— July 22, 2019
If you’ve ever been unemployed and on the hunt for a new job, you know that it can be a job in and of itself. You spend countless hours searching for job openings, working your connections, tweaking your resume, and applying, applying, applying. However, job searches can last several weeks or months, and this type of go-go-go schedule can be exhausting. You don’t want to burn yourself out before your new job even begins.
That’s where self-care comes in. Yes, it is important to find a job, but it is also essential to take care of yourself in the process so you can be at your best when that interview or offer comes through.
Schedule Yourself Some Downtime
If you spend every waking hour focused on your job search, you’ll wear yourself out pretty quickly. Find balance. Maybe you’ll research companies or job openings from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. but then from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. you go out to lunch with a friend, take a Soul Cycle class, or watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. Give your brain a break and a chance to relax.
Have an endpoint to your day as well, such as saying you’ll stop working at 6 p.m. After that, go about your evening enjoying time with your family and doing other things. You can get back to your search in the morning after a good night’s sleep so you’re refreshed and refocused.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Rejection (or radio silence) can be tough. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. Let them know you don’t want to talk about your job search right now. Resist the urge to complain or fret about the jobs you just applied to or how long it’s taking. Focus on being in the moment with people you enjoy and having fun. Feed off of their positive energy.
Do Something for Yourself
You have more flexibility in unemployment than you’ll have once you find a job, so use that to your advantage. Sign up for a class you’ve been dying to take. Make an appointment for a massage or to get your nails done. Set a personal goal that doesn’t have anything to do with your job search so you have something else to look forward to and work toward. Hitting those milestones can make you feel more accomplished which can turn your mood around about your job hunt. Plus, you may meet someone who connects you with a new job opportunity!
Know Your Limits
Don’t work yourself into the ground. Listen to your body and recognize when you’re becoming overwhelmed and stressed out before you hit a wall. When you log off of your job search for the night, truly disconnect. Resist the urge to check your email every time you get an alert or look just one more time to see if that job has been posted. Once again, it’s all about finding balance. You won’t be doing your best work if all you ever do is work and worry. Don’t forget to live your life at the same time – and that means knowing when to step back and give yourself a break, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Celebrate Your Successes
During a job search, you tend to spend your energy focused on the jobs you didn’t get, or the ones you’re waiting to hear back from. This can take a toll on your mental health. Don’t forget to celebrate the successes – the interview you landed, the positive feedback you received, the friend who shared a potential opportunity with you.