Taking the next step in your career is an exciting opportunity for growth. It’s also terrifying, nerve-wracking, and utterly stressful. Here’s how you can practice self-care during the transition so you crush the interview and get a shot at your dream job.
The Job Hunt
You’ve made the decision: It’s time to say goodbye to your current position and take the leap into a new job. Now you’re faced with the long list of things you have to accomplish to make that happen. These tips will help you manage a job hunt and a full-time job without sending your stress levels sky-high.
Manage your time
You can’t display your best side if you’re writing cover letters at 2:00 a.m., fueled by caffeine and junk food. Instead of letting the job hunt take over your life, schedule your job search in manageable chunks. If you spend two hours every morning on your job search, you’ll submit higher-quality applications and still have time for sleep, home-cooked meals, and other self-care essentials.
Shut down self-doubt
Don’t let self-doubt dissuade you from applying for the jobs you want. Instead of speculating whether you’re 100 percent qualified for a job, take the plunge and submit your resume. The worst that can happen is you won’t get a call back, but you won’t find out if you don’t try.
Interviewing is easily the most stressful part of any job hunt. You looked good enough on paper to land the interview, but now you have to back up your claims while a hiring committee stares you down. It’s enough to send anyone into a panic, but there are a few strategies you can use to keep cool during the interview.
Go in prepared
You’ll feel less nervous if you’re confident you can ace whatever questions they throw your way. Research the company before the interview and practice your answers to common job interview questions they’re likely to ask. When the morning of the interview arrives, clear your head with a calming yoga or meditation practice so you walk into the meeting mentally prepared.
Remember that interviews aren’t one-sided
It’s easy to feel like you’re under interrogation during a job interview. But the truth is, they’re not just interviewing you — you’re interviewing the company too. Ask questions to discern whether the job is a good fit for you professionally and personally. Glassdoor has some good questions to get you started. If you realize it’s not a good fit, don’t be afraid to turn it down. When you have a job to fall back on, you have the freedom to wait for the right job.
Don’t beat yourself up
Some interviews are dead ends, and that’s okay! If you aren’t offered a job, it doesn’t mean you’re not a strong candidate — it just means you were up against someone with even stronger credentials. Rather than beating yourself up over it, take it as motivation to keep hustling.
Starting a New Job
You did it! You landed your dream job and negotiated an awesome compensation package. But now it’s your first day on the job and you’re stricken with fear. What if you don’t live up to their expectations or the job isn’t what you thought? Here’s how to banish those new job jitters.
Accept the learning curve
No matter how qualified you are, your new job will have a learning curve. Instead of trying to hide your knowledge gaps, own up to them. Asking colleagues for advice is a great way to build rapport with your new team. Plus, when you’re new, no one expects you to know everything.
Reflect on your strengths
Imposter syndrome is dangerous to your job performance and your self-esteem. When doubts about your qualifications start creeping in, write down a list of your accomplishments. Sometimes seeing your achievements on paper is exactly what you need to remind yourself that you’re here because you deserve it.
Even positive changes are stressful, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth pursuing. Rather than letting stress and self-doubt halt your job hunt, take a measured approach to your career change. With discipline, self-compassion, and a healthy dose of confidence, you can navigate this big change with your sanity intact.
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