Dealing with the Stress of Career Transition

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Dealing with the Stress of Career Transition
Be prepared
Soothing the Soul
Your Support Network
All Pages

By Robert Shindell

Being unemployed can be one of the more stressful events in ones life. Unfortunately, there is no “quick-fix” to the stress you are feeling. You can’t turn it off and on at will, so you need to learn how to control stress so that it does not control you. Sometimes we deal with stress in unhealthy ways like overeating, drinking or other self-destructive behaviors. Well, there are better ways to de-stress, and they are easier than you may think. The most important thing to remember to reduce stress is to find a way to feel more in control of your circumstances. The following are some ways you can take control and, thereby, feel less stressed...




Be prepared
At the end of each day, prepare for the next day. Make a to-do list of all the things you must do the next day and clean your work area. If it is making a list of phone calls to make or job applications to fill out, making a list on a daily basis to help you see the progress you are making in your job search. It will also help to keep your day busy so that you do not focus on what has happened, but rather focus on working toward a goal in the future.

Snack healthy.
Do not “feed” your stress with cookies or ice cream, because they will not help. All too often when we are stressed we turn to comfort foods. Unfortunately these foods are high in fat, sugar, and calories. Stay away from soda and drink lots of water. Remember you are what you eat!

Use every minute!

Make good use of all spare minutes that come up each day. The old saying “idle hands do the devils work” has never been more true than when you are unemployed. You need to keep busy and productive things so that you do not end up watching reruns of “Law and Order” on television during the day. If you have an extra 5 or 10 minutes revisit your list that you created the night before in order to reprioritize or add items to your list.


Soothing the soul with music.
Listen to music, especially smooth jazz. Listen to relaxing music in your car, at work, at home, and anywhere else that you can. Music can be very soothing.

Healthy Living
Take good care of yourself. This means get plenty of restful sleep, go to the dentist regularly, workout at least 30 minutes on at least four days each week, drink plenty of water, and take weekend naps if you need them.

Financial budgeting
Keep a simple budget so that you will always know where you are financially, and money shortages will not sneak up on you. Money will be a significant stressor on you and your family as the loss of your job means a loss of income stream to the household. I suggest that you read “Getting your Finances in Order” to identify helpful tips to reduce your stress about money.

Schedule “Down-Time”

Do not spend all evening and all weekend on the cell phone or reading and writing emails that relate to your job search. If you need to do extra work, schedule one hour each evening and a few hours each weekend to do job search related items. Realize that your “downtime” is just as important as your work. Treat your job search like a job. Work from 8 to 5 and schedule some breaks for yourself during the day. Spend a couple of hours on the weekend on your job search but remember your family needs you right now and you need them. So make sure you are scheduling good quality family time.


Your support network
Be sure that you have one or two good friends that you can confide in who understand and are supportive. My suggestion is to find an “accountability partner” to help you through this time. The key to working with an accountability partner is total and blatant honesty. Communicating your goals and ideas to your accountability partner will also increase the chances that you actually accomplish them.

Drop back and punt!

When things do not go well take a step back and evaluate what happened. I can assure you that not every job you apply for or interview that you go on will workout for the very best. You will have many ups and downs during your unemployment and the key to coming out successful on the other side is to not get too upset about any one opportunity. The one thing you need to remember is that some things will simply be out of your control. Coming to grips with this reality is essential to your personal health and well-being.

Keep the faith.

It is important that you have a deep faith that, even though this may seem like a very bad time in your life, that something better is right around the corner. It is this hope and confidence in yourself as a potential employee that will keep you going when all seems lost.



Now that you have read about Dealing with Stress, may we suggest that you take the next step and check out Save Your Soul. It is important to us that we are able to help people as they recover and prosper after job loss, so please contact us with suggestions, corrections, and even your personal experiences. If you found this article or video to be helpful, we'd love for you to share it with a friend. Also, be sure to check out all of the amazing resources for your career transition in the Book Store!

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