Let’s be real for a minute. When you need a job…you need a job. That need is real, and in many cases, time is of the essence. When you need a job and don’t know where to find one—or if your job search isn’t moving forward as quickly as you need it to—it’s very easy for panic to set in. How am I going to pay my bills? What happens if I run out of money? Where do I look next?
I get it. I’ve been there. Most of us have been there at one time or another.
But here’s the problem: Even though the fear is natural, it can also work against you when you bring it into your job search. When you approach your job hunt in a state of panic, the desperation shows. Prospective employers can pick up on it when you interview with them, which can be a turn-off. (Employers like to see confidence.) The fear can also prompt you to take the first job offer you get, even though it might not be the right fit or provide enough pay. If you left your previous position because you hated your job, what good does it do you to jump right into another job you hate?
Here’s the reality: Panic causes us to make bad decisions. In fact, the worst things we do as people are the things we do out of fear. That’s not how you need to approach things when you’re looking for a new job or career.
So…how do we remove the panic factor from the job search? Let’s explore five techniques that can help.
1. Practice relaxation and mindfulness.
In our increasingly stressful world, many people are turning to various forms of mindfulness techniques to maintain a sense of mental balance. Find a practice that fits your life, then practice it daily. It could be an aromatherapy bath, a subscription to a mindfulness app like Headspace or Calm, a walk in the park to clear your head or a combination of these. One exercise I recommend to many of my clients is a simple deep breathing exercise: Take a deep breath, hold it for four counts, release it for four counts, then repeat seven more times. This practice helps induce a sense of calm, sends more oxygen to your brain to clear your mind and brings you into the moment.
How you choose to practice mindfulness doesn’t matter so much as that you do it. Just add some sort of mindfulness practice into your daily routine. You’ll find the panic and fear much more manageable.
Jogging. Lifting weights. Yoga. Pilates. Zumba. Sex.
Doing things that temporarily elevate your heart rate and require effort from your muscles will release chemicals into your blood stream that help relax you and alleviate anxiety. Not to mention that any form of strenuous physical activity provides a temporary diversion, pulling you far enough away from the crisis at hand to give you a little more perspective.
3. Talk to someone.
For many people, the simple act of “talking it out” helps alleviate the fear. You can sometimes do this with a trusted friend who can remain supportive without taking on your fear. In other situations you might even want to visit a counselor or therapist to deal with the anxiety. Either way, it just helps not to be alone in it.
4. Make a plan.
One of the most important things you can do to take the panic out of your job search is to put yourself back in control of the situation—and that starts with making a plan of action. This is where having a career coach can definitely come in handy. By breaking down the problem into actionable steps you will take to resolve it, you stop being a victim of change and you start taking the reins again—and in my view, there’s no better remedy for fear than that. Remember…finding yourself in between jobs or careers is nothing more than a sign of change. This is precisely why I tell my clients over and over again: Change happens. Take control!
If you would like help making a plan to navigate yourself into a new job or career, I’d love to be part of the process. For a free 30-minute consultation, simply fill out the contact form called “Get in Touch” on the right side of this page.