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4 Timeless Tips for Coping With Job Search Anxiety

The “Great Resignation” has a lot of people contemplating looking for a new job. Yet, looking for a job can be stressful and produce a lot of anxiety. This can lead to job search burnout. As someone living with multiple mental health challenges, I can relate.

So, how do you look for a job when you have anxiety? In what ways can you reduce the anxiety associated with looking for a job? How do you overcome job search anxiety and burnout?

Here are a few ways to cope with job search anxiety and protect your mental health while looking for a new job:

1. Be realistic with your job search goals.

The first step to mitigating job search anxiety is taking time to reflect on how you will measure your job search progress. You want to avoid the mistake of hyper-focusing on the aspects of the job search that are outside of your control, such as how many interviewers you land. Instead, try to focus on what you can control. Examples include how many people you reach out to or the number of applications you submit. Remember that you are the one who gets to choose how you measure your job search success.

2. Carve out time for self-care.

The job search process can be extremely stressful. There are truly few activities as anxiety-producing and mentally draining as looking for a new job. Subsequently, ensure you set aside time each day for self-care. Find those activities that refuel you and motivate you to stay positive during the job hunt. As a career coach, I encourage my clients to integrate daily rewards into their job searches to keep them motivated and inspired. These small yet meaningful celebrations will keep you stay motivated as you look for a new job.

3. Ask for help with your job search.

You do not have to navigate your mental health or your job search alone. Ask friends, family, a mentor, or someone else you trust for help if you are feeling overwhelmed with your job search. Chances are those around you have also experienced job search anxiety. Further, they are likely happy to serve as a support system throughout your job search. The key is to ask for the help you need.

4. Give yourself grace.

Finally, know that looking for a new job, particularly during the global COVID-19 pandemic, takes energy and time. Try to forgive yourself if you are not performing at the level you desire. Being hard on yourself will not solve your job search anxiety. Granting yourself forgiveness may help your job search and your mental health. You’ve got this!

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