Business & FinanceGeneral
How Stress Can Sabotage Your Job Search
December 7, 2017

How Stress Can Sabotage Your Job Search

Feeling stressed when you’re searching for a job is normal. It can even prove helpful because it means you’re taking the search seriously. However, too much stress can take over your search and cause you to actually ruin your chances of procuring employment. Learning how to manage stress before it causes disarray is imperative.

Lack of Focus and Preparation

Mental stress can cause you to overload. When that happens, you may want to decrease the amount of time that it takes to find a job, causing you to not prepare enough and to fail to focus on your cover letters and resumes. Any mistake can seriously ruin your chances of getting a job. Interviewers want to see that you actually know about the job and the company.

While you may have the larger elements in order, you might struggle with smaller details. Always make sure to reread and revise material before you send it off. Imagine the consequences if you sent a cover letter addressed to the wrong employer or if you couldn’t remember the name of the company at the interview. In both your application materials and the interview, take the time to notice the details.

Concerning that interview, you should always conduct research on the company. Chances are that you’ll be asked if you have any questions. When you have nothing to say, you are likely to leave a negative impression.

Poor Manners

You might think that your skills and abilities will automatically earn you the job, and that mindset is one of your biggest mistakes. Most employers don’t want to hire entitled people; they want to hire individuals who can communicate respectfully with others.

Upon entering the interview space, make sure that you greet everyone and shake hands with the appropriate people. While you’re probably eager to get the interview started, that doesn’t mean you should forget common courtesies.
You might think that nothing matters until you’re actually being interviewed. However, members of the interview committee might be watching you from the moment you pull into the parking lot to see how authentic you are.
But, don’t overdo it. If you thank the committee ten times at the end of the interview, you may raise some skepticism too.

Make sure to send a follow-up thank-you email, but give yourself a little bit of time before doing so. Sitting in your car five minutes later and typing an email up doesn’t give you the time to think. Wait a few hours to gather your thoughts. Even if you receive an email stating that you did not receive the job, thank the person for their time.

Negative Approaches

Retain a positive attitude even when a negative scenario arises. If you receive a rejection, you may wonder where you went wrong. You may even blame yourself for mistakes that you didn’t make. Keep in mind that you may have been in competition with scores or hundreds of other individuals. While evaluating your interview skills is important, be reasonable.

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial because it can help you to eventually procure a job. If you become downtrodden with every rejection letter, you might put that negative attitude into the application materials for future job openings. Then, you may receive even more rejections because you weren’t presenting the best version of yourself to the interview committee.

Trying to retain a positive attitude might seem difficult, but it’s necessary. Engage in activities that make you happy. Go for a bike ride around the neighborhood and clear your thoughts (but keep your eyes on the road!). Join a yoga group or meditate in the comfort of your own home. Create a literal and metaphorical (mental) meditation room with the help of a few soft cushions, essential oils, incense sticks and candles (but follow the safety precautions!). Remember that your dog, too, will appreciate finally taking a long walk with its owner.

These and similar activities help you to remember that the job search isn’t the only part of your life.

Neglecting Your Health

When one part of your life feels out of control, you might allow those negative vibes to enter other areas. Trying to tackle challenges when you’re unhealthy can bring you down even more.

You might be trying to save money, which could lead to unhealthy food choices. You might be up all night stressing out, which results in a lack of sleep. On top of that, you may be putting so much effort into your search that you forget to drink enough water or to get some exercise.

You need energy and strength to have a successful job search. Exercise makes you happier and healthier, and so do the right foods.

If you know that you’re going to have a busy day or week, prepare your meals in advance. Buy some food containers. Plan out when you are going to eat. Also, make sure you plan what you are going to eat. This extra energy can give you what you need to plow through the job search and find your dream job.

Failing to Socialize

Right now, getting a job might be the only thing on your mind. While putting forth a concentrated and focused effort is useful, it can also hurt you.

Making time for your family members and friends allows you to have a necessary level of relaxation and socialization. Think about the last time you were feeling really upset. You might have forced yourself to socialize. In doing so, you began to feel better. You might have a pile of paperwork to go back to later, but you can at least take a little break for now.

In fact, not socializing could hurt your interview. The committee may want to get to know you more as a person, so they may ask what you do in your free time. If you haven’t had free time in a while, you may not have an answer to provide.

Trying to think about how you will fit having a social life into your job search can seem jarring, but take it slowly. Put aside a short period of time each day to spend with your loved ones.

You might feel stressed about having to spend money on social outings. Invite your friends over to watch movies; visit your relatives at their homes. If they suggest an expensive activity, tell them that you can’t right now. Relatives and true friends will understand.

The Bottom Line

Stress is negative for a variety of reasons. It can hurt your job search and your personal life. Instead of allowing the stress to get the best of you, find healthy ways to resolve it and to have a more productive existence.

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