Stress on the Job Hunt

Young woman with worried look and hands over eyesDan Rockwell wrote a post that talks about four causes of leadership stress. Those four stressors relate quite well to job seeking and career management, as well.

1.“Living out of synch with who you are.” There’s been considerable discussion on my blog about being authentic, particularly when it comes to personal branding. If you try to pretend you are something that you really are not, you end up having to work harder and harder to keep up a façade. As the false layers get deeper and deeper, trying to keep everything straight becomes one big headache. No wonder not being true to who you are causes a lot of stress!

2. “Saying yes when you should say no.” Especially when you are in job-seeking mode (active or passive), the temptation is great to say “yes” to everything that comes your way. You worry that if you say “no” to anything that you will miss a great opportunity. There are a few flaws with that thinking:

  • Not everything is a good fit.
  • Doing things you don’t like may end up leaving you feeling disgruntled, which can flow into other aspects of life.
  • If you say “yes” to everything, you will have little energy to do anything well.

Be selective about what you choose to do, ensuring that what you agree to do really is a good fit. Then make sure you give what you are doing 100%.

3. “Trying to control things you can’t control.” Dan’s explanation of this point is wonderful:

“You can control what you do. You can influence what others do. You can’t control outcomes and others.”

So take a good look at the list of things you can do, like:

If you’ve done your part, don’t worry about the rest. Who your competition is and what the company ultimately thinks of you is now out of your hands.

4. “Weak, unreliable team members.” This one made me think of the circle of support that a job seeker should have. Is it filled with people who will be able to provide you good insights and honest feedback?

Or do you have to be concerned about any of them having hidden agendas? Or simply rubber-stamping you? Or providing “fair weather” support?

From time to time, you should take inventory of the people in your circle of support to determine if they are a help or a hindrance. A job search is stressful enough; you don’t need other people adding to it.

Are there other stressors that you can control?

Image courtesy of Samael Kreutz

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