The interview is over but for you it’s only the beginning of a nit-picking process that will go on for days. Even if it went well you scrutinise every detail of the interview looking for signs of failure, or success. Did they notice when you couldn’t find the right word? And why did they use such a matter of fact tone when they said goodbye. That means I didn’t get it. Right?

Being inside your own head can be exhausting sometimes and it makes the already stressful process of job hunting even more challenging. When you don’t progress to the next stage it is easy to dwell on the insignificant, which you can conveniently blame later on. Overthinking is a waste of valuable time and energy and ultimately job search sabotage.

Here we offer a few remedies that will hopefully help calm your mind.

Focus on you, not everyone else

This is one of the best pieces of advice you can take on board for all stages of your career. We know that in the age of social media it is hard not to build a fort in your bedroom and never come out when your friends keep getting promoted.

The job search process can be a long one, it requires patience but above all confidence in your own abilities. Comparing your skills, careers and life journey to others will only undermine your self-belief and make you doubt whether your making any headway.

Rewire your thinking

Repeat after me: done, not perfect. Your job application does not have be a masterpiece. Apply for the job on the day you see it. Chances are the longer you leave it the more likely it is that the company has found the right candidate. While it’s important that your job application is tailored to the job specification and screams ‘pick me’ in big neon letters, thinking about how to achieve all of this for too long can begin to work against you.

Stop aiming for ‘perfect’. There is no perfect application, no perfect interview answer, no perfect candidate. Thinking this way will only fuel your desire to overthink.  

Instead of overthinking, take action

Instead of saying ‘I’m stuck in a dead end job’ say ‘I want a job where I feel more motivated’. Then make concrete plans to achieve this. This approach to solving a problem will not happen if you’re still obsessing over that bad application you sent last week.

Create a to-do list, a calendar and a set of actionable objectives that can drive you towards your career goals. Instead of focusing on what you could have done better, and letting yourself wallow in the past and its failings, take what lessons you can and move forward with positive objectives in mind.

Meditate

One of the many benefits of meditation is that is offers a way to tame your over active mind. You don’t need a yoga mat, a weird pose and a candle crackling in the corner. It can be as simple as closing your eyes, relaxing your shoulders and focusing on each individual breath. Once you open your eyes the anxiety should have drifted away, at least somewhat. This is mindfulness, in a nutshell. It is about focusing on the present and not the mindless chatter that’s clogging your thought process.

Overthinking stems from feelings of uncertainty and the enormity of life decisions that we face. It’s easier to examine past mistakes looking for answers than to face the uncertainty head on. Try not to get overwhelmed by focusing on smaller goals and taking each step of the job search as it comes. This will help clear you mind, take action and face any roadblocks that come your way

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