Maintaining Mental Health During Your Job Search

It can be said that searching for a job is a job itself. With the added impact of Covid 19 meaning you could be competing against possibly hundreds of other applicants, job hunting in 2021 can feel rather demoralising. Spending your days looking for a new job can take up a lot of your physical and emotional energy, and you could be feeling more pressure in your job search than ever before. A recent study found that 56% of Australians are more aware of their mental health due to COVID-19, and 45% of us agree the pandemic has impacted our mental health, (Seek 2021).

While we all understand the importance of maintaining our mental health, we are less sure on how to achieve this. We have rounded up some expert advice on how to take care of your mental health while job hunting.

Treat Job Hunting Like a Job: Create structure and routine in your day by setting a ‘workday’ with a time each day that you will undertake your job searching. This also includes ensuring you have downtime each day and giving yourself days off from job hunting to enjoy some free time.

Set Yourself Realistic Goals: Avoiding the temptation to set overly ambitious goals is especially important as failing to accomplish these goals will negatively affect your well-being. The power of small wins means these moments can have a major impact on our mental and emotional health. These goals can be as simple as reviewing your resume or following up with references.

Learn New Skills: This time can be used as an opportunity to upskill or reskill and try a different approach in your job hunting. You can also use this time to pursue new hobbies and skills, which has the added benefit of creating a positive mental health space for you to work from.

Stay Social: Make time in your week to connect with family and friends and use this time to remember who you are outside of job hunting. Taking your laptop outdoors or to a coffee shop and having a change of scenery can also have the same effect in lifting your mood.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that you are more than your job and having a job doesn’t define you as a person. Taking simple actions like those outlined above can help you ensure you have the energy to see your job search through, and most importantly, care for your mental wellbeing.

References:

5 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health While Job Hunting: Seek, Oct 2020

How To Deal With Job Hunting Depression by Micaela Marini Higgs: The New York Times, May 2019

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