Don't let job hunting become a stressful process. If an interview didn't go exactly how you planned or you never got a call back from your dream employer, the only thing you can do is keep chugging along. The old adage goes that looking for a job is a job in and of itself, and though that might be true, it shouldn't prevent you from enjoying a healthy, happy lifestyle. Furthermore, stress can potentially exacerbate the challenges of job hunting. If you get nervous, unfocused or just plain stressed out, odds are you might miss a typo on your cover letter or misspeak during an interview. Finding the right job can take time, and that might mean one or two small defeats along the way. Instead of losing your cool, find ways to remain composed. Here are a few helpful tips for reducing stress during your job search:
Take care of yourself
When you're searching for a job it's easy to make that your sole focus. At times it can feel like you should only be devoting time to the hunt, but it's important to find time to take care of yourself too. A healthy diet and regular exercise do a lot to reduce stress. When the job hunt is wearing you down, take a break and go for a long walk or run. Avoid too much comfort food and instead eat balanced meals that will leave you feeling more energized.
Find a hobby or volunteer activity so you remain productive. It's important to be confident when interviewing, and spending all your time in front of the computer filling out job applications can leave you feeling sluggish and discouraged. Accomplishing something outside of your job hunt will add to your self-worth and help you continue your search without the stress.
Find job search buddies
Job hunting can be an isolating experience, so find friends or acquaintances also working on applications. Having a network of job search buddies will allow you to remain social while you work toward finding the right position. Moreover, you'll have friends to bounce ideas off of, share concerns with and edit application materials. Job hunting should be a social experience anyway. It's important to expand your professional network and meet new people in your desired industry.
No one expects you to walk into a new job having mastered every skill necessary for the position. However, every job requires certain skills, many of which can be learned for free online or in community venues such as the public library. For example, if you've been looking at lots of job postings asking for applicants with Microsoft Excel skills, take the time to learn that software. That way, when it comes time to interview, you can confidently tell employers you have experience in this area. Furthermore, once you land the job you'll be better prepared for your new role.
Maintain a routine
Be consistent in your job hunt to make sure you don't lose focus or miss out on opportunities. Setting a specific amount of time to work on job applications each day will make it easier to be productive during that time and relax once it's over. A good way to create a routine is to buy a planner to schedule out your workload. Not only will this make it easy to organize your day, but will help prepare you to manage your time efficiently once you enter the workforce.
Write down your thoughts
Keep a journal so you can catalog your job search practices. This will help you identify which work strategies got results and which ones were unproductive. This will also give you a private platform for venting and decompressing, helping to eliminate stress as you continue your search.