Managing Job Search Stress: Self-Care Tips for Staying Balanced

Managing Job Search Stress: Self-Care Tips for Staying Balanced

The process of searching for a job can be stressful - but you shouldn't panic. If you haven’t found the right role yet, have too many applications to complete or got rejected after an interview, stress can creep in even more. However, taking it step by step and managing stress is possible.

Keep reading to find out how to approach your job search without escalating anxiety. Plus, we’ve got some industry tips on how to focus on self-care and strike the right balance while looking for a care and support role.  

Tips for Managing Job Search Stress

Job hunting can become a full-time job on its own. If you have to juggle that with other commitments, it can soon start to take its toll. Taking time for yourself and looking after your needs is essential, but easier said than done. With that in mind, we’ve got some tips to set realistic goals, manage your expectations and handle the job search process.

Maintain Perspective

One of the most challenging parts of searching for a job is that you can feel like a failure until you secure a position. However, there are many factors outside your control in the hiring process, so you shouldn’t let your self-esteem depend on being a successful candidate.

Instead, the way to manage stress and perform well at interviews is to focus on what you can control. Your goals should involve writing excellent applications and delivering balanced and well-thought-out answers to interview questions. Planning how you respond to the application process is within your control, who the company hires is not.

Set Limits

A job search can bring lots of worries to the surface. They include practical worries over finances, as well as questions about your abilities. It’s important to process the feelings that come with financial worries, fear of not getting a job and rejection. Experience the emotions, but don’t let them turn into worries.

Worries consume a lot of your time, even when you’re not looking for a job. It can affect your sleep and your performance in interviews, making things worse. Choose set hours to carry out your job search and give yourself time to feel fear and disappointment, but don’t let that cross over into other areas of your life. 

Stay Motivated

Job searching can be repetitive and it can take a while to get to the final result. Consequently, staying motivated can be hard, especially when the process feels stressful. Instead of criticising yourself or wondering why it is taking so long, you can look for some positives that will help you to stay motivated.

Focus on the small wins, including the things you did get right. It could be finding a website or job board with opportunities that fit your skills, writing a great application or getting invited to an interview. Experiencing the positive parts of job searching is more likely to keep you motivated to continue until you find the right position.

Consider Your Needs

Speaking of the right position, part of the job search should involve identifying your needs. If you’re making too many compromises, a job search will make you miserable instead of helping you find fulfilment. One of the reasons it can feel stressful is because job searching makes us focus on what employers want, which distracts us from our needs.

Taking a step back means you can reflect on how well you’re doing, but also what it is that you want. Pressure and stress can make us say yes to any job, but each offer should be carefully considered, so that you know your needs will be met by the new role. 

Take Breaks

Focusing on the job search all day, every day increases the pressure and makes it more stressful. Setting specific hours for job searching keeps it contained from other areas in your life, but it also means you know you’re dedicating enough attention to see results. If you’re spending many hours searching for jobs, make sure to take breaks.

Don’t Let Stress Take Over

While aspects of job searching are stressful, the process shouldn’t become a burden that increases your anxiety. Change your perspective to redefine success, celebrate small wins along the way and plan your approach to be more effective while taking breaks. 

Most importantly, don’t manage it alone. You can reach out for help from mentors, get tips and find opportunities from Care and Support Jobs, and talk through your worries with friends and family.

And remember - if you're applying to roles in care and support, employers do just that - they care and support for their candidates as well as the people within homes and services. So be sure to reach out to them for advice, guidance and feedback. Good luck!