Stressed About Your Job Hunt? Here’s How to Deal

I’ve been hunting for a new job for almost five months now, and it would be a lie to say that I’ve never felt anxious. There have been times when anxious thoughts consumed me. Why hasn’t the recruiter e-mailed me back? What if the hiring manager didn’t like the answer to my question? When will I find my next job!? I haven’t totally eliminated my job search anxiety, but here is some advice that I have followed that help me feel less stressed.

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

At the beginning of my job search was putting too much emphasis on one job. I would dwell on a particular job and lose sight of all of the other opportunities around me. My advice is to apply to as many as jobs that you’re qualified for at this present moment. It’s nice to have options, and a job that didn’t seem interesting at first might become a front-runner once you’ve interviewed with the hiring manager. Don’t judge a book by its cover. After you’ve sent in your application, just let it go. Worrying about whether an employer will contact you is a major time-suck, and your time can be better used applying for other jobs or researching other companies that interest you.

Set action-oriented and realistic goals

Landing a job has always been easy for me, so I started my job search with the goal of finding a job within one month. After one month, not only was I disappointed, but I also felt unmotivated by my goals. I decided to change how I set my benchmarks of job search success. I reworked my goals to make sure they involved a realistic action instead of goals that were vague that I can’t fully control. For example, apply to three jobs a week versus get hired by the end of the week. Applying to three jobs a week moves me forward in my job search, whereas getting hired by the end of the week is dependent on so many factors.

Don’t compare yourself to others

It was hard not to feel jealous when my friend was offered a job after one week of searching and I had been searching for months. Rather than feeling bitter, I changed my outlook. I realized we both had different skill sets. She had some strengths I didn’t, and I had experience in some areas where she didn’t have any. Everyone has a different job search experience, so there is no use in comparing it to others.

Find your own personal way to handle stress

My number one way to de-stress is take a few minutes to focus on my breath and meditate. After that I feel rejuvenated and motivated to continue applying for jobs. Take the time each day to do something that will refresh and energize your mind like taking a walk, cooking or journaling.

This article was updated on June 23, 2017.