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Job search anxiety is real: tips on how to overcome it

  • Publish Date: Posted 20 days ago
  • Author: Katie Marshall
The prospect of a new role, with new opportunities, responsibilities and, dare we say it, a higher salary, can be thrilling. However, the initial enthusiasm often fades into job search anxiety as job hunters become overwhelmed by confusing role descriptions, jargon, and conflicting advice about interview techniques.

Job search anxiety is a common experience for many people, particularly for those unhappy in their current role. It can manifest in many ways, including restlessness, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and negative thoughts. Wherever you are up to in your job search journey, these tips might help you to conquer the stress.

job search anxiety
Understanding the causes of job search anxiety

Job search anxiety is not a sign of weakness or an indication that you can’t or won’t be able to find that brilliant new role. To be able to address anxious feelings it’s important to understand where they come from.
Some typical causes are:

  • Fear of rejection or failure

  • Financial pressure

  • Lack of control over the process

  • Comparison with others

  • Uncertainty about the future

By identifying the causes, anxious job hunters can try to address them and reduce the impact on their well-being. For example, if you think your anxiety is caused by a fear of rejection, you might benefit from exercising self-compassion and focusing on your strengths and times in your career that you have been successful. On the other hand, if the anxiety is related to financial pressure, creating a budget might help you to feel better.

Understanding why you are feeling stressed or anxious about your job search can help you to anticipate challenges and reduce the chances of becoming overwhelmed or burnt out from the process.

Coping strategies

Anxiety presents itself in many ways and coping strategies that work for some people may not work for others. Try a few of these methods to find the ones that work for you.

  • Build a support network
    Do you have a friend or colleague who has moved jobs recently? Finding out about their experiences can help you to feel less isolated during the job search process.

  • Focus on self-care
    Activities that promote physical and emotional well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies, can help reduce stress and improve mood.

  • Set realistic goals
    Breaking down the job search process into manageable steps and setting achievable goals can help you feel more in control and motivated.

  • Practice mindfulness and positive thinking
    Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing and visualization can help you to stay calm during stressful moments.

  • Develop a routine
    Having a structure to your day can help you to feel in control of the process and allow you to measure your progress.

  • Seek professional help if necessary
    If job search anxiety is interfering with your day-to-day life or causing significant distress, then seeking the help of a mental health professional may be beneficial.

Adopting healthy behaviours and techniques, can reduce stress and increase your chances of finding that dream job or new career path.

Staying motivated

If the process takes longer than expected or if you receive multiple rejections it can be tough to stay motivated.
Keeping track of job applications and follow-ups can help you to stay organized and motivated by seeing the progress you have made. It will also allow you to celebrate small achievements, such as securing an interview or passing a pre-interview test, and help you build momentum.

Exploring alternative career paths or industries can expand job opportunities available to you. If you find an alternative career that you would like to explore then taking courses, attending workshops, or volunteering can help you to develop new skills.

Try to maintain a positive attitude in the face of job search stress. Finding the right job for you requires persistence, patience, and a willingness to adapt and learn. By incorporating these tips and strategies into your job search, you should be able to keep job search anxiety at bay and increase your chances of finding that ideal next step in your career.

If you feel ready to either start or continue on your job search journey, view our latest jobs here. We understand that your career is personal to you and we will help you get where you want (and need) to be.