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Steps to Minimize Stress in Your Job Search by Andrew Martinez, PhD

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Looking for employment is often a stressful event. After going through interviews for graduate school, internship, and fellowship, the common thought is “Will this ever end?” The good news is, “Yes it does.” The bad news is that looking for a job often feels like a full-time job.

Here are some basic strategies to help minimize your stress:

The first important step is to update your CV
Whenever you network or are referred for a specific job, you should be prepared to submit your CV. Create a “skeleton” CV that includes all relevant training, publications, references, etc. With a “skeleton” CV, you can quickly modify and highlight experiences to match a specific employment opportunity.  Creating a “skeleton” cover letter may also be helpful. However, it is important to individualize every cover letter to fit the specific position you are applying to.

Next, reflect on your situation.
While most would consider moving for their dream job, often times other factors (e.g., family, financial) limit that opportunity.  As such, it’s wise to narrow down your preferences, location, job criteria, etc. Many times recent graduates are grateful for any opportunity. However, it’s important not to embark on an opportunity too far out of your comfort zone. This will minimize the chance you will be searching for another position in the near future.

Finally, search for and seek out employment opportunities. One common way is to network.
For early professionals, reach out to former supervisors or practicum sites. Reach out to colleagues or professors you have worked with in the past. Many times these individuals are aware of specific or potential job openings. Personal referrals may also be able to give you insight into the position. Reach out to other psychologists in your specific field/area for any leads. While some may bothered, many psychologists welcome the opportunity to help other psychologists.

Also, consider reaching out to recruiters.
Many recruiters are aware of employment opportunities around the country. If none of their positions meet your criteria, they may keep you in mind if something becomes available in the future. Use the internet to search for opportunities. Job openings can be found on employment (indeed.com, healthecareers.com) and organizational (APA, state psychology organizations, National Registry) websites.

In addition, join listservs, as employment opportunities are often sent out via listservs.
There are listservs specifically for job postings, as well as more specialized psychology communities (e.g., Pediatric Psychology, Neuropsychology) that regularly post job announcements. While searching all these avenues may seem daunting, searching can be done in your free time (e.g., while watching television). If you get overwhelmed by the amount of opportunities and information requested, create checklists to help you keep track of all positions, requirements, and whether you’ve contacted them.

After you’ve applied and are going through the interview process, it is important to value your own worth.  Be confident in your skills and your experiences. It’s important to note that you, in a way, are interviewing the site to determine whether that position fits you.

Author,
Andrew_Martinez_PhDAndrew Martinez, PhD, LP
Licensed Psychologist
Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine National Register Credentialed since 2014

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