the affects of job search stress.
Here are three, to name a few.
- Avoid the emotional roller coaster.
A job-search roller coaster begins after a great interview. You think you've nailed the interview and an offer is within days and your job search will soon be over. You're flying high with hope and good will. Too often at this point job seekers stop all further job search activity while they wait for the offer. They stop networking, sending out resumes and following up on leads. This is a bad idea. A week goes by, two weeks, three....no offer. Your hopes are dashed and you're down in the valley of emotional doom. Meanwhile you've done nothing since the interview and now you have no prospects on the horizon.
To avoid the emotional roller coaster don't stop your job-search activities until you've got an offer that you are ready to accept. No matter how promising you feel about an interview keep sending out your resume. Keep networking to discover new leads and follow up with every job prospect. Besides avoiding the emotional ups and downs you'll be in a better bargaining place when an offer does present it self.
- Stay connected with people.
One of the side effects of an extended job search is isolation. Persons tend to stay away from others the longer they are in a job search. Isolation is a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. In stead, force yourself to get involved with others on a daily basis. There are many ways to stay connected to others.
- Network with your peers for job leads
- Get in touch with your college alumni group
- Volunteer at your child's school
- Get active with on line social networking
- Offer pro bono services to keep your skills current
- Take a class to learn new skills
- Get involved with your church or synagogue
- Offer to coach your child's baseball or soccer team
- Attend your profession's local association meetings
- Take better care of yourself.
Stress and poor lifestyle habits go hand in hand. Job seekers under stress tend to neglect their diet and avoid exercise leaving them feeling sluggish and not as sharp thinking as when they were working. Instead, practice self care to keep your body and mind in top working order. Add to your list of job-search "to-do's" the following:
- Exercise till you sweat everyday.
- Avoid comfort food; it only comforts for a short time.
- Eat plenty of raw foods.
- Avoid sugar in all its forms.
- Turn off the TV and go for a walk.
Job search stress is unavoidable, but you can help reduce it by adhering to these three simple tips. When your stress is lowered your mood is elevated and your whole outlook on life improves. Why not start feeling better today?