Look after your mental health during the job search

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By MatcHub

The COVID-19 Crisis has exacerbated a difficult job search.

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Since the establishment of the National Care Hotline in April this year, there have been a recorded number of 23,000 calls from people requiring psychological and financial services.

With a struggling economy and fewer opportunities, it is not surprising to see that mental health issues are surging. The initial process of transitioning towards adulthood is already tough enough, but adding on the after effects of COVID-19, it could push some towards job-search depression and anxiety.

Mental health issues should not be taken lightly. It’s not just bouts of sadness or distress, it could be prolonged feelings of a sense of worthlessness and self-doubt.

This is why it’s so important to take care of not just your physical health, but also your mental health. Here’s 3 ways for a healthier path towards your job search!


1. Stop comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself with others will only deplete your energy, not theirs.

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Ever had friends who seemed like they had their whole life planned out? Or have friends who posted fantastic internship offers on their instagram stories?


Being envious of the success of others is totally normal, but it shouldn’t be to the extent where it pushes you to the edge of depression. Beyond the picture-perfect lives as people like to describe, remember that everyone, no matter how successful, is also facing their internal struggles.


Instead of seeing other’s success as your misery, see it as motivation instead! One great way is to read autobiographies of successful people; there are so many valuable lessons that you can learn.


A must-read is Alibaba: the house that Jack Ma built – Jack Ma grew up poor, failed his university exams twice and was rejected for dozens of jobs including one at KFC. Read to learn how he overcame all these setbacks and became one of the most successful entrepreneurs today


2. Practice & Prepare

With the intense competition, it is crucial to be well versed on your interview skills. Understanding a company’s values and your own personal goals at the back of your mind will help to alleviate the jitters.


Here’s some things you can try doing!


  • Speak to a mirror: look out for your expression and hand gestures
  • Ask a friend to test you on some common interview questions: train your speed of thought and exclude any ‘ums’ and ‘err…’
  • Think of things you would want to talk about to help you stand out as a candidate

The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be. Consider Freddie Mercury, who went from being shy and introverted to belting out ‘We Are The Champions’ to an audience of 250,000 people!


PS: Knowing what employers look out for in the recruitment process could be a plus point! MatcHub often invites speakers to talk about the secrets to entering their specific industries, you can read more here.


3. Talk to Someone

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Some people may feel embarrassed, or ashamed and therefore close themselves off from socialising. But this may actually be even more detrimental for your mental health.


Rather, sharing your problems can help to:


  • Have a clearer mind
  • Release pent up stress
  • Know that you’re not the only one having a hard time

Try speaking to your family and friends about your troubles and you might be pleasantly surprised with the advice they will give you!


However, if you are looking for professional help, do book an appointment with your school’s counsellor. Universities like SMU, NUS and NTU have their own respective counselling services to help students manage their worries better.


Focus on the Process, not the Outcome.


To put it simply, searching for a job, especially as a student or fresh graduate, is definitely going to be challenging. When something doesn’t go as planned, don’t be too hard on yourself and learn from each misstep.


In your free time, it would be great to do research on the best places to look for jobs or the tricks to finding a job you love.


It’s easier said than done, but start making mental health your main priority today. A brighter you will lead to producing greater results, and perhaps, you’ll start seeing the world around you in a more positive way!



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