It’s nearing another graduation ceremony. College students will be starting their process of entering the work force and receiving their degrees. Stress often follows such search process closely. American Psychological Association reports the millennial’s stress lever to be higher than the national norm, even though the stress level for Americans continues to drop.
This conclusion was as a result of a study conducted by the organization where it polled 2,020 adults 18 and older about their stress levels and coping mechanisms. Thirty-nine percent said their stress had increased in the past year while 52 percent said stress had kept them awake at night.
The high stress level seems to be attributed to the current economic situation. The millennial participants cited their greatest sources of stress as work, money concerns and job stability.
Which is understandable, the March 2013 unemployment rate of workers under age 25 was slightly more than twice the national average, at 16.2 percent. And according to the “Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession” study conducted at Rutgers University, only 51 percent out of all those who have graduated college since 2006 have a full-time job.
It goes without saying that most recent college graduates will be stressed as they search for work. The sad fact is that chronic stress can provoke depression, if individuals don’t handle such stress. There is an increasing evidence that links physical illness, headaches and upset stomachs with bad stress coping.
If you’re a recent graduate or about to be or currently unemployed, and job searching, you need to learn to cope with your stress triggers. Instead of stressing about the present job situation, you should think about challenging yourself into a job. Shifting your focus to a challenge will energize you both physically and psychologically. It also will motivate you to learn new skills and increase your chances of getting a job. I also recommend that you:
Approach the job search with a progress mindset and not a perfection mindset: your focus should be on sharpening your abilities and gaining extra skills, and less about getting a dream job. It’s better to see the search as a process that involves learning before reaching the money and dream job pinnacle.
Track your efforts: getting a job should be considered as the goal. Then, you should create a plan to achieve your goals. The plan should outline the goal, strategies, when and where, and a concrete timeline. Tracking such efforts will show the level of progress, what strategies to stick to and what strategies to ditch.
Hold on to the big picture and think positive: you should picture yourself landing a job. This throws a positive light on the job search. Also, you should think positive. Think of your search in line of a building process instead of an avenue for failure.
Volunteer and network: volunteering will allow you to develop focus and channel your energy into a positive endeavor. Volunteering also gives you an edge in your job search. Attend networking events to up your chances. The job economy isn’t fair but you can level it by building relationships with the right people who can pave the way for you.
Always have relaxation time or me-time: your job search isn’t a sprint but the beginning of your career. Take time to enjoy graduating and leaving college behind so you don’t transition into work-mode mentally exhausted. Your relaxation activities could involve taking a luxurious bath, getting and taking care of a pet, listening to music, making new friends or hanging out, reading, listening to audiobooks, or dancing.
Drink lots of water: stress triggers dehydration. Water will help and soothe the body.
Sleep well: there’s no need to stay up all night, you are no longer in college. Adhere to a routine that allows you get between six to nine hours of sleep every night. Now is not the time to rack up sleeping disorders.
Visit a chiropractor: one of the benefits of chiropractic care is tension and stress relief. Your chiropractor will determine what particular issues are contributing to your stress and discomfort, and lay out a plan to eliminate those issues through regular chiropractic adjustments.
In all, remember that your journey isn’t a sprint. Slow down and take to breath, draft up a plan, update your resume and always add a cover letter.