Job searching is more than tough…it is time consuming, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining. I recently went through it for the second time since graduating college and, let me tell you, it is one of the most humbling, hopeful, terrifying, and discouraging experiences you can have.
When you begin the job-searching process, whether as an upcoming/recent college grad, a mid-life crisis-er, or someone in between, you will hear all about “best practices.” This can include anything from how to prep for an interview to the best font to use on your resume, but people rarely mention the toll it takes on you and what to do about it.
Enter self-care. Yes, yes, I know, I’m such a cliche: “Self-Care Is The Solution to Any and All of Your Problems.” While self-care will not get you a job (sorry), it will make the process go smoothly and be much more manageable. Now, before you get your hopes up, I will not be prescribing luxurious bubble baths, netflix-binges, or ice cream. What follows are self-care practices that are going to make you the best “you” possible, empower you, and focus you during this (very) trying time.
Best self-care practices during your job search
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
Man, oh man. This is a biggie. When you have time off, or unstructured time, it can be easy to veer off from your typical routine (hello, Netflix binges). It’s so important to have a routine and structure your time during the job search so that you stay organized, focused, and productive.
2. MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL
Find ways to be efficient and structure your time in a way that keeps you focused and productive. Whoever said that you should completely tailor your cover letter for EVERY JOB APP has never applied for more than ten jobs in their LIFE. Let alone ten at one time. Have a basic outline. Edit as needed.
I know we’ve all heard that exercise is good for us. This is nothing new, and yet we often don’t make it a regular part of our routine. If it’s not, make the time for it. Exercise is magic: it can reduce stress, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, sharpen focus, and improve mental and physical resilience. You will not only function better, but also be better at coping with the rejection that can come with applying for jobs.
4. HAVE REGULAR MEALS & HYDRATE
Again with the obvious…but sometimes we can get so caught up in doing (or not doing) tasks that we forget to fuel our bodies (and minds…the connection between our stomach and our brain is INSANE). Don’t forget to stay hydrated, too! It’s hard to deal with the challenges of life and job-searching when our body is feeling off.
Meditation is so accessible these days. With the various apps, YouTubers, and yoga studios, you don’t have to go far (or even try very hard), to find guided meditations that offer step-by-step instructions to get you started. Meditation also reduces stress and anxiety, helps with focus, and can actually help boost positivity!
6. REACH OUT TO YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! It can be hard to admit to yourself, let alone others, that you can’t do it all alone and need support. Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up and cheer you on during this trying time (AND sometimes give you the much-needed advice that you might not want to hear).
I know, I know, budgeting is not sexy. It is CRUCIAL, however, to your well-being, stress-level, and financial security, to stay on top of your budget while you’re searching for a job searching, especially if you’re not employed. Financial insecurity is one of the most distracting and anxiety-inducing situations to be in, especially when your future is uncertain. Get your ducks in a row so that you have the flexibility to, say, move for a job, be unemployed for a few months until a new job starts, or even to leave a situation you might not be happy in.
These 7 self-care essentials can be used no matter where you are in the job search process. They will keep you focused, motivated, positive, and resilient. Now, that’s not to say that you won’t have bumps or low points…but these strategies will help you overcome them with more ease. If you have tips or tricks of your own for rocking the job search process or want to share your story, drop a comment below!