Improve Your Job Search Results – Coping With Job Search Stress

Freddie Adams

This article will discuss how people generally respond to distress, particularly the distress of job search pressure, and how to manage that stress and the outcomes of your job search by dealing with job search pressure effectively.

The conventional wisdom surrounding people’s reactions to pressure typically revolves around two behavior models: the type A personality, who becomes consumed with anxiety over pressure situations and has a tendency to become angry and unreasonable; and the type B personality, who remains unaffected and goes about business as usual.

However, a third personality type has emerged among psychologists: type C. Type C personalities thrive under pressure, producing their best work when under duress. The ability to commit to a task without making the process about their own egos appears to be the major difference between types C and A and B.

Apparently, the type A personality unconsciously associates feelings of self-worth with success at work and in their careers. When a situation arises that puts performance pressure on this type of person, they perceive it as a threat to their self-image – the way they perceive their value to themselves, friends, and loved ones – and thus react with fear and panic.

The type B personality has successfully avoided tying up their self-image with their employment, but only to the point where he or she is minimally, if at all, emotionally engaged in work and career. While the type B personality does not succumb to the mania that affects the type A, they also lack motivation to step up to the plate and deliver if job search circumstances necessitate extra effort.

The type C personality, on the other hand, appears to be willing to put in whatever time and effort is required to meet a job search goal on a limited time and budget.

Many of us would like to believe we are that resourceful type C personality; however, even if you are a type A or type B, you can become a type C personality by consciously choosing how to respond to any situation, rather than simply reacting from emotional upset or disconnection from a required task. It takes discipline, willpower, and presence of mind to respond in a mature, productive manner; however, with practice, those personality traits can become habit, and your job search life will improve.

Recognizing vicious cycles in your behavior is an important part of becoming a type C personality. There are warning signs that you are entering a destructive cycle of emotion-driven responses to stressful job-search situations. Learn to recognize the symptoms that signal the start of these cycles, whether your emotions go into overdrive and you become an abusive, overbearing person, or your emotions shut down and you simply refuse to invest in what’s going on around you. Some people, for example, begin to lose sleep or consume excessive amounts of coffee or alcohol. Some people withdraw and stop communicating and socializing with others. Whatever the early signs are that you are entering a vicious cycle of negative, anti-job search behavior, you can recognize them and thus prevent yourself from generating non-productive and self-defeating job search behavior patterns before they take over.

However, simply recognizing these early warning signs of unhealthy behavior is insufficient. These behaviors are habits, and like all habits, they are difficult to break unless they are replaced by other habits. Replace unhealthy job search behaviors with positive, productive ones, and you will notice that your entire outlook on life, not just your job, will change. For example, if you normally lie awake at night during stressful times, worrying about aspects of the situation over which you have no control, you might get out of bed and work on one or more of the job search tasks you need to complete. For many people, the act of writing removes the power from problems, and once the details are on paper, a solution frequently appears. Or, if you find yourself withdrawing from your job search at work as the situation becomes tense, try talking to someone – a job search counselor or advisor, a friend, your spouse, or possibly a therapist – about your desire to isolate yourself from your stressful job search. Again, simply stating the problem aloud can often deprive it of much of its power over your emotions.

To successfully transition to a less stressful job search scenario, you must be willing to follow the three Cs principles of commitment, confidence, and control. These three principles can be used to create a framework within which you can make conscious decisions to behave in a productive manner.

Of course, this is not a simple job search. All of this must be completed in order to receive a job offer from your chosen profession. You might require assistance. There are numerous effective stress management techniques available to help you maintain the peace of mind required to make sound decisions during your job search. Find a good stress management program, for example, and follow a healthy diet, as well as regular exercise and relaxation techniques.

A job search can be a stressful experience for many of us. Assure yourself that your decisions are based on your desire to obtain the best job possible. If you do this, you may find that you have more strength and energy to complete job search research, development of materials, and job search correspondence, job interviews, job interview call backs, follow-ups, and other details that must be handled professionally in order for an employer to conclude that you are the type of person that they want to have in their company. In all honesty, you are that person right now; otherwise, you would not be reading this article. So remember… there is no better way to get a job than to be exactly what they want.