How To Maintain Jobseeker Mental Health
We all know that, when it comes to that all important job hunt in life, it can be a very stressful (and sometimes debilitating) time for us. That is understandable: because there is a lot to be anxious about — often with multiple setbacks (at a time when income can be strained).
Here at Dream Job Hub, we of course work with candidates on their employment and personal branding materials (for example, CV, LinkedIn Profile, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Networking, and Interview Preparation). But we also understand that a strong mental health foundation must sustain this process.
In this piece, therefore, we delve into 3 practical steps that can be taken to ensure that YOU can feel nourished and sustained throughout YOUR job search!
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Jobseeker Mental Health
(1.) Limit Job Search Time
This might sound easier said than done — and, of course, it is. However, despite the fact that there are no guarantees, there are a number of practical steps that can be taken (in order to maximize the chances of a shorter job search time).
First of all, the average time spent looking for work is 24 weeks in the United States, for example (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020) — and the average time spent on research/applications each week is 11 hours (Careerbuilder). But how is that time being spent?
Typically, 100 to 200 applications are sent in order to receive only 1 job offer (TalentWorks 2017) — but this is clearly not the most productive use of time. In that sense, there is absolutely no shame in asking for advice and support — particularly from experts in the field.
In our experience, it can massively cut this number of applications down (whilst in possession of, for example, the knowledge for creating an ATS-compliant CV, and an SEO keyword rich LinkedIn Profile).
At the same time, up to 85% of roles are now filled through networking and referrals (LinkedIn) — and therefore it is important to cut through the crowded competition (in favour of what I term the “Hidden Labour Market”).
In other words, insofar as one of the most stressful aspects of a job search is the length of time unemployed, please make sure to inject some creativity and innovation into YOUR methods here!
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(2.) Practice Self-Care and Nourishment
Again, this can often be easier said than done — particularly if one feels time pressured, and therefore against the clock in the pursuit of a new income (with all of the responsibilities that might be tied to that). However, instead of believing that YOU will rest when a new role is secured, please understand that it is important to rest now (precisely so that a new role can indeed be achieved hereafter).
Of course, each person is different in what they shall feel nourished by in life — and therefore it is very important to be in tune with YOUR individual needs and requirements. However, the mental and physiological benefits of exercise are well established — and I would highly recommend at least a walk in nature/greenery each day. Besides, a reminder about some of the free special gifts of life can only serve to place everything in perspective at a troublesome time. Relatedly, it is often during these moments when much-needed clarity can arise: “All truly great thoughts in life are conceived by walking” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosopher).
You might also stand to benefit from something a little more intense for exercise — in order to burn off that excess adrenaline and angst — for example, a cardio HIIT session. Based around short-bursts of fast movement (such as star jumps and high knees), one only needs approx. 20 mins (including warm-up, cool-down, and stretches) in order to complete this routine 2 or 3 times per week. Whether it is a cardio or strength session, however, the sense of continuously meeting set goals can only be a positive pattern to establish/maintain on the pathway to that most important aim of all: a new perfect job role.
Finally, remember to keep a close eye on food/drink consumption. At a stressful time, the junk food and takeaways start to look more appealing as a “pick-me-up” — but outputs are always proportional to inputs in life and work. Healthy fats for daily fuel, combined with sufficient hydration from water, can avoid the sluggishness that might deter from a maintained focus on the main prize. In that sense, attempt to set-up a healthier reward system (and one that is complementary to YOUR aims). For example, after sending a couple of tailored employment applications, the reward could be a nice walk outside for an hour in the park!
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Jobseeker Mental Health
(3.) Mindset, Confidence, and Perspective
The theme continues to be “easier said than done” — but the final key to remember here is to constantly ensure that the employment status does not define YOU. Sure, it is not about pretending to yourself that you are not keen to find a new role — but it is about maintaining a sense of self worth whilst the process is undertaken.
In other words, it is all about perspective. Employment is always (or at least it should be) a means to an end; rather than an end in and of itself in life. In sum, there is more to life that defines us; and a warm and generous character, with great family and friends, is always the main order of the day. One of course needs to pay the bills — but, please, whilst attempting to do so, do not lose sight of the character traits and life events that actually do define YOU.
Hopefully, through detaching this job search mission from the core assessment of yourself, the pressure might be eased at least a little whilst the process unfolds hereafter!
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Jobseeker Mental Health
— — — — —
Taken altogether, whilst it might be tricky to maintain constant balance and equilibrium throughout a job search, we hope (here at Dream Job Hub) that 3 practical steps can help with such.
The main key is to be able to “work smart” (rather than “work hard”) — in order to reduce the length of time looking for work (whilst adopting certain coping strategies along the way, in terms of self-care and mindset).
Reduce the length of YOUR job search period — whilst also taking care of mind and body in the meantime — and then the pathway to that dream job in 2021 need not be a mental health crushing one!
Author: Mathew Warboys
Co-Founder at Dream Job Hub
CEO at The CEO Hub
Top 10 LinkedIn Coach (Yahoo! Finance)
Shortlisted for the “Junior Nobel Prize” (2014, 2015, 2019)
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