In January of this year, it was reported that nearly one million people have lost their jobs as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, with sectors such as retail and manufacturing being some of the worst hit.
However, as the country begins on the path of recovery, and even the worst-hit sectors able to re-open once again, theirs is a glimmer of hope once again for a stronger job market. Good news was reported only three weeks ago that job postings in the UK are finally back up to a similar level as they were pre-pandemic.
But, of course, the need to return to work for such a large number of people means that the vacancy market is going to be saturated with applicants, and the process of job hunting is going to be even more stressful and anxiety-inducing than usual.
Even for the most confident of candidate, the amount of time, energy and emotion invested in looking for a new job can be draining, and it can be made all the worse if, at the end of the process, you find yourself with a rejection email, having to start over again from square one.
We understand the frustration. And we also understand how the process can have a real knock-on effect on mental wellbeing, especially if it doesn’t end in the most desirable way. Feelings of grief, anger and worry can all become intertwined leading to serious mental and physical ill-health if not managed.
If you’re in the process of job hunting, here are three ways you can protect your wellbeing during this time.
Give job hunting the 9-5 treatment
By setting yourself a clear routine, not only can you dedicate time to job hunting, but you can also schedule in other fun or relaxing activities to take your mind off of the stress of the day. It can be tempting to work flat-out day and night until something bites, but by doing this you’re putting yourself at risk of burnout and fatigue.
Exercise, in any form, can be a brilliant source of relief when job hunting. The exertion drains the stress-inducing adrenaline from your body, replacing it with much-needed endorphins and mood-boosters.
Take a break
Even if you’re dedicating specific hours to job hunting, it might be that dedicated down-time just isn’t enough some days. If it’s all getting a bit much, don’t be hesitant to step away from the computer for a day or two more. Sometimes, taking a step back is the best way to move forward. Pressing pause might give you that extra bit of breathing space you need to progress.
Ask for feedback
Hopefully, most employers or recruiters should be employing a positive rejection process, but if they’re not, don’t be afraid to reach out after a rejection and ask for feedback. Sometimes, it can be easier to cope with a drawback if we know how we can learn, grow and improve from them.
If an employer refuses to give you feedback for whatever reasons, ask a trusted peer for honest feedback on your CV, application form and the answers you gave in interview. A second pair of eyes can really help in these situations.
Reach out for support
It can be easy to bottle up our thoughts and feelings when facing a daunting situation. And there’s still an immense amount of stigma surrounding unemployment, which can make the job-hunting process after a redundancy even more isolating.
Whether it’s talking things through with friends, family or a trained mental health advisor, or asking a recruiter to help, there’s no shame in seeking support if you don’t know where to turn next.
If you’re struggling with the job-hunting process or need some advice on your next steps, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruiters who will be more than happy to help.