5 Ways to Care For Your Mental Health While Job Searching
By The Fullstack Academy Team
Picture this: You’ve just spent hours updating your resume and crafting a flawless cover letter for a position you think you’d be perfect for. You feel great and believe this job is the one as you submit your application. A few hours (or days!) later, you receive a generic, automated email explaining the company decided to move forward with other candidates. Now, imagine this happening over and over again.
Unfortunately, this is a harsh reality for many job seekers. Searching for a job can be plagued with long hiring processes, repeated rejection, and a lack or shortage of communication from employers that can leave you feeling discouraged. On top of all this, many job seekers also deal with increased financial stress during the job search process, which is why some experience burnout.
Whether you’re a recent graduate looking for your first job or a seasoned professional ready to make a change, it’s critical to prioritize your mental health while job hunting. Read on to learn a few tips on caring for your mental health while searching for your next role.
1. Establish a routine
Although it can be easy to focus all your energy, free time, and resources on finding a job—even above all other personal responsibilities—it’s important to establish limits and boundaries. Plus, if you’re solely focusing your energy on job searching, the stress and frustration can consume you—especially if you’re dealing with a lot of rejection.
To combat burnout and fatigue, try creating a routine that incorporates both job search activities and things that bring you joy. For example, spend a few hours in the morning applying to roles and reaching out to your network, then meet up with a friend for lunch or go for a walk. To help keep you motivated, you can also include moments in your routine to reflect on why you are looking for a job or career change and the benefits. By dedicating some time each day for yourself and your needs, you’ll give your mind a break from the stresses of job searching.
2. Get organized
A successful job search starts with a plan. Before you apply, outline your career aspirations and what you’re looking for in your next role. Maybe you’re only interested in remote jobs or want to work in a specific industry. By understanding what you want your next position to look like, you can narrow your search and prevent yourself from applying to roles you aren’t interested in.
Once you start applying and interviewing for jobs, establish a process for keeping track of your progress. Consider creating a spreadsheet that includes the job description, contact information, and status of your application for each role you apply for. This way, you have all the information you need in one place to revisit whenever you’re feeling lost or confused.
3. Set smaller, more attainable goals
Although the ultimate goal is finding a new position, it may take longer than expected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, it takes an average of five months for someone unemployed to find a new role. With such a long time frame, it can be easy to get discouraged, especially if you’re not landing interviews or getting actionable feedback from potential employers.
Instead of solely focusing on finding a job, set smaller, realistic goals to help keep you on pace. Some examples can include getting your first interview, making a new connection, or attending a webinar. Celebrating smaller wins will keep you focused and help maintain your confidence.
4. Ask for help
From crafting the perfect resume to preparing for interviews, a lot goes into finding the ideal role. The entire process can be overwhelming, and many benefit from working with an experienced professional.
Luckily, there are many excellent resources to help you throughout the process, including resume help, networking workshops, and interview coaching. Try connecting with an experienced career coach or pay for services to help keep yourself accountable and check your work. Not only will these resources help alleviate some of the stress, but they’ll also help maximize your success in the job market.
5. Invest in yourself
According to the Adecco Group’s recent Global Workplace of the Future report, 40% of workers don’t believe they have the right skills to use relevant technology. While you’re between jobs, it might be the perfect opportunity to expand your skill set by enrolling in an online course or tech bootcamp.
Not only will you gain in-demand skills that will bolster your resume, but you’ll also have something to focus on other than job hunting. Plus, some bootcamps, like the programs offered by Virginia Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy, provide professional career support services to help you land a role in the field.
6. Prioritize Your Mental Health
The journey to your dream job may involve rejection, disappointment, and uncertainty, which can be discouraging. Taking care of your mental health while job searching will prevent you from getting burned out and overwhelmed and help you keep up the momentum in your job search. Finding your next role might not come easy, but remember: you can do this!
Make Your Move.
Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at Virginia Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.