How to Manage Job Search Anxiety

Aidan Hopkinson
09 May 2022

If the anxiety around finding a new job has you stressed out, you’re not alone; A 2018 study of over 4,000 people found that 61% of people who reported feeling stressed experienced anxiety.

The good news is that as experts in recruitment, we have plenty of experience with job hunters, so you know that the advice we offer comes from a credible source.

Without further delay, here are our tips for how to manage job search anxiety and maintain a positive mindset.

Have a Plan for Rejection

One of the most effective strategies for dealing with rejection is to establish a plan. This could involve treating your rejections as a chance to learn, for example you may reach out to the employer for feedback. This allows you to take actionable steps in the face of rejection rather than speculating on what went wrong or devolving into negative self-talk. Once you’ve reflected on the rejection, it is then time to move on and look toward the future.

Maintain Perspective

When job searching, it is always important focus on what you want and your career goals. The worst thing that can happen is that the employer doesn’t offer you a job, and while this may be deeply upsetting if you had your heart set on it, life keeps going and so do you. You may not be able to control whether the employer hires you, but you can choose how you react to it. While you may feel dejected by the response, you can choose whether you respond in a productive, healthy manner or wallow in self-pity.

Additionally, remember there are many external factors that impact whether you get selected for the role or even get an interview. This is why you shouldn’t always internalise rejection as a failure on your part, it is entirely possible that the recruiter had received 150 CVs before yours. In this case, by reflecting on the experience, you may choose to focus on newly posted roles.

Remember Job-Hunting is a Process

Bear in mind that finding a job is a process and almost certainly will not happen overnight. Employers receive hundreds of CVs and have the difficult task of picking just one to fill the role. It is commonly advised to apply for as many relevant roles as possible to increase the chance of getting selected for an interview, because recruiters have their own priorities to balance and may not see your application.

Reinforce Positive Self-Talk

As we keep reiterating, how you react and talk to yourself are strong influences on your experience in job-searching. The number one way to maintain a positive mindset is to be kind to yourself. Like previously mentioned, there are many reasons you may not be selected for a role and many will be completely unrelated to you. Finding a job is difficult for everyone so not matter how hard it is you’re not alone in your experience.

Take a Day Off

Sometimes all you need is a break. Job hunting while stressed and anxious is not a fun experience. It is important to practice self-care, eat well, and get plenty of sleep. This is especially the case if you’re balancing job-searching on top of your current job. Taking care of yourself is a key part of managing stress and looking after your mental health.

Bask in Your Victories

Job hunting can feel like running on a treadmill, where no matter how much effort you put in to keep moving further, you’re never really making progress. That’s why you sometimes need to take a breath, reflect on your journey, and celebrate the small victories. Maybe you had an interview where you nailed all the questions, or you had an informal phone call with the employer. Regardless, progress is progress, and experience is experience.

Never be Afraid to Ask for Help

As we’ve shown, finding a new job is a difficult process, so you should never be afraid to ask for help with it. We recently released an article which explored the ways in which a recruitment consultant can help with your job search, such as providing insight and advice into the sector that you’re looking for a job. Check out our candidate page here and view the jobs we have available here.

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