Leaving university to find your first job is a stressful time without doubt and the events this year are likely to be making it more stressful than usual. You can get through it more easily with these 10 resilience-building mind hacks.
Play the long game – don’t add stress by being in a rush to get a job. The deadline is not in your hands so don’t fixate on getting a job by a certain time and instead see it as a process where you are learning as you go. Everybody gets a job, it just takes time.
Try to be flexible about what you are looking for. Setting your sights more widely gives you more jobs you can apply for. Your first job is a stepping stone to where you want to be, not the end in itself. And any job is a stepping stone.
Do your homework. Apply yourself to the task. Don’t just look for what jobs are available but also read up on the know-how of applying for jobs and creating a good impression at interviews. Role-play interviews with close friends and family. Know that you are doing your best and learning as you go. Keep notes of what you have done, what you have learnt so you can see that you are making progress.
Keep your focus on the job hunting but try to relax. It’s a mental balancing act between focusing on the task and letting go of the outcome.
Accept that you will get turned down, probably many times. Everybody does. Rejection is tough but know this: it doesn’t make one tiny bit of difference to who you are. All your experience, knowledge and qualities are just the same as they were before and just as good as anyone else’s.
Keep a sense of humour. Share your fail stories with your friends. They will have their fair share too.
Feed your mind with positive input. Keep confidence high by reading positive self-affirming messages and stay away from scare stories. Remember that news stories focus on the negative point of view and are biased.
Focus on your strengths. Do the free VIA character strengths surveyand hold these strengths at the forefront of your mind, bringing them to any situation where you need to find your inner strength and support.
Keep busy by taking a part time job, even an unpaid job or volunteer role. Do something that leaves you time for job hunting. All productive activities will keep you occupied, boost your confidence and help you learn valuable skills
Know for sure that you will make it through this stage even if it takes time. Everybody gets their job in the end.