Looking for a new job can be stressful at the best of times, but in this pandemic period, the feeling of isolation, uncertainty and self-doubt can be compounded.
It’s vital you take the time to stay mentally fit while searching for your next career position – both for your overall health, but also for your job prospects. Whether you’re currently employed or between jobs, the fundamentals of mental health maintenance and managing stress remain the same.
Taking the time and effort to stay mentally healthy, while searching for a new role has become especially important in the wake of COVID-19, and the resulting lockdowns across the nation.
As with all aspects of life, COVID-19 has severely shaken up the job market, throwing many into career uncertainty. A study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows in June 2021, one in five (20%) of Australians experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the previous four weeks, similar to March 2021 (20%) and November 2020 (21%). And according to research from SEEK, 57% of Australians, who have been actively searching for jobs, say their mental health has been affected by COVID-19.
Tips for staying mentally healthy
As the only dedicated recruiter for Australia’s defence industry, Kinexus deals with large numbers of job seekers along their career journeys. We understand looking for new work can be stressful, particularly in these uncertain times.
Establishing and maintaining a routine can provide an anchor point when you’re surrounded by doubt. Networking, applications and interviews often feel daunting - so it’s inevitable you’ll hit periods of stress throughout the process.
However, the healthy habits and familiarity that a good routine creates will counter the stress and ensure you’re at your best when it comes time to perform.
Don’t take rejection personally and keep things in perspective. Missing out on an opportunity can be disappointing and at times dispiriting - but it’s also inevitable throughout your career journey. No one secures every opportunity they go for, no matter how successful they are. Learn what you can from the experience and move on confidently to the next opportunity.
Keeping physically active is important, especially if you’re spending large amounts of time in front of the computer. Physical activity delivers the body important endorphins that can boost mood, focus and the ability to handle stress. While it might seem counter-intuitive, time well-spent away from the desk is an important part of the job searching process.
Setting small goals can help you feel in control and prevent you becoming overwhelmed amid setbacks and delays within the process. Sending out a certain amount of resumes, making a targeted number of calls or spending a certain amount of time researching are all steps that bring you closer to your next role - and give you a greater sense of control and well-being in the meantime.
Asking for help when things are particularly stressful is vital. Use your family, social and career network in order to gain advice and perspective if things get especially trying. And of course, mental health professionals are always available and should be contacted if you are concerned about your ability to cope.
If you’re finding life tough at the moment, support is available. You can call Lifeline anytime, day or night on 13 11 14. More support is available at https://www.lifeline.org.au/and https://www.beyondblue.org.au/. Found this article useful? Share it with your network and let’s help keep everyone safe and healthy.
Kinexus is a specialist recruitment company that specialises in technology recruitment into defence and ICT industries. To start your job hunt today review our open opportunities or get in touch with our skilled team of consultants.