tips for managing stress and anxiety during your job hunt

Looking for a job takes time and effort, and feelings of stress can creep in. But you can learn to identify common causes of job search stress and effective ways to manage it to support your wellbeing.

Identifying the causes of your stress  

It’s natural that not knowing what’s coming next can cause stress and anxiety
Recognising the physical and emotional signs of stress is a great first step. We’ve created an interactive exercise that explains how stress affects us and ways that we can manage it, it’s called ‘The Stress Vulnerability Bucket’. Give it a go! 
When you’re job hunting, you might feel overwhelmed by factors like: 

  • financial pressures 
  • family or social pressure to find work 
  • rejection from job applications/interviews 
  • not enough time to apply for jobs between study and casual work 


A bunch of different causes of stress could be coming together all at once, making things worse. And let’s not forget that young people enter the workforce without decades of experience that they can lean on. This can make things a lot harder, so any feelings of stress or anxiety you might be having are common. 

What are some effective ways to manage or reduce job search stress? 

There are some simple strategies to help you feel more positive while you apply for roles. 

How do you stay motivated during your job search? 

How do you manage your time while job searching?

Effective time management can help a lot! Treat your job search like a job – creating goals, spaces to work and schedules that can help you stay motivated.  

  • Set aside a desk or space where you manage your job search. 
  • Create a schedule that includes job search activities, networking events, and self-care activities to help you stay on track and avoid wasting time. 
  • Prioritise your tasks for the day and break down your job search. Divide the process into smaller, more manageable steps like updating your resume, creating a cover letter, and researching roles to feel more in control.  
  • Keep track of your job search activities to stay on top of your progress. Staying organised can help you feel less overwhelmed. There are some simple tools like Trello or, where you can easily track your activities and move them into buckets once you’ve completed them. 
  • Use time-saving tools like email alerts to save time and streamline your job search process. 

  • Reach out to recruiters for support. They can be an incredible resource for finding roles at organisations that are a strong fit for your aspirations, interests and strengths. 

Where to get support

Want to know more? Check out this helpful community chat about job search stress or contact headspace Work and Study to talk to career specialists who can help you manage your job hunt. 

The headspace Content Reference Group oversee and approve clinical resources made available on this website. 

Last reviewed July 2023. (March 2022). Signs and symptoms of stress.

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