In today’s competitive job market, searching for your next position can be both a challenging and demanding process. From writing the “perfect” CV, researching into companies and roles, and preparing for interviews, job seekers often experience immense pressure. Although pursuing a fulfilling career is undoubtedly important, it is just as important to recognise and prioritise mental health throughout the process. This Mental Health Awareness Week provides a great opportunity for me to share some tips on how to protect your mental health whilst searching for a new job.
Navigating your emotions:
If you are someone who is looking for a new job, congratulations on taking the bold step towards advancing your career! While this journey may bring excitement and new opportunities, it’s important to acknowledge the variety of emotions you might experience, such as stress and anxiety. From the anticipation of interviews, rejections, and the fear of the unknown, this can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. It is crucial we recognise these emotions are valid and normal, however should not overpower an individual’s overall mental health.
Self-care and well-being tips:
Amidst the chaos and hustle of job hunting, make this blog a reminder to prioritise your self-care and well-being. Here are a few ideas to support your mental health during this process:
- Develop a routine: Establishing a daily routine that includes time for self-care activities, exercise, rest, and relaxation. By creating a well-structured routine, you will see an increase in stability, whilst also alleviating stress.
- Reach out: Stay connected with friends, family, or support networks. Take time out to share any feelings and concerns with trusted individuals who can provide emotional support and guidance.
- Manage your expectations: Always set realistic expectations for yourself during a job search. Understanding that processes may take up a lot of your personal time, and rejection is a common part of the experience. This will enable you to celebrate small victories and milestones along the way such as getting an interview or getting feedback from a process.
- Hobbies and interests: Find activities that bring you both joy and fulfilment. From starting the hobby that you have been meaning to pick up such as learning a new sport, training your dog, or reading a book, there is always a hobby suited for everyone. This can provide you a sense of purpose and help alleviate job-related stress.
Job seekers must recognise the importance of seeking support when needed. If you require career advice or if you begin to feel burnout, overwhelmed or are struggling with managing your own mental health it is crucial you speak to someone. Here are a few avenues that could be useful:
- Recruiters or career counsellors: Consider seeking guidance from recruiters or career counsellors who are specialists in providing advice and guidance with job seeking. They can provide personalised consultative advice to help you navigate the challenges of the current job market.
- Mental health professionals: Therapists or counsellors can offer effective coping mechanisms and strategies to manage mental health challenges. There are many helplines staffed by trained people to help you: Helplines
Job seeking can be a challenging and stressful process full of anxiety and uncertainty. However, this should never be at the cost of your mental health. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we should be reminded to prioritise our well-being. From practicing self-care and seeking support, jobseekers can begin to navigate the challenges of this tricky job market by protecting their mental health. Remember, mental health is health.