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5 min read

Self Care For Job Seekers

Self care isn’t just about face masks and scented candles in the bathroom. Self care refers to the practice of taking deliberate actions to preserve or to improve one’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It involves recognising your own needs and taking steps to cater for them in a healthy and sustainable way. Self care can vary from person to person.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
April 30, 2024

Self care isn’t just about face masks and scented candles in the bathroom. Self care refers to the practice of taking deliberate actions to preserve or to improve one’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It involves recognising your own needs and taking steps to cater for them in a healthy and sustainable way. Self care can vary from person to person. It is imperative to also set boundaries in order to protect your valuable time and your energy which can very quickly become depleted in times of stress. The goal of self care is to reduce stress, maintain a sense of balance and calm while focusing on enhancing your overall quality of life. You need to prioritise yourself and your wellbeing so that you can better cope with the challenges of daily life while you look for a job.

It can be very draining when you are looking for a job. You will be feeling a mixture of emotions from feeling positive about what today’s job search may manifest to feeling your self esteem and self worth plummet if you face another rejection. You may have people who rely upon you which may make you feel as if you are failing at times, but rest assured, you are not. You are simply going through some very normal feelings. You may be looking for a new job for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have lost your previous job or maybe you are already in a job which you would like to leave or you may be seeking your first job after being out of work for a while. There are many reasons why you may be seeking a job but whatever the reason, you do need to look after yourself in the process.

It can take some job seekers just a few days or weeks to secure a new job and for others it may take months or even years to be given the opportunity that they have wanted. Everyone’s story is different so never compare yourself to anyone else, keep the focus fully on you and your own life. What is crucial is to keep the momentum going and stay resilient while telling yourself that sooner or later you will get a job if you stay determined and resolute.

Do not listen to anyone else’s negative chatter because the words you tell yourself are the most important ones you will hear so keep on telling yourself on a daily basis that you will gain employment, probably when you least expect it! Expect challenges, setbacks and rejections as this is all  part of the process. Use it as a learning curve and utilise the experience that you take from it and turn it into something positive. In the meantime, there are certain simple, self care strategies that you can incorporate into your life which are specifically tailored for taking care of yourself while job seeking.

Establishing a routine and maintaining structure can provide stability and a sense of purpose during the job seeking process. Set regular waking and sleeping times, schedule a segment of the day for actively job seeking and make sure that some time is allocated each day to spend quality time with family or friends, relax and pursue leisure activities. Don’t exhaust yourself by focusing on finding a job all day long as this is unhealthy, can not be sustained and you run the risk of suffering from burnout.

Physical activity incorporated into your day not only improves physical health but is proven to uplift your mood and reduce stress levels. Some people love to go to the gym but there’s plenty of us who couldn’t think of anything worse! A walk in the park with the dog or a stroll to the shops and back if you usually would have used public transport or driven there, gardening or even a yoga session in the comfort of your own home - anything where you are physically exerting yourself and providing exercise will give you a boost of endorphins. Improved self esteem is also a key psychological benefit of regular exercise.

Practising mindfulness, meditation and gratitude can help job seekers to effectively manage stress, cultivate resilience and stay grounded amongst the uncertainties of job searching. You only need to dedicate a few minutes each day to mindfulness exercises or guided meditation which will promote relaxation and help you gain mental clarity.

It is tempting to either skip meals or to binge on junk food as you focus on finding a job, yet fueling your body with nutritious foods can provide the energy needed to tackle search tasks effectively. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and protein and stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

Job searching can feel very isolating at times, especially if you are going through it alone. It is important to stay connected and talk about how you feel whether this is with friends, family or other support networks. There are many job search support groups where you can share experiences and resources with fellow job seekers. You can find some online or you can enquire at your local JobCentre. If you recognise that you are struggling with your feelings then do not hesitate in seeking support from a professional who can offer valuable guidance and advice.

Try to engage in hobbies, leisure pursuits and activities that bring you joy. Don’t be made to feel guilty by investing in yourself. This may also be the ideal time to think about volunteering within your local community. It doesn’t mean that your focus has moved from job seeking but what it does mean is that you realise the importance of keeping busy while looking after yourself at the same time. It will look great to add on to your CV too!

And at the end of each day if self care to you does mean that you put on a face mask, light your candle, play some calm music and relax in a warm bath then so be it! Looking after yourself and placing your own needs as a priority is not selfish. You need to feel your best so you can boost your confidence and raise your self esteem. Keep going and remember that somewhere, someone is looking for exactly what you have to offer!

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