81% of us find job searching stressful – so what can you do to reduce your stress?

by | Apr 29, 2021 | News

With more than a third of the UK looking for new jobs according to reed.co.uk’s recent survey, it is important to find a way to beat stress! Find out more about how stress varies across the country, as well as our top tips for reducing employment related anxiety. 

Londoners appear to be suffering the most

Almost nine in 10 (87%) of those who live in the capital say that looking for work was stressful for them, this is between 4 -10% higher than any of the other regions, apart from Northern Ireland. This could be explained by the fact that London’s unemployment rate is 2% higher than the national average, and 2.7% higher than it was this time last year. What’s more, in our recent survey, 33% of those in London said they were actively looking for work right now – more than double the average of 16%. 

Two-thirds of those who have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic are under 25 years old.

Reed’s data shows that this is clearly having an impact on this age group’s mental health – with 85% of 18-24 year-olds saying they find looking for work stressful, and almost four in 10 (39%) saying they find it ‘very stressful’ – the highest amongst any age group. 

Conversely, older jobseekers find the process the least stressful; 22% of 45-54 year-olds said they didn’t find job seeking stressful at all, with the number rising to 29% for those aged 55+.

Women find the job seeking process more stressful than men 

There are clear differences between the genders too. Of the UK adults surveyed, 85% of women said they were stressed compared to 70% of men. This might stem from Mckinsey’s research, suggesting that women were 1.8 times more likely than men to have lost their jobs since the start of COVID-19.

Another factor that might impact stress levels for female jobseekers has been the burden of child care, which has fallen majoritively on their shoulders. ONS data suggests that women did three hours of daily childcare, compared to men’s two.

Five tips for combating stress during your job search

  1. Plan your applications!

Make sure you are keeping track of the applications, and how they are progressing. Using software like Microsoft Excel, or something as simple as pen and paper, ensures that you know where you stand at all times – this also means you avoid duplication. It also gives you a future plan, which means you don’t get bogged down in those applications. 

  1. Know your CV inside and out

During all applications, your CV is the Holy Grail. It helps you land jobs and interviews, and is your passport to further opportunities. By knowing every part of it, it means that you are already halfway through preparation for that first interview when the offer arrives! By reading the CV little and often, you put yourself in the best position to succeed. 

  1. Take breaks

Although you may feel the urge to apply to jobs all hours of the day, this will certainly have a negative impact on your mental health. It is mentally exhausting applying for roles, wading through so many applications. It is therefore very important to enforce breaks. A great way of ensuring this is by using the ‘Pomodoro’ technique – that is 25 minutes of concentration, followed by a 5 minutes break. On every 4th break, you give yourself 15 minutes break to mentally recuperate. 

  1. Maintain healthy sleeping hours

Sleep is ALWAYS important. If you retain a healthy sleeping pattern, aiming for 8 hours of sleep nightly, then your mental health will be better. Stress builds up, and sleep is time that the body rests and releases that stress. By ensuring you have given your body maximum time to relax, you will find yourself more alert during the day, and more efficient in your applying for roles. 

  1. Go for a walk – air is key!

Linked with taking breaks, it is also important to make sure that you get outside during some of these breaks. Fresh air is a stimulant for the brain, and it will make you more alert. A brisk 15 minute walk could prepare you for another hour of tackling applications. It is also a great stress reliever, with walking in nature and appreciation of the world around you really bringing problems into perspective!

The information in this article is taken from an online survey of 2,001 UK adults between 16 – 19 February 2021, asked about the stress induced from job searching. 

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