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Keep calm and carry on!

When you have been job hunting for some time, it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of negative thoughts. You start by thinking something upsetting. This thought leads to another, and before you know it, you are going deeper and deeper and you are out of control. Negative thinking is the job seeker’s worst enemy. If you go to a job interview thinking that you are not going to get the job, chances are your prediction will become true. You will come across as unconfident and your interviewers will pick up on this.

Some people will tell you that breaking the chain is difficult. But isn’t that a negative thought in itself? Well, let me tell you, it can be done!

So what can you do to ensure that you are in the right state of mind to face the weather? Here are a few tips that might help you break the chain:

  • Look after yourself! When you feel good about yourself physically and mentally, this has an impact on your self-esteem. Eat healthily, exercise, keep regular sleep patterns and cultivate your interests.
  • Give back to the community! Volunteering is one of the most rewarding activities you could get involved in. It will give you a sense of achievement, whilst developing useful skills while at it. Besides, employers love candidates who volunteer!
  • Keep in touch! Socialise. Make sure you speak to your friends and family. They know you, they care for you, and when you are feeling down, no-one better to remind you how awesome you are!
  • Set yourself meaningful and achievable goals. If all your goals are set around getting jobs, you will probably feel demoralised if you don’t get them. Instead, set goals around quantity and quality of applications that you submit, improving at interviews, etc.
  • Reflect after your interviews. How did you perform? What did they ask you? Why did they ask you that? You might find that debriefing with someone helps. Just make it someone with a positive outlook!
  • Get the picture right! People will tell you that there aren’t enough jobs out there. The truth is that up to 1/3 of graduate employers under-recruit because they struggle to find the right talent. Make sure you equip yourself with the right skill set. Use the Careers Service.
  • Be aware of your feelings. This includes watching out for negative thinking. When you are aware that you are falling in the spiral of negative thoughts, you are in a good position to stop the process.
  • Seek support! When you have a cold, you go to the doctor. Similarly, when you are feeling down, there is support available. Find out what your Counselling Service can do for you. Speak to the Wellbeing Coordinator.
  • Practise mindfulness! Ok, this might not be for everyone, but some of my friends swear by it and I’m starting to get into it myself. It can do wonders in making you feel more positive and improving your concentration. Find out more!

Estanis Bouza

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