Looking after yourself when looking for a job

We know that looking for a job can be mentally and emotionally exhausting at the best of times, and even more so now in the middle of a pandemic. Never before have we had to deal with working at home, looking after our out of nursery/school/college children, isolating, worrying about ‘at risk’ friends and relatives all on top of the financial stress of redundancy and job loss.

Losing a job can impact not only our financial security but also our sense of identity, confidence and self-worth and this in turn can affect our motivation when trying to move forward.

Applying for jobs brings uncertainty and anxiety and continuous rejection can impact mental health, confidence and our general wellbeing.

It’s important to protect yourself and build structure to your day when applying for jobs.

Here are some tips…
  1. Don’t apply for every job you see. Think about quality over quantity and really focus on the strength of your applications.
  2. Think about what you are good at. Be focused and write down everything that you are looking for in your next job.
  3. What type of organisation do you want to work for? Whether it be large or small, it should be somewhere you can bring your whole self to work.
  4. Think about your salary and what you need to bring in each month. Decide if you want to work at home or if you want the opportunity to work in an office.
  5. Set times in the day when you know you can complete a high-quality application – one very good one is better than ten. There maybe times in the day when you work better than others.
  6. Keep a routine. Get exercise and fresh air and do the small things that make you feel better.
  7. Talk to people. Don’t become isolated in your search for a job – there are people who can help. Find online networks, recruitment specialists and LinkedIn groups and networks to support you.
  8. Listen to podcasts and read articles from people who inspire you and promote positive thinking.

Above all, don’t forget to give yourself a break. Take some time out from job hunting – a day, a week or longer. Do whatever it takes so that when you go back to the job hunt you have a fresh mind. You will be more effective and have a much higher chance of success. Good luck!

Published by Melissa Baxter, Managing Partner – Not for Profit

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