5 Strategies to Help You Cope with Job Search Anxiety

5 Coping Strategies for Anxious Job Seekers

What may seem like a small task for some can be a huge accomplishment for someone else. From attending interviews to refreshing your inbox for an update on previous applications, it’s an incredibly daunting experience to go through these stages alone. 

Coping with anxiety isn’t something that can be checked off the list overnight. Those butterflies in your stomach are probably not going away anytime soon either. Here’s what we can do instead: Take a few baby steps at a time, and you’re set. 

Every small effort counts when you’re looking for the right job. By putting these strategies to work, you’ll be able to overcome job search roadblocks with a newfound confidence.

Coping strategies to reduce your job search anxiety

1. Have faith in yourself 

There is no place more unsettling than one’s own mind, where the most anxiety-provoking thoughts occur. 

Anxiety usually stems from insecurity – spending sleepless nights playing out the worst scenarios in your head which will probably never happen in real life. One study found that job insecurity is a stressor that leads to anxiety and mental well-being deterioration. 

Our careers are a representation of who we are. The struggles we face in our lives may spill over into the choices we make on a job hunt. You didn’t set out on this journey just to give up halfway through. 

Your confidence grows when you start embracing your strengths and weaknesses. That’s when the real fun begins. You’ve got to cheer for yourself before anyone else can!

2. Break the self-doubt cycle

Whenever you get cold feet before a job interview, take deep breaths and count to ten. If there’s time to spare, go over your resume and list out previous accomplishments that you may want to bring up later. 

Think about the last time you received a compliment, or when you felt proud of your work. Self-affirmations work wonders in building a sense of fulfilment. Research has shown that “Positive affirmations are a self-help strategy that can help you face the world with a belief in yourself and your abilities.”

Believing in your skills and experience as a candidate gives you the strength and conviction to stay motivated during your job search, regardless of the hurdles that are ahead of you.

3. Build a supportive network  

Seek professional guidance from previous employers or college mentors. They can be a great resource for career advice and new opportunities. It is advisable to have a strong support system who will be there to support your victories and guide you through difficult times.

Joining career coach forums on LinkedIn is a great way to build your network. Alternatively, you may reach out to an expert career coach who can offer their professional advice and support throughout your journey.

4. Celebrate your small wins

How often do you take time to celebrate the wins in your life? 

We often get lost in this cycle of going after the next goal, rather than taking a moment to give ourselves a pat on the shoulder. Celebrating success sets you up for future achievements by realizing what worked this time, so that you can repeat it in the future.

Don’t think any less of your wins. According to Amabile and Kramer who wrote The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work, taking pride in even the smaller achievements can boost your self confidence and motivate you to do more.

Looking at how far you have come is an achievement in itself, which also acts as a reminder that setbacks are only temporary. 

Share success stories on your portfolio website or LinkedIn. Speak to employers about the individual milestones you’ve conquered during university. It gives them the chance to recognize your talents when they see your real work.  

Find out how you can boost your career by learning how to be your own advocate.

5. Preparations make everything easier

If you can envision how the interview is going to be like, the idea of attending a real one becomes less scary. Likewise, getting prepped for your job search will take you places. 

For starters, write an elevator pitch and present it in front of the mirror. Keep trying until you feel comfortable talking about yourself. Prepare a list of interview questions and respond with your own answers. 

Spend some time learning about the company’s values, mission, and work culture. The more you know, the easier it will be to strike up a conversation with the interviewer. 

Preparation is key, and it’s more than just going through the company’s About Us section. When you know what you’re getting into, it’ll give you the confidence to truly shine in the hiring process. 

Here’s an article on how to ace a job interview with zero experience! 

Push past the doubt and take care of yourself by meditating, working out, and getting enough rest. It’s only when you’re at your best that dreams may finally come true! 

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