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How do you Manage Anxiety during a Job Search?

I remember it like it was yesterday, I had just started working at this dream startup, living halfway across the country, in the most expensive one bedroom I had ever rented and reporting into my dream manager. One month later I started feeling anxious….seven months (or so) later I was let go. 

At that point, I looked up and found myself packing all of my things at my desk, making my way into the uber my manager called for me and then crying until I got to my amazing (up until this point…) San Francisco priced… one bedroom apartment, all alone.

My mind started racing..

…I have to make rent.

….I have no family here.

….I live clear across the country.

What am I going to do? 

For an overwhelming majority of Americans, the job interview is a dreaded, stressful ordeal as 9 in 10 employed adults said they fear something about the experience, according to data released today in the 2013 Job Interview Anxiety Survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Everest College. 

And, according to a recent study by JDP, a majority of them (job candidates) (93%) have experienced anxiety related to their interviews. 

Job Search Anxiety is real. It’s the reason why you find yourself applying to positions at 4am…wired, not able to fall asleep because you’ve just got to do one more thing. 

It’s the reason marriages can be strained, and kids that grew up in an otherwise sunny home…find that every day becomes their nightmare. 

Here are my tips to help you push past Job Search Anxiety, and, instead turn this period into a blessing in disguise.

TIP ONE: 

Take stock of where you are and find the good in it like your life depends on it:

Whether you want to believe in ‘everything happens for a reason’ or not…you got to admit your unexpected lack of work can end up being a pivotal moment that you look back on and celebrate. 

So write down and keep front of mind WHY this moment is your actual blessing in disguise. 

Have it taped to your laptop, your phone background..whatever. But keep reminding yourself why this moment was made for you vs it being an unexpected doomsday.  

TIP TWO: 

Get support:

Schedule more therapy sessions through therapy apps like TalkSpace/BetterHelp or with your therapist if you have one already. 

You’ll likely need more support during this time. Trust me here…And although our spouses/partners/friends and family will always be your rock…it’ll likely be helpful to have a designated someone that you can go to about the anxiety that comes up. 

You can also join free groups where there are other job seekers (like FB groups or FairyGodBoss.com) however, be careful because some of these groups can end up being a ‘woe is me’ negativity-fest fast! So be discerning. 

TIP THREE:

This is actually a few tips in one….

A…Guard your energy like it’s your full time job. 

Don’t allow yourself to focus on the rejection emails in your inbox. Instead spend 2-3 times a day envisioning and feeling what it will be like to get that offer. 

The more time you can spend in the space of what you want vs what’s going wrong is the more opportunity you have for good things to keep coming to you. 

B….Pivot fast and quick. 

Instead of focusing on why your resume got rejected when the company reposted the role the next day, just move onto the next application. The same for worrying about emailing a recruiter to change their mind or fostering over a rejection. The only data you need to focus on is how often recruiters are viewing your profile, for which roles and when are you rejected or moved through the interview process. Use that data to pivot or upskill from there.

EXTRA CREDIT TIPS: 

Don’t waste time taking the interviews your friends will send you in the beginning of the job search by using them as practice. 

Hire a Career Coach to hold a few mock interview sessions with you so that when your friends send your resume over to so and so…you don’t waste that referral by bombing the interview.

In the same vein..have a Career Coach or a Recruiter friend review your resume AND linkedin profile or portfolios…github etc… 

Don’t start applying to your dream roles with personal branding items that need work. Invest in yourself and make the best of this situation by giving it your best shot.

In conclusion:

I hope this helps.

Just remember that everyone goes through job search anxiety which can even turn into a low grade depression sometimes…Just know that this is your moment. Your blessing in disguise. You can and will turn this around like you always do. 

You got this!

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