Coping with Job Hunting Anxiety – Tips to Overcome Job Hunting Stress

One of the greatest issues I experienced with my own job hunt was the stress and anxiety associated with it. While I was able to put on a great game face and stay positive, deep down I was depressed and anxious. I had 3 kids in school, a house and two cars. My oldest was getting to driving age, which added another layer to the stress. It just all seemed to pile on and keep piling on until it became overwhelming to think about.

Job hunting stress can be difficult to deal with, especially when you land an interview. Job interview stress is an animal all its own, but with the added anxiety of job hunting added into it an interview can become very uncomfortable. I plan on providing tips for job interview anxiety in the future, but these tips to overcome job hunting anxiety may help as well.

Take Care of Yourself to Fight Job Hunting Stress

If you do a Google Search on coping with stress, taking care of yourself is the first thing you will read in every article. Eat healthy, exercise, get a good night’s sleep. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to function at a high level and be sharp for every aspect of job hunting.

Stress eating can be a difficult trap to avoid. Certain foods make us feel better – but that is usually a short-term band-aid and can lead to obesity and other health issues. Instead of grabbing a hamburger or a candy bar, try a bag of nuts or a chicken wrap. It’s ok to have comfort foods, but keep everything in moderation. Eat fruits and veggies with every meal and avoid simple carbohydrates as much as possible.

Getting a good night’s sleep is often very difficult while stressed out from job hunting. It is always important to get good rest but it does not often come easy. Quieting your mind of all stresses right before going to sleep is extremely important as unsettled issues will keep you awake longer. I have found that reading a lighthearted book helps me out a lot, as does a good back rub or even a warm bath. A sleep aid doesn’t hurt either. Melatonin is a good, natural supplement that helps your mind ease to sleep better and does not cause side-effects.

I have found exercise to be my greatest stress-reducer. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins which help your body sleep which in turn will reduce stress. You will also feel good when you look in the mirror and realize that all of your exercising is paying off. Physical activity will also keep your mind sharp, increase energy and help you feel better through the day.

The Power of Positivity for Combating Job Hunting Anxiety

I believe in the power of positivity for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that nobody likes someone who is always negative. It is very difficult to stay positive if your job hunt is not going well, but sometimes it does take time to find The Great Job. Not every job out there is for you, and oftentimes it is because you would not be happy at that job. That is no reason to become a negative-nelly during the hunt.

Negativity is toxicity and if one person can detect it in a person it, LOTS of people can detect it. Just remember to repeat your daily affirmation mantra with Stuart Smally: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darn-it … people like me!” Yes it is cheesy to pull something from a series of Saturday Night Live skits, but it is so true! If you repeat that in your head over and over and put feeling into it and believe it at the bottom of your soul, it will come through.

If negativity and anxiety creep into your core believe of yourself, it is very hard to shake that feeling and it will come through just as easily as your daily affirmation will. Hang out with your friends a bit, and while you’re with them remind yourself that these people like and accept you for who you are. Other people will as well.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

There are a number of things in your world you can control. You control the image you project to the world, stay in control of that image. Worrying about the things that are not in your control will generate unneeded stress and anxiety. Don’t worry about that ketchup stain on your tie or dress you didn’t realize was there before your interview – you can’t do anything about it now so you might as well own it.

I know, this is easier said than done, but if there is anything Jurassic Park taught us, it is that Life Will Find A Way. You might not be able to control your bills, but you can make a call and see if there is a reduced payment opportunity for low income households. Maybe you need to get an interim job until you find a Great Job to make the bills. Worrying about the car breaking or the fence falling down or any little thing that is not in your control is pointless and useless. If the car does break, or the fence falls, Google the problem and one short YouTube video later it is under control.

Without thumping a Bible, I want to remind you that God will always help and is always there to listen. God has a plan, it is up to us to listen to it and follow it. This goes no matter what religion you believe. There is always a next step for you and it is always in the direction you are supposed to go. Don’t make it harder by overthinking things.

