If you’re in a job search in this competitive environment, you may be feeling the accumulated stress of months of emotional ups and downs. Uncertainty about the future brings its own brand of stress, and having to make do with less as you adjust your family budget to your current reality brings even more. Here are some tips to help you cope and maintain your energy as your continue your search.
- Take a break from your job search once in a while. I know that you hear, “Finding a job IS your job.” That’s true, but it’s easy to cross over from productive search to aimless surfing online, or worse, obsessive checking of email or job boards. Trust me, you’ll be able to be more productive in just 4 hours a day than you will in six. You’re more likely to front load important tasks that yield results if you give yourself a deadline. Then take an hour to take a walk, meditate, or simply change your view for a while. Then go back at it – refreshed and re-committed.
- Nourish your body well. What you eat influences your ability to concentrate, connect, and cope. It’s tempting to pig out on junk food as a form of self medication, but cooking light and healthful meals will be better for you and for your budget. Wouldn’t it be great to come out of this downturn down a few pounds?
- Stick to a regular schedule. It may be tempting to think that the rules are suspended during a layoff – you can sleep in late, stay up late, and generally do what you want. It’s true that you could really let things go, but it may not be the best solution. Creating some structure in your days allows you to stay on task better (I’m going to search and apply for jobs from 9:00 – 1:30) and will help you stick to healthy habits you decide to take up. Think of a job search as a marathon; you need to be in good physical condition to make it to the other side. Eight hours of sleep and regular meals and exercise should be part of your “training.”
An added benefit of the structure and healthy habits is that you’ll be better able to slip into a work routine once you get your job offer. You may get the chance to start on a moment’s notice. Won’t it feel great to be fit, rested and ready for what’s next?