Mental wellbeing and the job search

Searching for a job? It’s an activity that more and more of us will be undertaking as uncertainty around our economy continues. As for your mental wellbeing during your job search, it can be a rollercoaster of hope, nerves, excitement, highs and lows. So how do you look after yourself while on the treadmill of filling in forms, writing covering letters, prepping and attending interviews?  

Our counsellor, Alex Cochrane, offers some practical tips to help you look after your mental wellbeing during your job search: 

Have a plan, believe in yourself and remember you are good enough and breathe

We’ve all heard the saying “failing to plan is planning to fail”. 

Google “plans and tips for job searching” and find a plan that suits your personality.  Be SMART:

SpecificMake your goal specific and narrow for more effective planning. 

Measurable: You want to have some clear definition of success to evaluate progress and achievement. 

Attainable: Make sure you can reasonably accomplish your goal within a define time frame. 

Relevant: Be honest with yourself, your goal should align with your values and objective. This should be why you want to gain employment? 

Time-based: Every goal needs a target date, something to motivate you and give you a focus. 

Anxiety is worrying about what has NOT happened yet

A little anxiety can help motivate you. Look at the rewards of achieving your target if you find yourself avoiding action. Again focus on your values rather than the feelings. Feelings pass. Ask yourself “what is the worse that could happen?” If you do not get the job, ask for feedback and use this and apply it the SMART way, persevere and TRY again. 

Don’t take rejection personally 

There are many factors at play that you may not be aware of when an employer selects someone else. You can take the feedback and use this as a way to grow become a stronger candidate. Ask yourself “would I do anything differently”? Then apply this. Talk to someone you trust like a family member and remember your work coach is experienced in this area. Mock interviews are sometimes helpful to get you used to language you want to use. It’s important to be yourself, employers understand the anxiety during interviews and they are NOT looking for perfect. 

Don’t rate yourself in your feelings. Ground yourself in your values 

If we allow our feelings to be a barrier they may stop us from moving forward and achieving our goals. That is why it is important to focus on your values, they rarely change and feelings come and go. If you value employment, earning money, being productive, having a purpose in life, helping other and paying your own way in life? Remember this. This can help you control your anxiety. 

Alex is a counsellor who is part of the team who delivers online CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) sessions, free of charge to anyone who feels they need some extra support to manage feelings of anger, anxiety, low mood and personal wellbeing. All of which can become heightened while looking for work.  

Take a look at the sessions on offer, sign up for free or refer someone you know at  

Did you know? The Wise Group has over 35 years’ experience supporting people in to work? Find out more how we can support your job search.