Let’s face it… In today’s technological and digital-driven world, job hunting can be nothing less than daunting. Especially when you’re a migrant woman on a quest for a professional job in a foreign country. Even worse! A foreign professional market.
Trust me, I know.
It’s not just the usual job search jitters we grapple with; we’re also carrying the emotional baggage of finding our place, dealing with the loss of our old identity, and trying to fit into a brand new puzzle. This is why it’s crucial to not let your guard down and prioritise your mental well-being during your job hunt. Because, if you are not careful, you could be one step down a dark spiral of sadness…
This is why I wanted to share with you some of the practical tips that have personally helped me maintain a positive mindset and protect my mental health throughout my own job search.
I hope you find these helpful as well:
1. Embrace Self-Care:
Start by understanding that taking care of your mental health is just as important as landing a professional job. This means incorporating self-care into your daily routine. Start by setting time aside for activities that bring you joy! For example, I like to go for a morning walk with my partner and my dog Faro. And when I’m feeling down, I indulge myself with a soy chai to spice up my walk. I also like to read and paint when I’m feeling particularly stressed out, as it works like a form of meditation for me. By nurturing yourself, you’ll be better equipped to handle the ups and downs that come with the job hunt.
2. Cultivate a Support System (and vent, vent, vent!):
You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups (*ahem* PMW *ahem*) that can offer encouragement and understanding. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can provide a sense of relief and help alleviate anxiety and depression. And frankly, sometimes it’s good just to vent with someone you trust and let it all out. I highly recommend it!
3. Maintain a Routine:
Structure can be your ally during a job search, it sure is mine! In my case, I have created a weekly routine that includes job searching, networking, and self-care activities. I set myself two to three goals that I want to accomplish throughout the week – it takes the pressure out of going over daily to-do lists that end up draining your heart. I have found that sticking to a flexible schedule can provide you with a sense of purpose and stability during what can be an uncertain period.
4. Set Realistic Goals:
While it’s essential to aim high, it’s equally crucial to set achievable goals. I like to break down my job search into manageable steps, and just take one day at a time (aka one cover letter at a time). Equally important is to celebrate small victories along the way – did you get a call back? Get that celebratory chai and feel proud of yourself! This approach of celebrating ALL wins will help you stay motivated and maintain a positive outlook.
5. Seek Professional Help:
If you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness or persistent anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Managing my anxiety is so much doable when I talk with my therapist. She has become my go-to sensei who always provides me with valuable coping strategies and reminds me of how strong and awesome I am.
6. Addressing Job Search Fatigue:
Lemme tell ya’, job search fatigue is real! It’s the emotional and mental exhaustion that can occur when you’re continually applying for jobs and facing rejection – and taking things personally. DON’T.GIVE.IN.TO.IT! Take regular breaks, move your schedule around (as in make room to include that one-on-one catch-up with your bestie.) Stop. Breath. Recharge. And then come back again at it. Diversify your job search methods, try a new job search engine and remind yourself that rejection is just part of the process.
7. Understand the Stressors:
This is a big one. Recognise that job searching can be stressful. Period. It contains all the perfect ingredients for an almost guaranteed anxiety-attack: fear of the unknown, pressure to succeed, and external expectations. But, by identifying these stressors, you can work on strategies to manage them effectively. One thing that works for me *like a charm* is acknowledging the feeling, and just have a go at it. Don’t be afraid to stop your anxiety menace and tell it in its face: Not today, anxiety, NOT TODAY! Try out and let me know how it goes.
For migrant women looking for professional jobs, remember that your unique experiences and perspectives are valuable assets. Embrace your strengths, stay positive, and make your mental well-being a priority throughout your job search. The path to your dream career may be filled with challenges, but with the right mindset and support, you can achieve your goals.
Did you find this post useful? Let me know and I will delve deeper into addressing other specific concerns, such as overcoming anxiety, staying positive, and understanding the emotional aspects of job searching as a migrant woman in a next post.
Remember, you don’t have to do this entirely alone.
Stay tuned for more guidance and inspiration!
Text by: Lina Orozco Múnera