5 ways to keep your job search stress under control

Searching for a new job can be tough, so it’s important to take care of yourself.

As you look for a new job, it’s important to prioritize your own health and wellness. Browsing the job boards, rewriting your resume, practicing for an interview — it can be draining. Even getting hired is stressful; you’ll have a new workplace to navigate, new coworkers to meet, new skills to learn. But your job hunt doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a few simple tips, you can focus your search without sacrificing your own mental health.

Five ways to minimize job search anxiety

Stay organized

A job hunt is stressful, but a disorganized job hunt is a nightmare. You don’t want to mix up the time of your job interview with the time of your dentist appointment.

Keep everything related to your job search in a neat, clean place. A disorderly workspace — and that includes the virtual workspace of your computer, which probably shouldn’t have 57 tabs open at once — will only make things more difficult.

Organize your files in clearly labelled folders and keep careful track of important times and dates. Mark down all your job applications in a log, including any pertinent information — the name of a hiring manager or recruiter, for example, or something you admire about the company you’re applying to. This will serve as a quick reference guide as you plan the next chapter of your job hunt.

Celebrate the little wins

Finding a new job feels like a zero-sum game: you either get hired, or you don’t. But you can still learn something from every part of your job search, even those parts that don’t end with an offer letter.

Little wins matter. Each step you take in your job hunt is ultimately a step toward your next job. Celebrating those achievements reminds us that we’re not spinning our wheels.

Did you finally perfect that resume? That’s great! Watch your favorite movie tonight. Did you land an interview at that amazing company? Wonderful! Gush all about it to your friends. Keep your spirits high — every accomplishment counts.

Lean on your family and friends

Job hunting is a lonely business, so it’s important to remind yourself of who has your back. Make time for your friends and family. Have dinner together. Play your favorite sport. Do something to get your mind off the job hunt and onto the special people in your life. It will help keep things in perspective.

If you’re feeling frustrated with your job search, ask if someone close to you has the bandwidth to talk about it. Venting keeps the pressure off, and discussing your job search with someone could turn up surprising advice.

Your friends and family might even offer to practice interview questions with you or proofread your resume. Don’t be shy about leaning on them for a little bit of help.

Make time for yourself

If your job search is separating you from the things that make you happy, something has to change. To get hired, you need to present your best professional self, and that’s simply not possible if you’re feeling totally drained, unfulfilled or unbalanced.

Limit your job search activities to a certain window of time that suits your schedule — for most job seekers, this will be typical business hours. After that, stop looking at the job boards. Close your email. Switch out of job-hunt mode — unless something special comes up, like a time-sensitive interview request for your dream job — and focus on things that help you find joy and peace.

Have a bubble bath night. Block out time to work on your batting average. Volunteer with a community organization close to your heart. Practice that piano piece. Your job hunt is important, but it’s not the reason you are alive. Focus on the things that matter most, and you’ll feel recharged and prepared to get that next job.

Use the right tools

You wouldn’t make a marble sculpture with a spatula or a cake with a chisel — though, if you do, please let us know, because we'd like to see it. To tackle a project the right way, you need the right tools. The same is true for finding a new job.

And how about money? Is that job offer undercutting you on salary? What would you make in your dream job in the city or town you love most? You can compare the average salaries of any job, anywhere. Don’t go into your pay negotiations cold. We’ve got all the info you need to present a great case for a raise.

Keep wellness at the center of your job search

We all know that finding a new job is a stressful process. Embarking on the next big journey in your career is no small thing. But it doesn’t have to feel too big to handle. Keep yourself organized. Focus on incremental progress. Celebrate the small victories. Make time to relax when you can.

If you approach your job search the right way — and let your friends at CareerBuilder lend a helping hand — you can minimize your stress and maximize your potential. Happy job hunting!