Finding and living the dream – Handling the stress of a job search
In times of economic challenges, the job search can be especially challenging. Fulfilling financial needs and other responsibilities puts further burden on the career seeker. Stress from these times and even after the job is won can take a toll on mental health.
The American Psychological Association concludes dream jobs can trigger times of intensity difficult to wade through. The mention of certain troubles in the workplace can increase heart rate and stress in employees, as found in a Norwegian study cited by the APA.
Ken Sundheim, a Forbes writer and founder and CEO of KAS Placement, a recruiting firm, has seen firsthand what happens when the job search intimidates prospective employees.
“Stress hinders interviewing performance, negotiation ability and, when it gets to a certain point, can result in people wanting to postpone and ignore the process altogether. As the CEO of a recruiting firm … I’ve seen the horrendous effects applicants deal with thanks to worry,” says Sundheim.
While money is indeed a concern, fear of the unknown can creep in for many applicants. In his experience, those with more controlling personalities can stress over how much of the hiring process is out of their control. Lack of feedback from hiring staff after an interview, the unknowns of the competition and other uncontrollable elements can drive up fear for the applicant, Sundheim notes.
Clare Whitmell, a business communication trainer and writer with The Guardian news outlet, explained several strategies for mitigating the stress during hiring time. Dressing formally is recommended for most interviews, even if the job requires semi-casual wear. Also check the outfit several days before to make sure it fits well and looks appropriate.
Prime references beforehand, such as making sure they are reachable and happy to talk to a potential employer. Also bring along note-taking materials for the interview to show the employer to show sincerity. Researching the company beforehand also shows interest and provides material for the meeting.
Once hired, the APA recommends methods of keeping calm when job stress threatens mental health. Taking breaks and relaxing can do much to refresh a worker during stress. Talking with a coworker or going on a walk are great ways to wind down.
If anger is a reaction to stress, walk away for the time being and look at the situation with a clear head. Jeopardizing the job will only hurt matters further.
Sovereign Health Group provides counseling to stressed and overworked individuals. Our mental health professionals can help patients taking a break from the hustle and bustle. Call us today for a referral to one of our facilities.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer