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No matter why you are looking for a new job, it is intrinsically linked to your overall wellbeing. We’ve been there where either you’re not enjoying your job as its demotivating, your not enjoying working with the people around you or your boss, the company’s changed, you’ve been made redundant… there are many reasons why we leave jobs. We cannot get away from it: the job market is a tough place for people right now, and job hunting is often a stress-inducing, energy-sapping nightmare. Taking care of your mental health while job hunting is important.
When you desperately need money coming in, it can be tempting to apply for anything and everything. But this approach not only saps your energy, it doesn’t work! Potential employers & recruiters can tell when you’re desperately applying for dozens of jobs that are irrelevant to your experience, it’s an unproductive process. Instead, have a clearly defined plan in place, even if it’s a 2 pronged job search one for the short term and career search. Write down your top 5 requirements from your search (location, job type, type of company, salary, hours, benefits) and be honest with yourself as to your current skill set, what studies you have or are doing to define the role you are looking for.
Stick to your plan and refer back to you job search top 5 requirements, to keep on track. Focus is always better than “throw everything up in the air and see how it falls,” which will depress and burn you out very quickly.
The best advice I can give is touch your job search everyday, do one or more things on your search, keep it moving as it can take time for your search to gain momentum. Do things like search the job boards in date order for new job adverts, apply for relevant positions, register with recruitment consultancies, speak to a recruitment consultant regarding your search, re look at your profile on your CV to make sure it represents you well, speak to someone in your network about anything they may know about, write up / improve your CV, refine the job boards your using in your search, update your profile on Linked In.
Asking for help can look a number of different ways.
Do you need someone to check your CV or covering emails/ letters? It’s always easier for someone else to spot any errors in something you’ve written. Ask for advice as too how to layout / set out your CV as if can differ from sector to sector.
Asking for help can also mean needing someone to talk to about how difficult it can be, without necessarily wanting their advice. Going out for coffee with a friend and commiserating about your job hunts can be surprisingly cathartic.
It can be really easy to enter a spiral of negative self talk such as “I’m unemployable,” or “I really messed up that interview” … Try to consciously reframe these thought patterns in your mind.
Say to yourself: “I’m doing my best and I just need to keep going. The right job will come along.”
Looking for a job feels like a full time job sometimes, as it takes over all area’s of your life. It’s important to take time for you and for the things you enjoy as this can help with your mental and emotional wellbeing. Spend time with your partner, friends, family and pets. Keep up with your hobbies. Get plenty of fresh air and some exercise. Eat nourishing, healthy meals. Get plenty of sleep. Allow yourself a treat every now and then. Develop a meditation or mindfulness practice. Write a journal. Ideally, you should be doing at least one thing that nourishes your physical or mental health and one thing that brings you joy every single day.
If you find yourself getting really depressed and anxious, please seek support as soon as possible, speak to your GP or Medical Professional.
However hard it feels, it will not be like this forever, something gives. You can do this. I believe in you!