3 Ways to Deal With Job Search Anxiety

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Searching for a new job can be an anxiety-provoking activity. This is especially true if you were suddenly laid off or fired. You likely feel pressure to find a job quickly so you can pay your bills and sustain your current level of living. However, this anxiety can spill over into the interview process and cause you to come across as a nervous wreck who doesn’t have the right skills for the job. If you want to make a good first impression, you’ll need to get a handle on your anxiety. Here’s how.


1. Understand what’s happening

Psychologist James Pann says when faced with a stressful situation, our body goes into overdrive. We immediately enter into “panic mode,” and our body prepares to fight or run away from a perceived threat. Consequently, we may start to sweat, get the shakes, and feel our heart pounding before and during a job interview. Pann said:

When it is comes to networking, interviewing, and other stressful job search events, many of us experience at least some of these signs and symptoms. When faced with significant physical or psychological stress, your body reacts with what is termed the “fight or flight response.” The response prepares your body for physical action through sympathetic nervous system arousal and an increased release of corticoids, which are stress hormones. Virtually all the systems in your body are affected, including the circulatory, pulmonary, immune, and nervous systems. The physical symptoms associated with this state include quickened and shallow breathing, stomach disturbance, muscle tension and increased pulse rate.