Five Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Health While Job Hunting

By: Ally Gravina

March 07, 2022

Woman sitting down for a job interview

It is no secret that looking for a new job can be stressful and overwhelming. Yet a record number of Americans are quitting their jobs to look for new opportunities, a trend also known as the “Great Resignation.”

While there are many reasons why someone might be on the hunt for new work, it’s important for all job hunters to check in with their mental health regardless of their job hunting circumstances.

To learn more about maintaining your mental health while looking for a new job, we spoke to Dr. Mavis Major, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Behavioral Health Therapist at Renown Health.

1. Identify Goals

When beginning your job-hunting journey, your first step should be to make a plan that focuses on quality over quantity. Make lists of companies you would like to work for and, if you’re looking to change fields or industries, make a list of careers that interest you. At this stage in the process, it’s also important to determine what salary range you’re looking for, what type of work environment you want (in-person, remote or hybrid) and understand what benefits are important to you. Identifying goals makes it easier to narrow down the list of jobs you apply for so you can produce quality applications rather than frantically applying for jobs without putting thought into the process.

2. Set Boundaries

It does not matter if you are working full-time while applying for jobs or if applying is your job right now; it can be easy to get lost in the stress of it all. For that reason, it is essential to set intentional boundaries throughout the process. This can look like scheduling days that you fully take off from the job search or going for a walk before a big interview to clear your head.

Setting boundaries will make you more productive overall and hopefully help you get your mind off the process.

3. Ask For Help

Do not try and tackle this undertaking on your own. Once you have identified goals (see tip #1) make lists of people you know within those industries, and do not be afraid to reach out.

Of course, never be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional to talk through why this process might be making you feel anxious. Talking to someone who is not your friend or family can give you a different perspective.

4. Learn A New Skill

Do not be afraid to take on new, yet manageable, challenges. If you’re applying for jobs in a certain industry and notice that you lack a skill or qualification commonly seen on many job postings, learn it! In fact, having something besides job hunting to focus on can be a nice distraction and will keep you from refreshing your emails every two minutes looking for offer letters.

5. Be Kind to Yourself and Know Your Worth

We have been taught that humility is a great character trait, which is true. However, it is important to know your worth when looking for a great job opportunity. For example, what unique skills and experience do you bring to the table? What is the current pay rate for people with your skills? No matter where you are in your career, job hunting is stressful, and it is ok to sit with those emotions. But, above all, remember to give yourself grace throughout this process and be confident in yourself.

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