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Managing Job Search Stress

Are you stressed out with your job search? You are not alone! Frustration and tension can often be side effects of searching for a job. Here are a few tips that will help you conquer the process:

Analyze your search.

You should create a long-term plan for your search, recognizing that it may take several months to land a position. ECS recommends that students apply to 30 postings per semester. Setting a weekly application goal is a great way to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Poor time management can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. If you plan ahead and make sure you don’t exceed your limits, you’ll find yourself calmer and more focused.

Students should also be persistent with the job search. Remain constant with your networking efforts – attend information sessions, career fairs and follow up with recruiters you meet after events. Also, bring your best self to interviews- don’t slack on doing your homework beforehand! Typically, students slow down their application submissions if they are not hearing back from companies. If this is the case, stop by ECS to get your resume reviewed by an advisor and discuss your search strategy.

Look for ways to find positivity in the job search process. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, but maintaining a positive attitude really makes a difference. For example, instead of being overly critical and getting down on yourself after every interview, sign up for a mock interview over the holiday break with ECS. Implement the strategies you learn moving forward and encourage yourself with the positive feedback you receive!

Use relaxation techniques.

Get moving! Research shows that physical activity plays a role in reducing the effects of stress. Take a walk on campus with a friend or sign up for a fitness class at the RPAC.  Practicing yoga is also a great way to reduce stress. You can find classes thru the RPAC or at several local Columbus studios.

Talk it out! There is nothing more comforting than communicating with a friend or family member who makes you feel heard and understood. The family member or friend you reach out doesn’t have to be able to fix your stress- they just need to be good at listening to your concerns!

Make time just for you! You should come up with a list of fun ways to relax and recharge. You can listen to music, watch a movie, write in a journal or go to a sporting event with friends. This time is a way to take a break from all tasks and recharge your batteries. Don’t forget that sleep and a healthy diet are important as well. It’s easy to skip out on sleep or taking the time to cook a healthy meal when you have a lot on your to-do list.  Well-nourished and rested bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat and how many hours you are sleeping at night.

Take advantage of campus resources.

There are many professionals on campus that can assist students with stress management, feeling overwhelmed, academic adjustment, anxiety, and depression. Students can also access workshops, groups, and outreach that include wellness strategies like mindfulness, accentuating the positive, meditation, and stress management. To learn more information, visit the following sites:

Counseling and Consultation Service (614) 292-5766

Student Wellness Center (614) 292-4527

Student Health Services (614) 292-4321

Ohio State also offers an online tool for students focusing on stress management that can be found here.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
-William James

About the author

Kaitlin Schafer

Kaitlin Schafer is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.