4 essential tips for looking after your mental well-being during the job search

Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Faced with seemingly endless headlines about failing businesses and the ever-present cost-of-living crisis, it’s easy to feel pessimistic about looking for a new job in the current climate. 

However, as we mark World Mental Health Day 2023 on 10 October, it’s crucial to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical well-being for helping you take those crucial next steps to reach your career goals – and approaching your job search from a positive mental space will make all the difference. 

Here are four tips to help you stay resilient during your job search. 

Be realistic about your goals

Are you trying to do too much too fast? As cliched as this point is, it’s important to prioritise quality over quantity. Not every job or opportunity that comes your way will be the right fit for you, and that’s OK.  

Instead of focusing on the number of applications or interviews you land, take the time to prioritise doing proper research about recruiters and the general job market to make sure you spend your energy in the right places.  

And don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way. Being shortlisted or making it to the interview stage is a big deal, so take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate those achievements. 

Ask for help

While the job search process can be lonely at times, there’s no need to tackle it all on your own. Having social and professional support to lean on is vital, especially when you need to vent or share your feelings.  

Don't be afraid to ask for help – whether you need help getting your CV in order, tips to help you prepare for an interview, or financial help while you're between jobs.  

Asking for help is a sign of strength, and it can make the journey to finding your next opportunity less daunting. 

Manage your expectations

Let’s take a moment to be real here: understand that a rejection – or no response – isn’t a personal attack, it's just a part of life. Often, the reason behind it has nothing to do with you, so don’t beat yourself up about it. 

It sounds overly simple, but a core part of staying resilient against rejection is to steer clear of negative self-talk. Focus on maintaining a positive mental attitude instead, have faith in yourself, and trust that the right opportunities will come your way.  

According to a 2016 study described in the Harvard Business Review, optimists are three times more likely than pessimists to be fulfilled at work – with optimistic sales professionals even outselling their colleagues by 37 per cent. 

However, if you’re finding yourself spiralling or struggling to cope with rejection, don’t hesitate to speak to your GP and seek professional help. Remember, it’s OK to ask for support when you need it. 

Pace yourself and take regular breaks

Setting boundaries is key to making sure that job searching doesn't take over your life.  

Having a strategy for your job search, like setting up targeted job alerts and dedicating a set amount of time every day, can help you stay on track without overdoing it or letting it consume your thoughts.  

And if it gets too overwhelming, don't forget to take a break to recharge and reset for another day. Make time for your physical health by resting, eating well, and spending time with loved ones. 
Melody Sadé Abeni