Applicants are usually overwhelmed by a job search. You wait weeks or months to get an interview invite and a job offer if you're lucky. Job search anxiety is valid, with 73% of job seekers saying that finding a new job is one of the most stressful things in life. The downside is that some don't do anything to escape it.
Overcoming job search anxiety is important in landing a job. The more you are overwhelmed by a job search, the harder it'll be to focus on it. It can also affect your emotional and mental well-being in the long run. Read on to learn more about job search anxiety and how you can overcome it.
Job search anxiety is a feeling that applicants experience during their job search. They're overwhelmed by job search phases like submitting resumes, attending job interviews, and facing rejection. Job search anxiety worsens when job seekers take weeks or months to land a job.
This feeling is entirely normal. A 2022 study found that 68% of college seniors feel stressed about work. They're mainly worried about finding and keeping a job, having enough money, and supporting themselves.
Another study found that 93% of job seekers feel anxious before attending job interviews. They're scared of failing to answer a difficult question and looking nervous. They're also worried about getting caught in a lie and messing up their answers and weaknesses.
Overcoming job search anxiety is hard but possible. Here are tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed by job search.
Job hunting is not as simple as applying to every company you like. You need a plan with your goals, schedule, tasks, and target companies. Listing these things helps you know what to focus on.
For instance, break down tasks into smaller, manageable ones to make yourself feel more productive. You can also list keywords based on your desired job, company culture, and location so you can refine your job search online. The clearer you are with your goals, tasks, and expectations, the easier it'll be to land a job.
Ask your friends and family for connections or job openings in their companies. Applying through referrals helps you learn more about the role and companies you're applying to. It also increases your chances of getting hired because employers trust employee recommendations more.
Aside from referrals, attend networking events and job fairs, join career support groups, and approach recruiters and mentors. Learning you're not alone can help you stay motivated throughout your job search.
Accept that you can't control hiring decisions, the job market, and your competition. Focus instead on things you can control. For instance, enhance your portfolio or create more connections while waiting for interview invites. You can also learn new skills if the role you're applying for needs them.
Use the RAIN method if you want an organized way of reducing job search anxiety. First, you should “recognize” your emotions to control them better and faster. You should then "accept" where you are and what you do throughout your job search. Rejections are part of the process but know that they won't last forever.
You should also “investigate” your job search anxiety. Understand why you're responding the way you do. Look more into the situation that your emotions caused too.
Lastly, you should “not identify” with your thoughts and emotions. They don't define who you are and what you're capable of. Separate yourself from your job search anxiety and let your natural self shine.
Look for successful job-hunting stories to feel inspired and motivated. Search for job seekers who had the same challenges as you do now. Knowing how they overcame their job search anxiety can help you overcome yours. You can find these stories in online forums, videos, and social media groups.
Job hunting is like a full-time job. It requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. Step back and breathe when you start feeling overwhelmed by your job search—it's not the end of the world. Meet up with a friend, take a vacation, or read a book. Do whatever it takes to calm down and reset your mind.
It's normal to feel overwhelmed by a job search. However, you shouldn't let it get the best of you. The tips above can help you get rid of job search anxiety. If you can't practice them yourself, find a fellow job seeker with which you can work. Knowing you're not alone in this journey can help you move forward.
When you're ready to find a job, look no further than Career.com. We feature jobs in various categories to make job hunting easier. Visit our website today to find your next best job!