How To Reduce Anxiety While Job Hunting

Written by Michelle Malka

Graphic Design by Daniel McConnell

Man looking anxious at laptop

Let’s face it. Job hunting is nerve-wracking. It’s tedious, it’s repetitive, and there are plenty of other things we’d rather be doing. Competition within the job market is constantly fluctuating. There can be times when your job search is brief. Then times when months go by without hearing back from any prospects. The search can be super stressful and discouraging. So while you’re making career choices that will change your future, here are some ways to combat job anxiety. You know, so you don’t have to bring it up in therapy.

Substitute job applications with networking

Job hunting isn’t always about sitting at a computer all day filling out job applications. The truth is that computer systems, rather than humans, mainly view applications. Many people don’t know the quickest way to secure a job is through referrals and networking. A conversation with someone can be enough to make a person want to refer you to their company if they’re hiring. And if their company isn’t hiring, they’ll keep you in mind for when a position opens up. Try to be diligent about asking your employers for referrals. Referrals are the receipts of the hiring world. They are testimonies of how another employer had a positive experience with you.

Build a portfolio

Suppose you happen to be in conversation with someone who is open to referring you to their company. In that case, they’ll usually ask if you have a website or portfolio. It’s an easy and quick way to observe someone’s capabilities. Don’t forget to put some love into it when you’re making it. Your portfolio doesn’t need cutting-edge design. But making it organized and easy to look through will show that you are a trustworthy professional worthy of a referral. Some may think, “But I don’t have enough projects to build a portfolio or website.” If that’s the case, work on some personal projects. Or do a project for a friend that can be used as samples. For example, professional photographers start by taking photos of friends, family, or nature. Although it is unpaid, these photos will show the photographer’s skills to clients. When they finally get paid gigs, their portfolio will shed off personal projects while packing on professional ones.

Be super on top of your LinkedIn profile

You’ll sleep better knowing you have an active presence on the world’s largest professional network. Why? LinkedIn connects you with people in your desired industry. You can find what companies or positions those people worked for to break into your field. It also makes you accessible to hiring companies since your profile will include your experience, skills, and if you’re accepting new positions. You don’t need to be on your profile more than your Instagram, but engage with LinkedIn at least once a week.

Finding a job takes time

You have to accept that finding a job takes time. Meanwhile, reflect on your application materials to determine what works and what doesn’t. Then update your cover letter or resume based on these notes. For cover letters, send each company a personalized letter. Write them to show you understand the company’s needs. This effort will demonstrate why you would make an excellent fit for them. Like a portfolio, as previously mentioned, putting effort into these documents will make you feel good about your chances. It’ll even boost your confidence. Again, accept that it will take some time. But the outcome of getting that position you want will be well worth the wait.

Reward yourself after making moves

You’ve spent time building your LinkedIn profile. You’re assembling your portfolio. You’re networking with someone who wants to refer you to their company. Now it’s time to indulge in something you enjoy so you don’t get burnt out. Plus, it’s an excellent incentive to look forward to when you’re not feeling motivated to job hunt because, obviously, there are a million other things you’d rather be doing.

An open position can get hundreds, even thousands, of applicants

So keep in mind that just because you didn’t get the job doesn’t mean it’s because you weren’t a good candidate. Companies choose people for different reasons. Some decide based on portfolios, and others may be based on interviews or a strong referral. This is why we recommend reaching out to professionals in your industry. Networking is the best and quickest way to get hired.

Prep questions for your interview

Getting an interview is the hallelujah moment of the job hunt. But for many, it’s also the most pressure of the whole ordeal. It’s like going on a first date, and you want this to be “the one” so bad. Want to ensure little anxiety and boost your confidence? Focus on three things in your preparation for the interview. 

First, study the job posting up and down, so you know exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. Communicate to your interviewer how you hit all of those specific marks. Second, research the company so you can explain how your skills, qualifications, and interests are a perfect match with their work environment and brand. Just like when you’re on a date, companies like to know that you’re paying attention. Lastly — and this is the most important part — have three questions prepared for the end. For when they inevitably ask if you have any questions. This is like the part of the evening when you ask the waiter for your check. Your date will take note of your initiative when you offer to pay. And the same goes for the interviewer when you have questions for them. This effort is one of the best ways to show that you’re serious about the role and working for the company. 

So there you have it. You’re never going to find your Zen while scrolling through Indeed. But keeping these pointers in mind will give you the confidence you need to emerge from your job hunt with employment and peace of mind. Goodbye job hunt anxiety. For more advice on how to land your purpose-filled career, visit our blog at Super Purposes!

Have a Super Day!

Picture of Michelle Malka

Michelle Malka

Since I was a kid I’ve always loved a good story. Now, I amplify my fixation with storytelling through my writing and stand-up comedy.