Job Searching: Focus on What You CAN Control

Let’s face it, the search for work can feel like you are on the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime with its near daily highs and lows. The anxiety and stress a job search can create over the long haul can take an emotional toll on even the most levelheaded of people. The key to staying sane while wading through job boards, hoping for interviews and waiting for hiring managers to get back to you?  Laser focus on what you CAN control.  

There are a lot of unknowns during a job search and, eventually, the hiring process, and battling those unknowns can leave you feeling stressed out, anxious and depressed. Add to that the feeling that your work is a vital (sometimes all-consuming) part of who you believe yourself to be, and you can be left feeling lost and unanchored. Worrying about things you cannot control can derail your entire job search and set you up for failure in an interview. Keeping your mind focused on the two things in your power to control- your actions and your attitude- will set you up for success.  Read on for some solid strategies to keep your mind focused on moving forward and finding the perfect job for you. 

Take care of the details. 

Make it a priority to get the needed details out of the way early in the job search process to set yourself up for success. File for unemployment, get a handle on any benefits that need to be transitioned from your last employer, write your resume and update your LinkedIn profile to position yourself to take on the project of finding a new job.  

Manage it like a project.

 Looking for a new job is a large project with a thousand moving parts which makes it easy to find yourself overwhelmed. The solution? Treat it like the project it is. Get organized by outlining action steps and breaking them into bite sized pieces. Set due dates for completion and create to do lists to help you track your deliverables. Download our free tools to stay organized in the job search to ensure that you do not forget or miss a step.  

Invest in professional development. 

If the fear that you don’t have what it takes or are unqualified for your dream job is holding you back, take strides to invest in your own professional development. There is a plethora of options out there (both free and otherwise) to help you improve your professional skills. Don’t forget to include your network in those options! Developing a mentor relationship can lead to all sorts of opportunities. 

Take a break. 

If overwhelm and procrastination seem to be stalking you or you just cannot seem to shake the job search anxiety, take a break. Go for a walk, do some yoga, take a short nap- rest your body and mind. Stepping away for a breather- even for a few days can help you center yourself and find the motivation to keep moving forward. Searching for a job is not easy and can take its toll on you if you allow it to. Focusing on the items you can control by making an organized plan, managing your job search like a project and knowing when you need to step away, will help you avoid anxiety and overwhelm. 

Join our Facebook group for job seekers: The Deep End Job Search for more job search tips and a supportive network to see you safely on the other side of your search.