Has there ever been a time when job hunting has felt more gruelling?
If you feel emotionally drained, we don’t blame you. Staying upbeat and positive might seem tricky when you’re looking for work during a pandemic - and if you’ve had zero luck getting hired after what seems like ages, then all the more.
You probably know all the self-care basics: get enough sleep, eat well, drink enough water and exercise regularly. It’s also good to spend time with people you love and do things you enjoy.
Obviously the restrictions of a pandemic mean that some of these things aren’t possible right now. So here are some other ways to take care of yourself while you’re job hunting.
If you’ve lost your job because of the pandemic or are finding it hard to land your first role, it’s important to acknowledge how you’re feeling about things.
Sure, we might want to feel upbeat and positive 24/7. But cut yourself some slack. It’s OK to feel low, frustrated and demoralised at the moment.
Times are uncertain for many people and being able to sit with your true feelings will help you process your situation and make it through the other side in a stronger position.
Spending every waking hour refreshing job boards or checking your LinkedIn feed could put you at risk of emotional burnout.
Routines work for everyone - and especially so if you’re job searching. That’s why it makes sense to stick to some kind of schedule - and our advice at HR GO is to craft a routine like you’re actually at work.
Aim to stick to set hours when you research roles and apply for jobs, with regular breaks to mentally recharge and look after yourself.
Yes, it’s tempting to have a quick scroll of the job boards just before bedtime but having a cut-off point in your day will give you the headspace to do other things for yourself.
Even better? Schedule daily self-care moments like any other appointment to prevent them being cancelled.
We know that it helps to set goals during your job search, like aiming to apply for a certain number of roles or making new LinkedIn connections per week (you can find some key job hunting advice from the HR GO candidate team, including mistakes not to make when you’re writing your application, here).
But when it comes to keeping positive, it’s also worth getting some aims in place for boosting your mood, too.
Mini mind goals might be spending five minutes a day writing in a journal because you know it helps you get some clarity on your thoughts and emotions, or aiming to walk a certain number of steps because it helps you feel more in control of things.
If you feel you’ve achieved something for yourself every day it can keep you in the right emotional state for a job hunt.
It’s easy to lose confidence when you’re finding the job market tough. So draw on some positive self-talk. Think about everything you have to offer to potential employers, and get clear on your skills and strengths.
Jot down some positive affirmations on post-it notes to stick on the wall. Or make an album on your phone of screenshotted glowing work emails to flick through when you need it.
Keep focusing on not just what makes you a good candidate, but also a great friend, partner, relative or sibling.
Showing yourself some love in tricky times is a crucial part of taking care of yourself - and that will keep you going until you land your next job.