Job hunting can be one of the most exciting adventures as you look for a great new role that supports your identity, your lifestyle and your skills. It can also be a challenge, time-consuming and seemingly filled with disappointments. By maintaining your mental fitness throughout the process, you can remain confident, excited and full of positive energy, which is not only great for your health but to impress a potential employer.
Here are 10 ways to build that mental muscle while job seeking – backed by science.
- Visualise the benefits
When you are buying a white car, all you see on the road are white cars. When you can visualise the exact job you want, you are more likely to notice when it presents itself to you and when it doesn’t. Think about how you will feel when you land that job and start to get excited about the possibilities. Scientists have learned that visualisation can change your brain, make you happier, boost your immune system, improve your relationships, and make you more productive.
- Get a routine
Every great workout starts with a warm-up, the main activity and then cool down. While you may be tempted to sit by the computer pressing refresh on job sites and email for responses from potential employers, this will drain your energy. Instead, set yourself a routine that involves a healthy amount of job seeking plus time to do other things to nurture you mentally and physically will pay off in spades.
- Choose your training partners wisely
You become the sum of the people you hang with, so make sure those you spend time have a greater emphasis on positive energy than negative. According to research conducted by Shawn Achor, positive social connections are the greatest predictor of long -term happiness. Whether a coach, training partner or your mates.
- Spot for others
It is easy to get absorbed into our own world when job seeking but why not spend some of that free time helping others. Doing volunteer work gives us a sense of purpose and connection to something bigger than ourselves which has huge benefits for mental fitness. Amazingly, the brain benefits of volunteering are so great that it can lower your risk of depression and anxiety, and even boost your psychological well-being.
- Vary your workout
Stretch yourself mentally by learning a language, unleashing your inner artist on a creative activity, brain teasers, quizzes, puzzles, read or listen to something new. Learning new skills like a second language benefits abilities like intelligence and memory, while lowering risks of brain ageing, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Get in the zone
Whether you get completely engaged in the process of job seeking each morning down at your local café or whether you take up a new hobby or skill during this time, getting your mind into the zone, also known as a state of flow, helps build mental fitness. Those who regularly get in the zone experience greater creativity, increased productivity, accelerated learning, ability to overcome fears, improved athletic performance, better sleep, and enhanced happiness.
- Keep your eye on the prize
When job seeing it is common to feel like life is out of control. But even initiating small actions can give you a sense of empowerment which can give you the confidence to take bigger steps. Accepting some things may be outside your control and keep your eyes on the things that matter and where you can make a difference build mental resilience.
- Stretch yourself
Our greatest achievements come from overcoming adversity and that is not possible without some hard work. Set goals, aim high and know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
- Celebrate the wins
When you have lifted a personal best, you celebrate and job seeking is no different. Perhaps you got a callback, maybe an interview, even if you spent your non-job seeking time wisely. Dr Martin Seligman, one of the world’s leading positive psychologists stresses a sense of accomplishment is a large contributor to helping us flourish.
- Have a massage
While a massage after a heavy session of job seeking may not be on the cards, practising some self-care can be. Getting enough sleep, preparing a healthy, nurturing meal, taking some time out to do the things you love can be a massage for the mind.
Dedicating time to your mental fitness will not only keep you feeling great but will also ensure you are sharp, energised and putting your best foot forward when the next big opportunity comes your way.
If you’re serious about landing that dream job, contact a trusted recruitment agency and get advice from the experts in labour hire, temporary work and recruitment. With a little professional help, you might find that next new opportunity is closer than you think.
 Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York, NY: Published by Free Press.