It’s a sensation that begins as a knot in your stomach and climbs through your body, eventually ending in a lump in the back of your throat. Worry – ranging from mild anxiety to full-fledged panic – is a sensation that we all have in response to a wide range of situations in our life.
Even with all the career advice out there in the world, there’s no ignoring the reality that the thought of leaving university, finding a job, or planning your future career may be a little terrifying for everyone.
Not only do you have assignments and examinations to worry about as a student, but there’s also the nagging question in the back of your mind: what professional route will I take? What are my career aspirations? There’s a perception that you ought to be planning your life, your future job, and your next steps in your last year of university, and for others, it happens much sooner. You may get concerned about the procedure, such as how many jobs will I have to apply for, what will my CV look like, and what if I don’t get the job that I want, especially in these unprecedented times.
At any age, managing your own career, taking that first step up the employment ladder, establishing a business, or changing careers completely might be unnerving. Self-doubt may creep in and hold you back from realising your full potential. Reach out to a career counsellor, a coworker, or a professional you respect for their guidance and thoughts. You’ll be amazed at how many individuals are willing to assist you in achieving your career objectives.
An NUS survey found that for 26% of students, graduate employment was a major trigger of mental distress. Worrying about getting a job is making many students unhappy.
So, to help you feel more at ease about your future, we’ve compiled a list of 7 effective ways to make the career planning process less stressful for your mental health.
1. Even If You Don’t Know Your Particular Career Path, It’s Still Alright
It often seems that everyone knows what their ideal job path is and that you should as well. Or maybe you know precisely what you want, but you’re still a long way from landing your dream job.
But does anyone truly have it all sorted out immediately after graduation? Okay, maybe some do, but even they may be faking it.
Consider your first employment as part of the discovery process or as an experiment to explore what sectors, roles, and businesses you like and dislike. Whether you find your desired job right away or decide to change careers after a year, every encounter is an opportunity to get to know yourself better.
And you may be one click away from the ideal job right now. But you’ll never know unless you try.
2. Assess Your Own Abilities and Interests
As you near the end of your undergraduate career, you have most likely gained a variety of skills through coursework and internships. Furthermore, with changing trends in education, there will be a plethora of courses available to assist you in acquiring the necessary skill sets to match the newly emerging areas. Combine them with your interests to choose what path you wish to pursue after graduation. Graduate school, a job, or a professional path are all viable alternatives in your preferred field. Consider your future job route in light of the degree you will receive.
Consult your advisers for guidance
The advisers that assisted you in selecting your course/ specialization can also assist you in planning for your future job. Set up a meeting with your teacher or professor and ask them specific questions about their own professional trajectories, as well as whether they have any suggestions on achieving your goals. Make a note of any recommendations or advice they offer that could be useful to you in the future.
At this age and period, you have access to a variety of career counsellors that can assist you with your career planning. There are several firms that offer career counselling online to make your search even more convenient.
3. Set Short-Term Goals to Get You Started
This is true for any part of your life, but when it comes to your profession you must be even more realistic (if that’s possible). If you’re thinking about where you want your career to go in the long run, consider the smaller, specific actions you’ll need to take to get there. Organizing the broad picture into smaller, more manageable chunks can help reduce anxiety. In spite of the fact that it’s wonderful to have a long-term life goal, focusing more on the little stages will allow your brain to analyse each move you do and calm your thoughts.
If you want to be a great writer, for example, start by reading and reading a lot. Set a goal of reading at least 5 books every month. Then begin reading eclectic material that you would not normally choose.
4. Sometimes a Setback is a Necessary Evil in the Pursuit of Knowledge
Your job search, applications, and interviews may encounter a few bumps along the way, which is completely normal. There isn’t a single person you know who hasn’t had a professional setback at some point in their life.
Take rejections with a grain of salt; most of the time, they have nothing to do with you. Put yourself in a more optimistic frame of mind. You’ve made it to the interview stage – wonderful! That indicates they liked your application enough that they wanted to meet you in person. You’ve also received some comments — fantastic! All advice is welcome, so take it all in. The worst thing you can do is disregard vital criticism, never progress, and then wind up in a downward cycle of worry and disillusionment if you don’t follow the advice.
5. Trust Your Support Network
In addition to family members, your support network might include close friends, coworkers and counsellors as well as online groups and self-care. When you have someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, it takes some of the pressure off of you and allows you to express your thoughts. As simple as it sounds, talking about worries and fears with someone you trust may help you feel better and more in control of the situation.
Whenever you’re talking about your career prospects, applying for jobs, or going on interviews, you should attempt to be as optimistic as possible and consider how you present yourself to others. One method to guarantee that you’re motivated, confident, and ready to take on anything is to bounce ideas off your support network.
6. Cherish Your Wins
Anxiety may arise when you are continuously seeking the perfect profession for yourself, going from one interview to the next. From time to time, take a moment to think about how far you’ve come in your career path.
It’s possible that you’ve had a few successful interviews, even if you didn’t get hired. Some people have mastered the art of answering tricky interview questions that may trip up any job applicant.
Do not forget to take a moment to enjoy yourself and reward yourself for all the hard work you’ve already put into your project. It can boost your self-esteem and help you get through the rest of your job hunt without feeling stressed or anxious about your situation.
7. You Have Your Own Distinct Route to Follow
When you see your first-year college mate post online about obtaining their ideal job right out of school, you might wince a little bit inside. For professional concerns caused by peer pressure, it may be time to remove a few applications.
Instagram has a lot of glitz and glam. Individuals on the internet live extremely well-edited lives, and you need to apply your own reality filter. Replace them with more professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn, where you can see others’ success stories as well as their process of achieving it, including more information on employers, company status, university alums, and so on, which provides a broader picture of the professional world.
Don’t forget that you’re not on your own. Each and every person who has ever acquired a job certainly has experienced the same worries as you do when searching for a job. Nothing can stop you from overcoming your worries and winning the job market if you use all the options accessible to you.