Five Tips to Reduce the Stress of a Job Search
One old adage that really rings true is “The best time to search for a job is when you already have a job!” Truer words were never spoken, but unfortunately, circumstances happen, and you may one day be forced to look for a job while unemployed. Fortunately, as a nurse or other healthcare professional, your services are in pretty high demand so you may have more options than most job seekers. That being said, job searches are inherently stressful. Follow these five tips to make sure your job search is stress-free and positive.
- Get Out of the House! One of the worst things job seekers can do is stay isolated at home obsessing about their search. It is perfectly fine if you prefer to conduct your search from home, but take time to get out of the house and interact with others. It is also a good idea to work on your search outside of the home. Find a local workspace-sharing site and spend a few hours a week there. You will meet other local professionals and have a chance to network. You can also take a class, either in your area of specialty or find an inexpensive community education offering. Or, try spending a few hours volunteering to serve the less fortunate will lift your spirits and fulfill your need to help others.
- Manage Your Expectations. Even in an area of need, like nursing, the job search process is time-consuming. From applying to positions to sending in resumes, doing phone screens, then one or two interview sessions, to finally receiving an offer, you are not going to be hired overnight. Accepting that the time from beginning your search to starting a new job can take anywhere from two weeks to three months, depending on your localities job market. It is also important to resist the urge to take rejection personally. Today, employers have specific traits that they may be looking for, and if you are passed over for one, then it is a good bet you wouldn’t have been happy there anyway. Just know that there is an organization that is looking for you and everything you have to offer.
- Contact Your Mentor. We have discussed mentors in this space in the past. Hopefully, you have taken our advice and have cultivated a mentoring relationship with someone you respect and whose input you value. When you find yourself between jobs, your mentor can offer sage advice, can help you put your search into perspective, and might even have a few leads for you to explore. If you don’t have a nurse mentor, reach out to a friend or colleague who you trust and admire. Having meaningful conversations with a friend can help you maintain your balance and focused on staying positive.
- Mix It Up. Your job search is not a full-time job so don’t treat it as such. There are only so many applications you can fill out or resumes to prepare in a single day. As mentioned, job searches take time, and there is an abundance of waiting for responses and other non-productive time spent. The key to reducing your job search stress is to mix in activities that allow you to feel like you have accomplished something. Instead of staring at your email inbox waiting for a potential employer to contact you, work on a project that you never had time for while you were employed. Maybe you can paint the bathroom, or straighten out the shelves in the pantry. Completing even the most menial task will bolster your confidence and take your mind off waiting for an email or phone call.
- Visualize. In the healthcare world, visualization can be part of a treatment plan. The reason being that your mind is a powerful and effective stress management tool. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your current situation, take the time to visualize the positive things that can come out of your job search. Spend 15 or 20 minutes in a quiet space and visualize yourself in your perfect job. Focus on your breathing and allowing the tension to leave your body. Your thoughts can be about a successful interview or the type of facility you want to be working at, or the new friends you are going to meet. Positive energy and thoughts reap positive results!
What are your tips for reducing job search stress? Have you ever had a difficult job search? If so, what did you do to maintain a positive attitude? Share your experiences in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.