– effective ways to maintain peace of mind during the job hunt
I have a shopping problem. It’s not a major shopping problem, but it is indeed a problem. I have weaknesses—jackets (really…in Houston), ties (the more outrageous the better), and travel (the most expensive one and my favorite). I call my shopping a problem because I sometimes buy stuff when I am not enjoying whatever might be going on in my life at the moment. Luckily, I have discovered the joy of the discount store and the sense to keep the tags on until I’m sure I’m keeping the purchase.
I’ve also discovered that shopping isn’t always the best way to relieve stress. Walking my dog (or being pulled along by my dog as I try to use the latest obedience tricks from Animal Planet) has proven to be just as fun, cheap, and has resulted in a couple of lost pounds and a happy pup!
So, you’re on the job hunt and the stress is building. Where’s next month’s rent coming from? How can I get to that interview if I can’t gas up my car? Why won’t anyone hire me? Believe me, I’ve been there! It makes you want to curl up in bed, hide under the covers, and make the world go away for awhile.
I’d like to share some ways to help relieve stress in an effective way that will also help move your job search forward.
First, regardless of your profession or professional aspirations, hiding is never the answer. So, my first advice is this—get outside! When I feel stressed out, my first move is to move. I’ll go for a walk or go out on my porch and people watch. Explore the internet and find a free or cheap activity. Maybe there’s a job fair or hiring event at a Workforce Solutions center you can attend. Maybe the positions available are not exactly what you’re looking for. Getting in front of an employer and talking to them about what you’re looking for often leads to helpful insight that isn’t publicized.
Second, spend time working on you. Right now, the National Body Challenge is on, and the free sign-up comes with a complimentary 30-day membership to Bally’s Total Fitness. Exercise doesn’t sound like fun to many people, but you have to admit—we always feel better once we do it. Commit to one life-changing behavior a day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with ALL that you want to do. I tell myself, “Self, today we are going to eat a better lunch.” And usually, my Self agrees. Tomorrow, I will tell myself, “Self, we’re going to the gym for 30 minutes.” If I can combine today’s Self and tomorrow’s Self into one person, I’m a healthier and happier individual—and I haven’t spent very much money in the process.
Third, continue self improvement. Look for opportunities to expand your knowledge. I spoke to a job seeker recently that was of retirement age. He wanted a job to bring in extra cash while “expanding his horizons”. I asked him what enjoyed doing, and he said he used to paint for fun. I encouraged him to go to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts on Thursday, as admission is free. On his free trip to the museum, he enjoyed some art, found out about different art classes in town, and learned ab a cashiering job at the gift shop! Having fun on the job search–whodathunkit?
You see the general theme is to do something! Some days will be harder than others; set small goals that are achievable. Remember, if even to simply get up and get out, you have achieved something by doing something. You’ll be surprised where your latest stress relief might be found.
Danny Zendejas is the Hospitality Business Consultant for Workforce Solutions in the Houston metropolitan area. He has over eight years of experience in the hospitality industry and workforce development and is a native of San Antonio, Texas.