Looking After Yourself While Looking for Work
Looking for work is never an easy time. And especially recently with the pandemic putting everyone under extra pressure. So how do you look after yourself while you’re applying for jobs and planning for your future? Read our guide for some tips and resources that you could use to stay on top of your own wellbeing while you’re looking for work.
If you try to apply for every job going, even if they’re not a good fit for you, you could find your energy and positivity levels getting low very quickly. Think about what you’re really looking for. Decide how much time a day you will dedicate to finding it. Figure out your strategy – then stick to it.
Some questions to ask yourself when figuring out your strategy:
- I may not have much experience yet, but what are my skills and strengths?
- How long will I spend job hunting each day or week?
- Do I need to get my CV and cover letter in shape?
You can’t spend the whole day every single day thinking about jobs. You need some time for yourself as well. So, devise a strategy to help you work hard and then rest.
Set yourself goals that you can achieve
“I will land my dream job by next month” is a goal that’s out of your control, and very difficult to achieve. You’ll be kinder to yourself – and more productive – if you set goals that you know you can achieve.
“I will spend at least one hour per day on job searching activities, like researching jobs, writing applications, and preparing for interviews” is a goal that you can achieve. You can do this!
When you set yourself an achievable goal, it’s easier to build your self-confidence. Getting a job may or may not happen straight away, but you’ll know that you’re doing your best and you should feel good about your efforts.
Use the power of the internet to make it easier for yourself
Lots of jobs expect you to apply online these days. When an employer posts a job vacancy, they’ll always say how you should contact them. It might be by email, or they might have an online application system.
Got a dream employer in mind? Go to their company website. You’ll usually find a section for early careers which will include things like apprenticeships and graduate positions. Have a read through and get inspired. If you’ve got questions, they’ll usually have an email address you can contact.
Employers will always be happy to hear from you, even if they haven’t got an opportunity that’s perfect for you right now. It’s very natural to feel self-conscious about reaching out to an employer, but they have got your best interests at heart.
Ask for help
You don’t have to take on all the burden of looking for work alone. You could ask for help in a few different ways:
- Have someone you can vent to (don’t bottle up those feelings inside)
- Ask someone you trust to look over your CV, cover letter, and applications (they can help you shout about your achievements, and help you spot spelling mistakes)
- Speak to your teachers, school, or careers leaders for extra advice
- Ask the people you know how they got into their jobs for inspiration
- Use online services to automate the process of finding jobs or apprenticeships
Some ideas for other things to do to look after yourself
Having a job can really help with your finances, future goals, and your self-development. But it’s not everything in life!
While you are looking for work, you can also look to build your skills and explore the things you enjoy. This will help with your confidence levels, and it’s always a great wellbeing boost to do things that will raise your positivity levels. Plus, you could discover new skills and personal strengths that employers will love along the way!
- Volunteer (online or offline) in your local area
- Do a free online course in something you’re interested in
- Discover a new exercise regime
- Learn a new skill (how’s your cooking?)
Need extra support?
Check out Youth Elements. They’re a Manchester-based, youth-led employment and wellbeing resource. They offer all kinds of support for young jobseekers including mentoring, skills training, events, and much more.