Is Your Social Anxiety Holding You Back From Getting a Job? Try These Tips
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Is Your Social Anxiety Holding You Back From Getting a Job? Some Tips
Searching for jobs is stressful at the best of times. Throw social anxiety into the mix, though, and the situation can soon become overwhelming. Unfortunately, over 12% of people in the US suffer from social anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime, meaning countless candidates experience this struggle every year.
Are you one of them? Well, we feel for you and want to help!
We can’t guarantee that applying for jobs will ever be easy, but we can offer some proven tools, tactics, and strategies to make it as pain-free as possible. If that sounds good, then read on for a selection of useful tips for handling your anxiety in future job hunts.
Identify the Causal Factors
Addressing a problem is far harder when you don’t know what’s causing it. Why else would doctors run tests before making a prognosis and prescribing a certain treatment? Identifying the heart of any issue takes the guesswork away, leads to better solutions, and makes everything feel more certain in the process.
And that’s a big deal for someone with social anxiety. Bringing the situation under control can make a big dent in the problem itself, which is why we encourage you to analyze your anxiety in the context of job searching. What scares you about it the most?
It might be a general sense of overwhelm, inferiority, or the potential for failure. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty around how long you’ll remain unemployed. Or maybe it’s the thought of meeting other candidates, public speaking, being interviewed, and being judged.
Address the Issue(s)
Whatever the case may be, identifying the primary reasons for your anxiety could possibly make a difference. As we said before, the very act of putting your finger on the problem could help. However, your newfound self-awareness also means you can take action to mitigate your anxiety around those specific causal factors.
For example, you could tackle that general feeling of overwhelm by breaking the job search into bitesize chunks. If you’re scared about being rejected, you could start to focus on the process over the outcome. And anyone who’s fearful of their upcoming interviews could practice beforehand by role-playing it with trusted loved ones.
Get the idea? Put some thought into what’s making you anxious. Then do something- anything- to minimize the issue.
Apply for the Right Jobs
There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ job role for someone with social anxiety. It is the job that fits your skill set the best. It’ll be different for everybody, however! Don't just apply to any position in your field that you find. It is worth thinking about (and applying to) the right company as well. Search sites such as Glassdoor and read employee reviews. Make sure the company culture is one that you want to be associated with.
You need to find a job that has purpose and fulfillment for you as an individual. In fact, finding a job that imbues your days with a sense of meaning could make it easier to set your struggles with anxiety aside.
Prepare and Organize in Advance
Uncertainty is kryptonite to anybody with anxiety. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when things seem unclear and out of control. By the same token, breaking things down and bringing everything under control can alleviate the burden.
That’s why small steps, staying organized, and preparing in advance are all useful strategies at your disposal here. Don’t try to do everything at once. Sit down, think through (and write down) the different steps you need to take to apply for a particular job, and create a plan of action around them.
From there, set about ticking one thing off at a time. You could do things like planning answers to common interview questions and even visiting the interview location beforehand to ensure you know where to go. These kinds of measures should, in theory, help you feel in better control and settle your nerves as a result.
Master Some Breathing Exercises
Learning a few tried and tested ways to alleviate anxiety will always come in handy too. You can employ them at every turn- whether you’re just embarking on the application process, waiting for your interview, or in the office as you start your new job! You also stand to feel less fearful of fear itself; empowered to calm yourself down in difficult situations.
Of all your options, some of the simplest (yet most effective) methods revolve around your breathing. Trust us, taking control of your breath can bring your heart-rate and the potential for an anxiety attack under control like nothing else. You could start by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, before moving onto specific techniques such as 4-7-8 breathing.
Many people with social anxiety are much too hard on themselves. They might blame and beat themselves up for struggling with the job application process. They may tell themselves they’re foolish; that they should get a grip or toughen up.
Those kinds of negative judgments never help! You’ll end up feeling worse than you already do, compounding the problem and making the job hunt even harder. Do your best to be self-compassionate instead.
Remember, anxiety of any kind isn’t fun; you didn’t ask for it, and nor do you deserve it. Speak to yourself as you would a dear friend, congratulate yourself for trying, and soothe yourself when you’re upset. With any luck, you’ll feel calmer, less prone to a panic attack, and more capable of embarking on the job hunt ahead.
Remember These Tips for Handling Your Social Anxiety
It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. The job application process can be long, arduous, and fraught with stress from start to finish! Yet it’s even harder when you struggle with something as debilitating as social anxiety.
If you know all about the hardship involved, then we hope the tips in this post will help. Keep them in mind and you should be one step closer to securing your dream job in no time. Do you suffer from a physical or mental illness and want some further support securing a job?
We can help. Sign up today to find and apply for jobs for free!