Thursday, November 08, 2007

Job Search Stress Busters (continued)

Yesterday I blogged on four strategies for reducing stress during a job search. Here are three more recommendations.

Communicate with your Family

If you don’t talk about your search with a spouse or significant other, you could be creating additional stress in the relationship. When you shut a partner out of this conversation and carry on as if nothing has changed, that person may worry about the status of your search and your overall financial security. They may constantly seek you

out for updates or offer recommendations on how you should conduct your search. This may feel like nagging to the job seeker and can cause tensions to mount. If your partner wants to understand your search strategy, try setting up a weekly meeting to discuss your search plans. Then agree that you will be given the “space” to carry out your plan.

Sometimes a job seeker’s search is impeded by domestic responsibilities at home. Family members may ask you to do errands, chauffeur other family members to activities and appointments, or take on significant home improvement projects like painting the house. Keep in mind that if your job search is a part-time activity it will take you twice as long to find a new job.

Avoid Toxic People

We’ve all met them. They are the ones who say “It’s brutal out there. I’ve been searching for months and no one is hiring.” These people do nothing to help you in your search. They often have one-dimensional strategies that result in unproductive, extended searches. Let these people know that you intend to stay positive or share a tip that’s working for you. If their negative attitude continues, try, if it’s realistic, to take a break from the relationship.

Find a Buddy

While it’s wonderful to have the support of family and friends during a job search, having a buddy who is also seeking employment can provide great benefits to both parties involved. Find someone who is in a different profession or someone who is in the same profession, but at a more junior or more senior level, so you won’t be competing for the same jobs. Having a buddy allows you to share similar concerns, boost morale, empathize with someone in the same situation, and share advice.

A job search presents a unique set of challenges for many people. But it is also a time when people discover new skills and even new careers. It can be a time to strengthen existing friendships and grow new relationships. By examining your emotions and channeling your energies in a positive direction, you can potentially decrease both your stress level and the amount of time you spend looking for a new job.

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  • Barbara,
    These are wonderful suggestions, and in my experience, I see people get physically ill during their job searches because the stress takes such a toll. Searching for a job is sort of like going into've got to prepare yourself to go the distance both physically and mentally. I hope everyone who reads this post really takes it to heart.
    Anita Bruzzese

    By Blogger Anita, at 1:21 PM  

  • Anita,

    Thanks for your comments. You're right...job search can sometimes feel like a battle and sometimes people need a thick skin to get through the process.

    I think that job search also has a lot of parallels to dieting. Everyone wants it to be easy and they want to see immediate results. People get frustrated when this doesn't happen or when they face setbacks such as a day of binge eating or a small weight gain during the dieting process.

    Just like weight loss, job search is a process and it requires consistent planning, a strong support network, positive self-talk, and humor.

    By Blogger Barbara Safani, at 11:35 PM  

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