Everyone has stress in their lives, and it’s not something that’s ever going to go away completely. Dealing with stress while searching for employment can add another layer of pressure, making it something that needs to be managed well.
Many transitioning service members may already be experiencing a bit of culture shock as they reintegrate into civilian life. That’s stressful enough on its own; adding in the stress of trying to find a job can make life seem downright overwhelming.
Dealing with uncertainty about the future and financial pressures to land a job can leave you feeling like there’s no end in sight. When ignored, the stress from looking for a job can have serious negative impacts on your overall efforts to land employment, and on your physical and mental well-being.
The best way to deal with the stress of searching for a job is to accept it as a personal challenge and rise above it. Chances are, you’ve overcome a ton of more stressful situations while you were in the service – there’s no reason to think you can’t overcome this too.
Here are a few ways to keep the stress in check while searching for employment:
Get Organized – A goal without a plan is only a dream. Create a structure for yourself and stick to it. Use a calendar to keep track of your tasks. Disorganization leads to added stress and an ineffective search. The key is to know that every day you are one step closer to achieving your goals.
Stay Focused – Set up a schedule that’s going to work for you where you are right now in your life. Fill the schedule with the things you want to accomplish each day. When you manage your time efficiently, you’ll reduce your overall stress.
Exercise Daily – You’re already accustomed to PT, so there’s no reason to stop that habit once you exit the military. When you move your body, you help create a positive outlet for stress.
Reward Yourself – If you marked off every item in your checklist for the week, recognize it! Give yourself some credit when credit is due.
Don’t Personalize Rejection – Expect that rejection is a regular part of the job search. You might be under or overqualified, or maybe you’re perfect for the job. But let’s face it: you’re not going to get every job you apply for. Don’t think of rejection as a catastrophe, but rather a learning lesson and adjust your job search accordingly.
Remain positive – Positive thinking makes for positive living. Exercising, eating well, and sleeping enough are paramount to keeping stress in check. But so is thought. When you change your thoughts, you begin to change the way stress affects you. Adopt a mental attitude that focuses less on the difficulties of your job search and more on the positive aspects. You have a lot to offer an employer.