Accomplish Small Things – Celebrate those Little Victories

Everything has a process, including getting a job. Think of each step of the process as an inning in a baseball game. Each inning has at least 3 batters for your team. If you score runs, you have won the inning. If you do not, don’t worry because there are 8 other innings for you to score in. When baseball players do score in the inning, they always high-five the guy coming back to the dugout.

Keep this in mind because every time you are contacted, you should celebrate. Celebrating every time will help your overall mental health. Celebrating doesn’t have to mean throwing a party and inviting everyone over – you can tell someone and let them tell you good job. Thank them and let them know how good it made you feel.

This will help you build your self-confidence which will help fight anxiety back. Self-Confidence is also one of your biggest assets with job hunting. It is another feeling that people will pick up when they talk to you. Make sure you are projecting that at all times. Be assertive, positive and sure of yourself.

Be Your Best Self

Letting stress and anxiety get to you will send you into a tailspin. Job hunting stress can be some of the worst, but there is plenty you can do to combat it. Using some of the tips I provided you with should help with that stress, but don’t stop there. Google will find you plenty of ideas to combat stress.

The most important thing is to be your best self. I always end by saying Be Real, but this is something different. Remember the Golden Rule and treat people the way you want to be treated. If you allow your stress and anxiety to take control of you, that is going to come through badly.

Let everyone see what a great person you are! Show them how friendly and helpful you can be and the investment in your relationship with them will become that much better. Let a prospective employer see confidence you have in yourself and the job will be yours for the taking.

If you have anything to add or some suggestions to beat job hunting anxiety or stress, please comment below.  … and remember – Be Real!



  1. Hi Colby,
    This is a great post on job hunting anxieties and how to eliminate them. I most especially liked the part where you mention about taking care of yourself while fighting this anxiety. I do experience stress eating myself and recovered with a healthy diet and exercise.
    Thank you so much,

  2. When I was job-hunting, I sure did not enjoy it. The interviews were such a stress too. Your tips were great. You should not worry about what is not in your control, but rather focus on the things you can control.

    I also believe what you focus on, expands, so it is important to remain positive and think about what you have already accomplished. Especially for me it´s important to reward myself a little every time I get something hard done, because I have ADD and I need instant feedback so that I can keep motivated.

    Your tips for dealing with stress were great. I would also recommend yoga. It´s an awesome help for stress and anxiety.

  3. This is such a great article! The stress of finding a job can be so overwhelming! After a while we just want to take anything! We also start to feel as if we are not good enough for anything or any job. I agree that working out can be the best thing to do. It’s good for the body and mind. Keeping positive can be so hard. We can’t let our self esteem take a hit. You’re right though. It’s incredibly important. Sometimes, just knowing that others are going through the same thing helps. Thanks for this article!

  4. This article is absolute gold,

    This really is the best guide on job hunting anxiety hat I have come across with zero fluff, actionable steps and all backed up by proof and case studies. I’m super impressed.. One of the best point I appreciate most among the highlighted points is ” Accomplish Small Things – Celebrate those Little Victories”. These are lovely tips and i must commend you for putting this together.

  5. I must say that you did a great job in putting this article together to share with us. For real job hunting can really be stressful and  frustrating. I can’t begin to tell the experiences have had in job hunting especially in job test and oral interviews which created alot of tension thereafter when expecting feedback. I agree with you that one should focus on what we can control and not what we can’t control. I appreciate the tips of overcoming job stress and anxiety.

    • Thank you!  Even if you have no anxiety or stress from the hunt, the tips can help in most situations.

  6. Hi Colby, I really like the tips you have given in this post on managing or avoiding anxiety. I agree with you we really need to take care of ourselves. Nobody out there is coming to do it for us! We need to exercise and eat healthy everyday. Also I like the being our best part, we can only achieve that by being real! 

    • Thank you Juliet!  And exactly how I feel.  We can’t nope around waiting for the next opportunity to show up, you have to hunt it down, stalk it and take it as your trophy!  You don’t have time to waste on your feelings so be preemptive in dealing with them.

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