Career Hacks

Five Ways to Make the Inevitable Job Search a Little More Bearable

You’ve done everything you’re supposed to. You worked hard in all your classes, embraced challenge after challenge (after challenge...) and consistently sought out opportunities for growth in the form of internships, jobs, and volunteer work. By now, your inbox should be filled with invitations for interviews and hiring managers should be tripping over themselves trying to get you to work for them, right? Well, not exactly. 

You may be on the cusp of having that college diploma in your hand, but for many, searching for jobs is a full-time job in and of itself, and with that comes the unanticipated stress that can take a toll on any job seeker’s physical and emotional health.  

Before you begin looking for jobs (or, if you’ve started the process and already feel like giving up) here are 5 ways you can manage stress so the process of finding employment doesn’t get the best of you.  

1) Limit the hours in which you search for jobs In a world where you have so little control over so many things, limiting the number of hours you spend looking for jobs during the day can help you maintain a healthy balance. Instead of just looking here and there or looking nonstop until you can barely keep your eyes open, try identifying 1-3 hours during the day that you can spend actively searching. Make sure it’s a time of day when you can remain alert (and in a place where you can focus) and give yourself breaks as needed.  

2) Create your own successes Instead of waiting all day for an employer to reach out to you and feeling disappointed when that doesn’t happen, create tasks that you can succeed at such as creating an online training course, updating your LinkedIn profile, or networking. Then, at the end of the day when you’ve accomplished these tasks, celebrate your successes.  

3) Enjoy the process No. That isn’t a joke. Revising your resume is a great way to look at, reflect upon and celebrate all you’ve accomplished so far. Writing a cover letter is a chance for you to tell your story to a potential employer and have your voice be heard. If you can take some of the pressure off the result and learn to love the process even just a little, it will feel like you’re doing something constructive (as opposed to being slowly tortured).  

4) Use your resources If you’re an undergrad at Clark reading this, you have a career adviser who wants to help you search for meaningful work and who knows how to help you do it. Schedule a meeting with your adviser or grab a cup of coffee with a friend who you know will support you during this process. You don’t have to do this all on your own! 

5) Allow yourself to be happy starting NOW Are you tying your happiness to things you have absolutely no control over and wallowing in misery and self-pity in the meantime? We’ve all done it, but see what happens when you give yourself a break and allow yourself to experience joy regardless of how your job search is going. Even if you have to schedule time to be happy or fake it until you make, see what unfolds when you allow yourself to be happy now instead of when something happens

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