The process of job hunting is never easy, but now more than ever people are struggling to find work. Due to career challenges that are associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is making it difficult to effectively manage money.
This can come with financial stress and anxiety, as experiencing unemployment and finding a job during this time can take a toll on your mental health and affect your usual ways of maintaining financial success. Overall, the psychological impact of financial stress, as well as the work needed to manage one’s money, can all be a huge distraction and hindrance when looking for work.
In order to truly understand the impact of financial stress on one’s life, we’ll dive in and look at all the ways it may impact your performance during a job search–and how you can improve your financial situation to make your job hunt a success.
Limited Salary Negotiation
With financial stress weighing on your mind, it’s often harder to realize how much you should be earning. Because you’re focused on finding work as soon as you can, you’re less likely to spend time negotiating a salary with potential employers. This can lead to a cycle of more financial stress, as you could wind up in a job with lower pay than you deserve.
In order to feel more comfortable negotiating your salary even during challenging times, spend time researching the average salary for the position you are looking for and the area you live in. Having a general idea of what your pay should be gives you more leveraging power when discussing salaries with your potential employer.
If possible, having a side-job can also give you extra financial stability and make negotiating salaries easier. Your phone can be a huge help when it comes to finding extra income these days. With apps like DoorDash, Uber, or the plethora of other side hustle apps available for most people to work in their spare time, you can earn some cash to help reduce your financial stress. This means you’ll have more ability to leverage your options because you won’t be as eager to take the first salary you’re given.
Financial stress can often mean spending extra time working through paperwork, restructuring and reworking your budget, and putting in more work to find deals and savings while shopping. When you’re unemployed or looking for work this can be tricky to manage, as you may already be busy looking for work and staying afloat during everyday life. This could limit your ability to apply to as many jobs as possible, attend interviews, and put your full attention towards finding work.
Thankfully, technology can be a great tool to take some of the weight off your shoulders while looking for a new job. The financial technology market is currently booming with free products that can help you keep your money easily organized directly from your phone.
Along with apps that can assist you with career information and services, like LinkedIn, there are numerous platforms that create a simplified money management strategy. For example, you can also take advantage of the many auto-payment and auto-savings features available with a digital-based bank account. This can keep your finances secure and be helpful in managing your money for you automatically. If you utilize a digital bank account, you can also turn on push notifications to see updates on your balance every time you make a purchase or get paid.
You can also utilize a digital budgeting app to automatically keep track of all your spending and any income you’re earning in order to keep yourself from overspending. These work by linking your bank account directly to the app, and then budgeting out your income amongst different categories, such as food, housing, and socializing. Tracking your spending this way can help make sure you’re able to pay your bills on time.
Extra Urgency to Find Work
Just like financial stress can cause difficulties when negotiating a salary, it can also make you more eager to take on the first job opportunity you come across. Unfortunately, this can cause many people to end up stuck in a position or company they don’t really enjoy, and lead to increased stress and unhappiness down the line.
In times of financial difficulty, finding your dream job may not be realistic, but it doesn’t mean you should settle for something that isn’t a good fit for you either. A way of avoiding this comes from putting in the work ahead of time. While still employed, this will prepare you for potential future job loss.
While this isn’t always possible, one should always avoid leaving their current job until they are certain that they will be hired at another company. This means they can start looking for work while in a position to still earn money, allowing them to be more selective about which jobs they take.
Having an emergency fund is a great way to give you stability while you’re looking for work. This is something that takes a while to build up and should be done while you’re still employed, but it can give great financial stability in the future. Typically, an emergency fund is an amount of money put into savings meant to cover 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. By putting aside a small percentage of your paycheck every month into a savings account, you’ll quickly have a decent amount saved up that will prepare you for potential job loss.
Poor Interview Performance
Financial stress doesn’t just have an economic impact on your life. By its nature, it has a psychological impact on you as well. Any type of stress can drag you down and put a psychological strain on you, and lower your performance in key areas, especially when it comes to looking for work.
This can have a huge impact on your interview skills. Interviews are already stressful enough, but with other life stresses weighing down on you, that next meeting with your potential employer may end up going less well than one would hope. With other parts of your life on your mind during an interview, it’s hard to put your full attention towards showing off your skills and impressing the interviewer.
This is why learning simple stress relief techniques can play a huge role in reducing your overall stress, whether it be related to finances, job loss, or any other aspect of your life that is making your interview performance weaker. From simple deep breathing techniques to meditation and mindfulness, there are many different ways to relieve stress. Simply practice some an hour or half-hour before your interview to ground yourself and stay focused on the interview instead of the stress impacting your daily life.
Spend time practicing your interview skills with a friend to help you feel more confident before you finally go in for the real thing. You can even find mock interviews and professionals online that will help you prepare and improve your skills and help guarantee you will be mentally prepared to impress the hiring team.
Financial stress may make the job-hunting process difficult and more time consuming than usual. However, with the right amount of preparation and strategizing, you can reduce the negative impact this stress is having on you and allow yourself to focus more on your job search.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock Images
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