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unemployedblackwomanLooking for a new job is stressful for many reasons. If you are currently employed, yet searching for a new opportunity, nine times out of 10 there are compounded issues at your present place of employment to deal with on top of your search. Alternatively, if you are unemployed and searching for a job, the stress of wondering about finances during a period of not working can also add to any anxiety felt during this time.

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There are a few people (meaning my “lucky” friends) who have jobs just land at their laps, when they are not looking per se. They loved their previous job and the new job is even more intriguing with significant more pay. All in all, they are winning on the job front and seldom deal with any stress or anxiety when it comes to their careers. However, for those who have been laid off, fired and/or just plain old sick and tired of the job we may be in currently, looking for a new work opportunity is not a walk in the park.

Despite the many factors that may cause you to fret about looking for a new job, here are a few tips to manage the stress so you can effectively and efficiently find your next gig:

1) Re-assess and set a goal.

It makes no sense to leave one bad gig or another bad gig all for the sake of having a job. I have seen some posts on social media where people voiced their satisfaction with being employed and miserable, than unemployed and happy. I do NOT understand that logic. Most times when you have been unceremoniously laid off or fired, it’s an opportunity for you to regroup and reassess where you are in your career. If you have been working in middle management for 15 years with secret desires to become an entrepreneur, maybe this is your time to follow that dream. Been an accountant for 5 years, but you really want to teach? Take this time to search, and apply for what you really want.

2) Ask friends, family and colleagues for any leads.

If you know a job search is imminent, or immediate, be certain to reach out to your networks to inform them that you are currently looking for a new opportunity. You never know who your network knows and/or what openings they may be apprised of that are not listed on traditional job portals.

3) Figure out the source of your stress.

Is your looming rent/mortgage payment the major stress factor? Or do you just abhor sitting in front of your computer for hours on hours scrolling through job sites? Whatever the main source of stress, it is better to identify it so you may face it head on and conquer it.

4) Be realistic.

We are still recovering from the recession, so, though job rates have turned around for the better, opportunities still might not be as abundant as they once were. If you are not called in for an interview, or given the job, just understand the number of applicants in comparison to the number of opportunities may not be in your favor just yet. You may have to look for more opportunities, and submit more resumes and bios than before. Come to terms with this before you begin your search to alleviate any unnecessary stress.

5) Don’t allow rejection to hinder you.

With my law school graduation looming, I had collected a shoe box full of rejection letters from law firms in the Houston area. It was sad, no, actually pathetic. For a short period I wallowed in pity because I could NOT find a job. I later decided, after praying about it, that maybe I was not supposed to stay in Houston. Months later I took the New York Bar Exam, moved to New York and immediately got a job as Of Counsel. Rejection is simply direction, or redirection. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open to ALL opportunities, even if it takes time to get there.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( . She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 10 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.


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