What if Jedi Master Yoda was a career coach?
He might have said-
“instability leads to anxiety. Anxiety leads to stress. Stress leads to lack of confidence. Lack of confidence leads to desperation, and people will have a hard time getting hired when they radiate such negativity” (ok, maybe that last part was added, but you get the idea).
In other words, the sooner you alleviate yourself of that job search stress, the sooner you increase your chances of finding your next job. Here are 5 tips that work.
Exercise and Repeat
If you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, that load will lighten as you get stronger and into better shape. Forget about an expensive gym membership, any physical activities are good as long as you break a sweat. Staring at job listings in a muggy Tel Aviv Internet cafe doesn't qualify but walking to and from the cafe does. Aside from the positive metabolic effects, you don't need to be a bodybuilder to feel the soothing release of pent-up frustration during your exertion, but it will really only help you if you being to exercise regularly and make it part of your routine.
Routines are Just Easier
As Darlene McDaniel says, “if you are unemployed, your new job is to find a job”. Finding work is hard work. Simplifying this work will make it less stressful, and one of the best-known ways to simplify working is to get into a routine. Whether tossing pizza pies, blogging or grinding skulls, people improve their rhythm as they repeat the same task over and over, which is the whole point of a routine. As you get more comfortable with your daily agenda, your mind will need less effort for the scheduled tasks, allowing you to focus more effectively on what really matters like improving your networking skills and less on trying to decide which job board to visit that day.
A Laugh A Day Keeps the Doctor Away
I didn't say it first- believe it. Like exercise, laughing is a way to make you feel better about yourself, and the better you feel, the less likely you are to let stress bring you down. An episode of the Simpsons, the Daily Show or Ha'Israelim (Hebrew) is what does it for me, but video clips of your favorite comedian on YouTube can also be fun. If you prefer something to read, subscribe to a joke-a-day website or get the very popular Dilbert daily comic strip emailed to you. Dilbert will make you laugh especially if you've had corporate experience because you are guaranteed to recognize a situation in the comic from your own experience at least once a week.
Feel Productive By Being Productive
Stressing is like being stuck in a hole without a rope; tough to climb out of, and even if you might remember what it was like outside the hole, a lot of good that will do you now, right? With job hunting, it's easy to fall into the trap of feeling as if the hole is getting deeper as each day goes by without a new job in perspective…you're doing it right now…STOP. To continue the analogy, you could get out of the hole if you had tools, so do that. Organize your job search using websites such as JibberJobber or Isabont or even a single ta-da list, and as you check off the items and events, you will feel noticeably better. If you don't, come back and tell us, which leads in nicely to the next tip.
Go it Alone Accompanied
Doesn't it always seem as if your being unemployed is on condition of everyone around you being employed? In other words, people are sympathetic and they may even remember how they felt in a similar situation but otherwise, you're alone where it's easy to wallow while everyone else is off making the world turn. Nothing could be further from the truth in this day and age, and I hope that's why you're here reading this now. Participating in support groups such as the JobMob Community, Yahoo! Groups, local job clubs, etc. will help you realize that other people REALLY do know what you're going through and can help and will help.
Bonus Tip – Have the Right Attitude Early
This is a no-brainer. The longer a sore goes untreated, the more painful it will become. Think of being stressed as having a mental sore. If you follow these tips as early as possible in your job search, you may even avoid that mental sore completely but it's never too late to start.
What tips have worked for you in keeping the job search stress away?