job search worry

3 Ways To Manage “What If” Thoughts In Your Job Search

Have you experienced worry in the form of frustrating “what if” questions as they relate to your job search?

You might often worry about how things will turn out for you as a job seeker – more than likely imagining the worst-case scenarios possible.

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3 Ways To Manage “What If” Thoughts In Your Job Search
Unsplash Original Photo Courtesy of Elisabetta Foco. Edited by Me.

“What If” Thoughts and Questions

You might’ve dealt with this thought: “What if I apply to this job and don’t receive an interview request?”

From there, you might’ve thought: “What if I apply and my lack of experience affects my ability to move forward in the hiring process?”

Then this: “What if I screw up the interview by not giving the interviewers the answers they’re looking for in the interview?”

These thoughts all boil down to this one: “What if I am not good enough as I haven’t yet been able to secure a job?”

Are any of these thoughts familiar to you?

I know. I’ve been there myself.

Why do we allow worry to affect us negatively through these types of thoughts in our minds sometimes? I will go ahead and say I think it has something to do with focusing too much on our job search challenge.

I want to share something with you, however. The “what ifs” regarding your search only increases worry and decreases happiness during this time in your life.

Refocusing Your Thoughts

Previously, I wrote about a lesson I learned as a job seeker and want to reshare it here. Certain aspects of the job search are out of your control as a job seeker. You must focus on the aspects within your area of control.

One of which is applying to a job of interest matching your qualifications – even when your stomach gets “tied in knots” at the thought of completing another job application.

Don’t worry about the outcome of applying and interviewing because you can’t control it.

Consider this for a moment.

What’s the worst thing you can expect to happen upon applying and interviewing? You might possibly face rejection – to which you might learn wasn’t so bad after all.

So, I say let it go and focus on this fact: you’re courageously taking action as a job seeker. You’re not just sitting around frozen – doing nothing.

You’re doing your part. This matters!

Tips on Fighting Against the “What Ifs” Thoughts of Worry

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3 Ways To Manage “What If” Thoughts In Your Job Search
Creative Commons’ Flickr Photo Courtesy of Salvatore Lovene

Now, it’s not always easy to fully break free from worry when faced with a challenge like this (although worrying doesn’t have the power to change situations nor outcomes), but I’ve learned to manage worry (“what if” questions) in the following ways.

1.) Job Search/Life Balance: The job hunt is challenging. The job hunt is exhausting. The job hunt is frustrating.

The list goes on. Right?

Yet, you shouldn’t let these things take up your focus. You should maintain the right mindset (change your outlook on things) during this time and don’t job search full-time.

Instead, balance your time between job searching and other activities because you need time to regroup as a job seeker.

2.) Rest (and live in the present): Here’s something to consider: You must rest yourself throughout the job search. The importance of resting your mind, body, and soul shouldn’t be underestimated.

When the job search quickly goes from weeks to months to years (in a lot of cases), it’s easy to anxiously and excessively question whether you’ll be gainfully employed again.

However, you should live in the present now and do what you can daily as you move forward. Don’t allow worry to weigh you down and toss you around.

Instead, believe things will come together for you when they’re supposed to – regardless of the bleakness of the economy right now.

3.) Negativity Riddance: If you’ve been job searching for a while, you may have received several insensitive comments from others suggesting you should have a job by now.

These comments might make (or have made) you feel this is your fault. However, don’t allow the negativity of others to take over you as it doesn’t matter. Stay away from this negativity whenever possible.

I’ll note this: you must also rid yourself of your negative thoughts about yourself (i.e., self-doubt) as well. For every false thought coming into your mind, there’s a truth you can fight back with. Defend yourself!

From Me to You: Say no to the “what if” questions (worry here) as they only zap your precious energy. Say yes to living your life right now – where you are as you take the necessary steps to move forward!

P. S. What are the “what if” thoughts causing you to worry in your job search? Please share in the comment section below.