Five Ways to Deal With the Stress of Job Hunting

Trying to get a job is a big deal. Whether you’re looking for your first break into employment, or it’s time to move on from an existing position, it’s the same thing: stress.

The media doesn’t help. If you’re looking for your first job, then you’ll have been told that there are no jobs, that a degree is pointless and that you’ll have to work for peanuts in order to start on the ladder. You probably think that having just got out of university you’ll have to leave everything you’ve worked on behind and get a job in an unrelated industry, just to earn some cash.

Our society is based on the circulation of money. We need to earn money that we then need to spend, and that constant circle can become never ending. We want more, we need to spend more, so we’re going to have to get another job, and another, and another and as life adds its stresses, we begin to suffer.

In fact, being stressed can actually curtail your chances of getting a job. It’s tough enough already, but stress and anxiety can turn into physically looking drained. You won’t do your best when writing your CV and interviews will be daunting to the point you fluff every one.


It’s time to take control. Here are five ways you can help yourself to a better state of mind, less stress and, ultimately, that job you really want.

Take time for yourself

Life is hard anyway, so adding the anxiety of job searching on top is just going to make it worse, so it’s imperative that you take time for yourself. Go for a walk, listen to some music or go for a drive somewhere. All it takes is half an hour now and then to revitalise yourself and feel a lot better.

A walk in the woods is a fantastic way to unwind, and it works particularly well if you’re currently writing up your CV or application letter. If you’re stuck and don’t know what to write, it’s usually a good idea to take your mind off it completely, and to do that all you need to do is go for a stroll. You’ll find that when your mind isn’t focussing on it, you’ll discover what it is you need to put on paper. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take a notepad!

Stay away from technology

Tablets, laptops and phones are taking over every part of our life. We no longer have a calendar on the wall, instead we add our family days out to a Google planner. This means that in order to stay in the loop we feel we need to be constantly connected to this technology. What if the plans change? What if someone comments on something we’re planning at the weekend? We need to be able to respond RIGHT NOW!

No we don’t. Take time away from technology. Even if it’s just while you’re strolling in the woods (see above), don’t take your phone with you. Tell whoever is still at home that you’re just going to get some fresh air and won’t be taking the phone. If you think you’ll need to remember something, take a pen and paper.

Talk it through with loved ones

The worst thing to do when you’re feeling down or stressed is to bottle it all up and not talk about it. Discuss your plans, your job hunting or your current feelings of anxiety with the person you’re closest to. It could be a mother, a son, a sibling or a spouse. It doesn’t matter, just tell them.

A problem shared is a problem halved, after all. It sometimes makes the issue a lot better when you talk about it. When it’s stuck in your mind and just whirling around in the ether it can seem like the worst problem in the world, but when it’s out there in the open, it takes on a new perspective.

If you feel you need to move on from your current job, speaking about it with a friend might be a good way to network and find a new role somewhere. I know many people who have talked about their job hunt when they’ve been socialising in the pub, and a few weeks later, they’re working with a best mate.

Eat well

When you’re going to interviews, you want to look your absolute best. Comfort eating when things aren’t going your way is a big problem for many. I know, I’ve been there. I’ve been stressing out about stuff that might not happen, jobs that I’m not sure I can do or interviews with people I’ve never met and so just to feel better, I’ll get a Big Mac meal.

There are two problems with this. Firstly, the instant issue of getting that lovely tasting source down your tie just before you’re meeting the boss. That’s a definite no. I did this and managed to ruin both my job chances and a perfectly good silk tie.

No, there’s a bigger issue.

Continuously eating the wrong food can affect your complexion, your eyes, your hair, everything about your looks can become bedraggled and tired.

Eating healthily doesn’t mean carrots and lettuce for each meal, however. It can simply mean cutting down on the crisps, chocolate and burgers for a few weeks.

Wait until you get the job, then go crazy on the nuggets! (Actually, don’t do that…)

Remember your achievements and what you’re good at

It’s unlikely that you’ve got to this point in life by being a complete buffoon. In fact, even those I know that do a good job of being utterly clueless about most things can point to something in their life that they’re proud of.

It can be easy, especially after lots of rejection letters, to feel like nothing is going to work, and life will never get better. However, our life is interspersed with good and bad, we just seem adept at only remembering the bad.

Change that outlook. Write down what you’re good at. Write down the great things you’ve already achieved and keep them close to you.

The benefits of being positive

After all is said and done, being positive, especially when in an interview, is one of the most beneficial traits you can portray. Your prospective employer will want to see a dynamic person who is full of energy and ready to take on the role with verve.

Even if you have to force yourself, be that person and get that job!


stress inforgraphic