“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Looking for a new position is an incredibly stressful, full-time endeavor, including a lot of overtime and after-hours networking. Throw in the nerve-wracking desire to make a positive first impression; a stick shift car in L.A. traffic at the mercy of a Googlemaps-powered navigation system and a propensity for hitting EVERY red light; the sting of rejection by companies from whom you believed an offer was forthcoming; and the ever-present strain of needing the income to pay your bills and you’ve got the perfect storm for stress overload.
You are compelled to stay on top of the latest career-related news, present yourself in a unique or cutting-edge manner to stand out from the crowd, and always keep a positive attitude, to avoid being seen as too serious or too nervous by a hiring manager. Though you may believe that you need to keep focused and fully engaged in the search process, you also need to restore some balance to your family, mind, and body.
I know it’s difficult, but step away from that computer, turn off your cell phone, and do something that you enjoy. Although you deserve a pampering day at the spa after all of your hard work, your budget may be limited, so keep it simple. My favorite stress-relievers are available at no charge.
• Sit quietly next to someone you love and truly listen to what they are saying. Cultivate your personal
relationships, because your loved ones are your biggest supporters, your most dedicated fans, and, as such,
they deserve to be your highest priority.
• Take your dogs for a walk. Watching their excitement as they stop to sniff a strawberry patch is a reminder
that joy is found in the little things. Their unconditional, unflappable love for you feels pretty good, too.
• Feed your sweet tooth. Relax and eat a candy bar, some ice cream, or a piece of fruit. It’s important to take
the time to have healthy meals in order to keep your mind and body charged, but splurging on a little dessert
can lift your spirits.
• Exercise your body. Dance, stretch, pose – whatever you enjoy. It will keep you physically fit and help to
dissipate nervous energy.
• Volunteer some of your time to an organization that you fully support. Giving of yourself to those in need is
a spiritual boost that can help you lower your stress level. Showing kindness to others should be part of
During a stressful period of your life, like a job search, it is important to remember all of the wonderful things you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t have. Uncertainty, financial pressure, and rejection take their toll, especially if you don’t seek balance. Keeping yourself on an even keel personally while you’re “professionally challenged,” is instrumental in maintaining a positive attitude and fueling your self-confidence. The right job is out there, but professional success isn’t as satisfying when it’s achieved at the expense of your health or your personal contentment.