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How can I preserve my mental health while job searching?

Industry Matters Newsletter
Adam Myers, Senior Project Manager of Research Development & Innovation at Evonik
Adam Myers, Senior Project Manager of Research Development & Innovation at Evonik

Job searching can be a mental drain, but there are a few ways I’ve found to help maintain your balance:

  1. Finding the right job takes time. You’re not looking for just any job, so patience is key.
  2. Pace yourself. Set small goals along the way related to various job search activities, rather than ‘binge-searching’.
  3. Network with an open mind. Enter each interaction with the goal of learning something about someone and the job they do, not just how they could get you a job. You’ll end up catching more opportunities instead of being a ‘job zombie’.

Lori Ana Valentin, Forensic Scientist, New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center
Lori Ana Valentin, Forensic Scientist, New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center

Schedule time every day for empty space - time when your brain is not focused on the job search. Read, listen to music, meditate, or go for a walk. Empty space does not include screen time. Maintain a gratitude journal and each day record something that you are grateful for. Refer to the journal if you are feeling down. Ask friends to help you keep your self-esteem up by providing you with “pick-me ups." A pick-me up can be a compliment, reminder of an accomplishment, memorable photo, or something about you they admire.  


Allen Jones, ISAAC Program Director, Newark Public Schools
Allen Jones, ISAAC Program Director, Newark Public Schools

When conducting a job search, taking care of one’s mental health is vital to success. Take regular breaks that include some physical activity such as going for a walk, run, or bike ride. It doesn’t need to be long, 10 or 15 minutes, but the change of pace and activity will rejuvenate you. Give yourself a reward after completing a task such as filing a job application. Spend time with your family doing fun activities. Take time to work on hobbies. Meeting with a therapist/counselor helps provide objective support.


This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.

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