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Tips to Manage Job Hunting Stress

The thought of changing jobs - let alone careers - can certainly be overwhelming.

Often times when I'm working with a client, I hear time and again:

"I just don't know how or where to start."

"The process is just so overwhelming."

For my more systematic thinkers - or high follow-throughs - who want a checklist to follow, I've put together this high level checklist to help get you started.

How do I get rid of job search stress?

Step 1: Get Clear.

Before you can do anything else in your job search, you have to be clear on what you are targeting:

Job search stress is often caused by unknowns. Start answering these questions within your control:

What role am I targeting?

What industry do I want to work in?

What kind of organizations best suit me?

What work culture are am I looking for?

If you can answer at least two of these questions - you're on the right path towards alleviating job search stress.

Step 2: Conduct your own research.

To get rid of a few more headaches, let's do some research and answer some more questions. You'll want to learn more about the places you're considering working for and the culture around them.

The more information you have, the better you'll feel.

Here are a few free resources to get you started:

Fortune's Best Places to Work

Every year, Fortune releases a list of the top 100 best places to work. This will give you a high-level look at the companies that are succeeding while putting their employees first.

Since this list is so high-level, we'll want to get more that just 100 companies out of the list. Once you've boiled that 100 companies down to a short list, do research on each company you saved.

What makes them unique? Why are they successful? What are they on the list? Who are their competitors?

While you may not want to work at one of the top 100 places to work in America, seeing what makes them so appealing might help you identify like organizations that are right for you.

Chamber of Commerce sites

Sometimes you just need to know what's out there. If you're trying to alleviate job stress by focusing your search on a certain area - that's great!

The directories found on your local, regional, and state chamber of commerce sites area great way to narrow down all the businesses within a certain area.

To start looking for your local directory, you can look at the US Chamber of Commerce site and work your way down, or just Google the area you're looking for!

Local  Business Journals

Local business journals give you a great picture of the trends surrounding an area. This is especially helpful if you're moving into a new area and want to learn more about the work culture there.

Business journals have their own lists of best places to work, coverage of local business news, descriptions of industry leaders, and so much more!

Step 3: Map out your networking strategy.

I know - networking isn't fun. BUT the best way to reduce job search stress is to avoid doing it alone.

Networking allows us to make connections with people that WANT to help you. The more people you make an impression on, the more people you have supporting you in your job hunt.

Not many of my clients are fans of this step, but it is a necessary one, considering 70-85% of jobs are found through networking. 

Remember... as discussed in my prior blog, networking is NOT asking for a job; rather, it is a process of gathering helpful information to assist you in your job search.

TIP: To get started, download your LinkedIn connections to begin to map out who you want to speak with.

Step 4: Get Organized. 

If your only job search strategy to this point has been scrolling through a crazy amount of postings on LinkedIn or Indeed, please STOP.  You are only adding to your stress.

Instead, take one hour now to get organized and SCHEDULE time on your calendar to take purposeful action steps.

Look back on the previous three steps and do them NOW. Stop stressing yourself out, pouring all of your energy into job boards. And instead, create a proactive plan!

Step 5: Schedule it. 

You've got all the information you need to start to alleviate your job search stress and move forward with confidence.

You've made your plan - schedule it and stick to it!

Good luck!

If you are struggling on next steps or wish you had a roadmap to help you self-navigate your next career steps or job search, you may wish to check out our Career Journey Playbook.

OR- schedule your complimentary career strategy session HERE.

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