Especially when you're out of work, a job search can feel highly stressful for obvious reasons. But even if you are looking for a new opportunity while you're already employed, this can be a trying, emotional process. However, you can't let these efforts dominate your thinking, and you need to be able to give yourself a mental break in a lot of these situations so you don't burn yourself out.
The following recommendations should help you do that, and keep yourself in good mental shape as you continue to pursue new opportunities:
1) Don't burn the candle at both ends
One of the worst things you can do in a job search is to work on it endlessly, and at all hours of the day or night, according to career expert Rachel Montañez, writing for Forbes. It's a better idea to set aside a certain amount of time most days and then take some time off — say, from 1-3 p.m. on weekdays only — so you can tackle the effort as needed without pushing yourself too hard.
2) Don't get your hopes up for any particular job
Keep this in mind: Even when you beat out hundreds of applicants to make it all the way to being one of the final two applicants, you still only have a 50/50 chance of getting the job, Montañez said. As such, you shouldn't start picturing how your life will be different if you get any given job, even if it feels incredibly close.
3) Be realistic about what you can handle
When you're looking for a job, it's tempting to apply for 10 different roles at once, Montañez further noted. But this usually isn't a good idea, because it means you have to juggle dozens of emails, keep track of what you said to whom and so on. Keeping it simple and narrow-focused will greatly reduce your stress.
4) Do more to organize your search
Even if you're only applying to a few jobs at a time, there can be a lot of details you need to keep track of, according to Mediabistro. For that reason, you may have to do more to keep tabs on everything to remember about each of these jobs. Keeping all that information in one easily accessible place (like a spreadsheet saved in the cloud) is a good idea.
5) Find other things to do
If you're only spending a few hours per day on your job search, you need other things to keep you busy, Mediabistro added. That could be as simple as redoing your personal website, or going for a walk if it's a nice day. That kind of thing gives you something else to focus on and reduces stress.
6) Give yourself smaller tasks that snowball quickly
There are a lot of details to work on in a job search, but you shouldn't try to tackle them all at once, according to The Balance Careers. Break things up into the smallest possible chunks and give yourself a sense of accomplishment as you complete them.
7) Keep in mind that you can only control certain things
Finally, once you send an email or make a phone call, what happens next is out of your hands, The Balance Careers advised. Don't start stressing that you haven't heard back until at least a few days later.
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