It’s no secret that job hunting is stressful, but finding a job during a crisis takes stress to an entirely different level.
If you’ve found yourself out of employment during this global pandemic, as so many people have, you understand the many ways in which the situation will weigh on you.
Below are five deadly ways that job hunting can stress you out.
1. Alcohol abuse
So many people turn to alcoholism as a coping mechanism after they’ve found themselves unemployed. And although it may seem fun today to drink when others are at work, the fun quickly fades.
Alcohol is a tricky substance because it makes you think you’re having fun when it’s really depressing your central nervous system. So over time, you’ll find that alcohol abuse will only worsen feelings of stress.
If you’ve found yourself searching for gainful employment, consider healthy coping mechanisms that will improve your mood over the long term (instead of compounding the problem).
Because drinking alcohol to calm yourself is a temporary fix with long-term consequences. In this time, do what you can to practice willpower and make choices that will serve you well today, tomorrow, and whenever you find that dream job.
2. Drug addiction
Drugs are another common and unhealthy coping mechanism that people use to deal with stress. But much like alcohol, illicit drugs trick you into thinking they are problem solvers. In reality, drugs will create many more problems in your life.
And if you do become addicted, you’ll find it much more difficult to find a decent job. So, really, drug abuse is always counterproductive.
3. Financial worries
The longer you remain unemployed, the more you’re going to worry about your financial future. You may be receiving unemployment checks to pay the bills, but when you’re unemployed, you’re probably not investing in your retirement fund or savings account.
During this time, try to be as frugal as you can and be sure to stick to a budget. We all thought we’d be past this by now, and in reality, we don’t know exactly when things will get back to “normal.”
Be cautious about taking advantage of rent and mortgage deferral programs at this time. These programs are a stop-gap solution that is helpful if absolutely necessary, but if you can pay your housing expenses, continue doing so.
Deferral programs do not cancel a debt. They simply put it off for another time.
4. Social stigma
Even in a global pandemic, you may find that there’s a social stigma that surrounds unemployment. If you’ve been unemployed for a great length of time, you’re probably feeling some social pressure to get back to work.
No one likes to see pity in another person’s eyes, and that’s what so many of us are facing right now.
If you’re feeling this pressure, try to connect with others in a similar situation. Understand that this is one of the greatest recessions we’ve seen and things will eventually turn around. There’s no shame in being unemployed.
It happens to everyone at one time or another. Continue holding your head high as you search for new employment.
5. Slim pickings
Because much of the world has been affected by COVID-19, fewer employers are actively seeking new employees. In fact, the reverse is true. Much like your previous employer, companies are laying off workers and cutting hours.
So when you start your job search, you’ll find that there are fewer jobs available. And the jobs that are available may be in fields that are completely unrelated to your expertise.
During this time, be flexible. Apply for jobs that are outside of your comfort zone and try to be flexible about what you’ll accept.
When the economy turns back around, we can be more discerning. But it seems there will be enough time between now and then that practicing flexibility makes sense.