"Job hunting, applications, resumes and interviews are fun" said no one ever.
When applying for jobs, the most stressful factor can be the uncertainty we have to face, where it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Repeated rejection or no response to the hundreds of job applications you have sent, can take a toll on you. No matter how hard you try to rationalise it and try not to take it personally, it can totally bring you down.
The unique thing about our current situation, that makes things harder, is that you are stuck at home. Given that we are living amidst a pandemic itself is pressure enough, that now you have the added pressure of having to find a job.
The stress of a job hunt can make you feel as if you do not deserve a break. However, truth be told, by keeping at it nonstop without any downtime will probably push you to the point of a burnout.
If you are experiencing challenges, the first step to taking care of your mental health is to remember that you are not alone.
- Connection is key- Especially if you are living alone and cannot really step out much, it is easy to feel depressed, alone, and isolated. You do not necessarily have to go out of the way to be socially active but even being in touch with one or two close friends or family members will help. Whether it may be a zoom call or a few WhatsApp conversations, try to keep up and be in touch with people.
- Structure a routine– Treat your job hunt like a job. This does not mean you have to stick to strict job timings like 9-6! Exercise or have a healthy breakfast, kick start your day and set timings that you know will work best for you. Having a system in place for waking up on time, getting work done with regular breaks, will over time build a sense of confidence within you that will keep you going.
- Set small goals and tasks– Break your day into smaller manageable tasks like update LinkedIn profile, work on cover letters, or attend an online networking session. It is okay to be happy when you have finished one task, celebrate these as daily wins to keep your confidence up.
- Commit to selfcare– In addition to drinking water, getting a good night's sleep, and eating healthy meals, it is imperative that you make time for yourself even if it's just ten minutes before bed. Try to make the time to do the things that elevate your mood. It could be meditating, a workout session, watching your favourite TV show or even just putting on a facemask and listening to music.
- Be kind to yourself- A job maybe a necessity but it does not define you. Do not let the fact that you are still looking for a job put you in a negative state of mind. Have affirmations handy ready to read, keeping you positive and reminding you of all you are, what you have achieved so far and your values that keep you strong. If you are really feeling anxious and down, allow yourself to take break. While on social media unfollow any accounts that bring you down.
- Reach out for help– When it gets too overwhelming, reach out to your friends or family, and ask for help. Ask those you trust to look over your cover letter, practice interview questions with you, or just be there for moral support. Everyone has been where you are at some point and if you give them a chance, they might just be a little bit more understanding than you think.
Finding a job can be an emotional rollercoaster. The important thing to bear in mind is that everyone goes through it. All you have to do is your best, and nothing more.
Your job hunt will not last forever, somewhere someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer - just take it one day at a time!