Update: With the covid-19 crisis in full swing, we thought it was high time to reshare this blog post from 2019 to offer any help to anyone struggling with their job search. Please let us know if you have any comments.
Data by YouGov has revealed that those who are currently out of work and seeking employment are 40% more likely to experience feelings of anxiety than the national average. Similarly, nearly two thirds (63%) worry about the direction of their life while being 86% more likely to describe themselves as “depressed” in comparison to the rest of the nation.
We know that searching for a job can be difficult and maintaining motivation can be even harder, so to mark stress awareness day, we have shared advice to help minimise feelings of stress while on the lookout for a new job.
1) Break it down
As of this week, there are almost one million live job adverts in the UK, which can seem like a daunting prospect at first. Before you start your job search it is important to drill down the exact requirements for a new role to narrow down opportunities and sort vacancies into manageable ‘chunks’.
Consider your skills and experience and any keywords associated with these, as well as things like location, salary, and company. Use search filters to distill opportunities into lists that feel more manageable so you’re not overwhelmed with 500,000+ potential jobs.
2) Make the most of the tools available
There are countless tools that have been created to make finding a job as easy as possible. Adzuna’s advanced search features are designed to search for specific phrases, salary limits or locations to help you find your specific requirements. A tool like ValueMyCV provides salary estimates based on your skills and experience, so you know your ‘market worth’ before starting your job search.
Take a look through recruitment sites, Jobcentre advice pages and job boards to find the tools that work for you, then use them at every opportunity to alleviate some of the pressure.
3) Take a break
The work that comes with the job hunt can be intense and, if not carefully managed, can quickly lead to burnout.
As you would with any normal workload, set yourself clear parameters for searching and applying for jobs and allow yourself to have a break outside of these times.
4) Know your worth
If a job hunt continues over a long period of time, it can soon become disheartening. Ensure you always come back to your relevant skills and experience and remember how they make you an asset for an employer.
Don’t be tempted to settle for less, as this will only lead to issues further down the line. If you’re not sure where to begin, do some research to find average salaries in your area for the roles you’re looking for. This will give you a good guide to help steer your search and can help you when negotiating salaries when you get to that stage.
5) Set realistic targets
There are so many job opportunities out there once you begin searching, but it’s important to not try to go after all of them at once. Doing this will not only increase your stress levels and make your job hunt more exhausting but will most likely mean the quality of your applications will deteriorate.
Set yourself achievable targets each day and do everything you can to stick to them. These targets could be as simple as spending half an hour reviewing job sites, or spending a bigger chunk of time updating your CV or submitting an application.
Whatever your targets are, review your progress every day and ask yourself whether they are realistic, or you could be setting yourself up for stress before you’ve even begun.
6) Ask for help
Often one of the hardest things to do when feeling stressed, asking for some help can be one of the most powerful tools at a job seeker’s disposal.
Help and advice can be found on Council and Jobcentre websites, on various recruitment sites and forums, in local libraries and various careers and employability services across the country. You can also recruit friends and family, who can help monitor opportunities, proofread CVs and cover letters, or help to roleplay interviews.
Whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence as there will always be a resource available that can help.
To see what jobs are available across the UK please visit www.adzuna.co.uk