December 14, 2011
Working for one or two companies during one’s career is a thing of the past. The new norm is changing jobs every two or three years. Searching for work and starting a new position are stressful, especially if you’ve been on the job market for a long time.
Joyce Marter, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Chicago-based Urban Balance, offers advice on keeping yourself in top form and easing your transition back into the workforce. She also recommends that you make these suggestions a regular and permanent part of your life regardless of your employment status.
Joyce starts with the basics. Practice stress management and self-care by being your own best “parent”.
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly (exercise releases endorphins – nature’s antidepressant)
- Be aware of stress points in your body and find a way to release tension (e.g., meditate, stretch or breathe)
- Stay connected with people
- Have fun and give yourself a break
Avoid negative ways of reducing stress that may actually cause more harm than good (e.g., drinking, smoking, over-eating, compulsive shopping, watching too much TV, video games, etc.).
Take time for yourself every day, even if that means you have to schedule it on your calendar.
It’s also important to think positively, an important part of self-care.
- Let go of your internal critic that judges you harshly. Have a mantra that cuts you some slack, reflects acceptance and reduces stress – “I’m only human” – “I’m doing the best that I can” – “Don’t sweat the small stuff” -“It is what it is”.
- Don’t snowball by allowing one negative thought to pack onto others until it becomes overwhelming.
- Detach yourself from things you can’t control. Unplug from the negative.
- Practice positive visualization. Imagine yourself succeeding at a new job, making new friends, and feeling confident. This will increase the likelihood that things will play out that way.
It’s possible to constrain your own success with anxieties, limited thinking and old patterns or belief systems. We all choose what we think, so choose thoughts that welcome opportunity and possibility.
Stress management, self-care and positive thinking can positively impact your confidence making your job search and career more successful.