Job searching is a full time job without pay for most job seekers. Looking for work takes time and effort, but when you are done with that part of the day when you are networking and applying for jobs, you may still have hours left to fill. It’s that dead time that fills many job seekers with anxiety, and often panic or depression take over.
That sort of mindset is not helpful and the longer it lasts, the harder it gets to get out of it.
Feelings of fear and anxiety can have an inhibiting effect on the brain, shutting down the ability to feel optimistic and creative. To me, too much worrying is like the imagination’s bad brother. It involves an act of pessimistic fantasizing, creating thoughts of a negative future that can completely take over your mind, such as “I’ll never find another job… I’ll never get through this”… and so on
It’s important for your health, your wellbeing and often also your relationship, to keep these panic and anxiety feelings in check and out of the driver’s seat.
I say Kick Your Job Search Panic in the Butt
How do you do that and how do you kick anxiety, worry and panic thinking while you network or job hunt? Get creative… simple creativity – not complicated and involved creativity. Engage all the positive imagination you can manage to keep the negative fantasies from taking over.
Make a Plan or a Schedule
This is something that has helped me through most of my hard moments in life, both at work and in my private life. I am a firm believer in scheduling and planning, even to the extent that I work on back-up plans to ensure that I feel a sense of accomplishment and wellbeing at the end of the day.
Add a creative period into your daily schedule after you are done with your networking and all the other job seeker duties. Start small and then make it a habit to do things that reflect your imagination and creative self. Work on your hobbies, or improve your cooking skills. Play your musical instrument or get back into your favourite game or sport. Practice something new. Go dancing! If you are more the quiet type do something else that suits your character.
Allowing your imagination to meander to positive spaces rather than spiralling into negativity and panic will have a tremendous effect.
Find the Spark
If you regularly engage in activities that trigger your creativity during the job hunt, you will not only keep your spirits up, but you will also ensure that you’re a much more attractive candidate when you land interviews.
People are drawn to other people who have “that spark of life.” I am sure you know what I am talking about?! (It’s as true on a first date as it is in the first job interview) If being unemployed brings you down and you don’t work on lifting yourself up, it will show when you meet an employer.
Be spontaneous and follow your appetite or instinct
If you are finding it hard to figure out what it is that can give you that creative spark, try reading a great book — the more fanciful, the better. Avoid passive activities such as watching too much TV.
Spend time laughing with friends. Turn on music, at home in your car, at the gym or when you do your jogging through the park. Mix it up! Or, if you’re like me, you may find that writing down your dreams and reliving those images can provide a source of support. The unconscious is constantly engaging in the imaginative space. Unemployment is a challenge for everyone, but you can use the time to re-ignite appetite(s), imagination and some of your good old instincts.
Lastly, be intentional
Be intentional about engaging the creative part of your personality and make a commitment to invest in helping your imagination to get creative. I have learned during my own periods of un-employment that it can provide you with the strength and positive energy you need in the search for employment, and it will help you to land the position that’s right for you.
Kick Panic and Anxiety in the Butt. Start small, get started, but DO it, and if you struggle, get help from family, friends or professionals. And remember to hunt wisely!