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Job search anxiety is real, and here's how to handle it

Posted at 6:38 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 10:36:23-04

A lot of people are searching for a job now — whether they are recent graduates or were let go from their previous job when the pandemic hit — and the search is leading to a lot of stress.

Alex Bennett, a recent college graduate, said the current job market gives her anxiety.

"Every day this summer I’ve just been looking for jobs, and applying for jobs, and connecting with people ... if I strike out, then where do I go from there? Because I’ve literally applied everywhere, and I haven’t heard from anybody," she said.

Julie Bennett, Alex's mother, has also been searching for a job for the past six months. She said the new way people interview, either virtually or over the phone, is causing her some anxiety.

"It’s just disconnected because you don’t get the feel of people, that human interaction,"she said.

These are just a few of the ways the job search can cause anxiety, but Dr. Carole Stokes-Brewer has some tips to help overcome the stress of the job search.

One way Stokes-Brewer suggests is to take a minute or two after an interview to take a few deep breaths.

"When we’re breathing fast and shallow it creates anxiety. What we want to learn to do is breathe deeply," she said.

Another way to deal with job-search stress is to embrace it and use it as a motivator.

"Some anxiety is really helpful," Stokes-Brewer said. "It can motivate you. Accepting that it’s gonna be there and that you can use it for your good can be better in alleviating it.”

Finally, Stokes-Brewer said to be mindful of how you are talking about yourself.

"Self compassion," she said. "We’re always putting ourselves down. We’re probably our own worst critics. So talk to yourself ... you can do this.”