5 coping strategies while seeking employment

Coping strategies for job seekers. Picture: Keira Burton/ Pexels

Coping strategies for job seekers. Picture: Keira Burton/ Pexels

Published May 12, 2021


Many people lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic last year. This harmed their psychological and emotional well-being.

Between February and April of last year, about 3 million South Africans lost their jobs, with 1.5 million more losing their income due to furloughs, according to a National Income Dynamics Study – Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram).

Feeling anxious is normal, according to certified transformational life coach and founder of Positive Minds Africa, Tracey Dube.

“However, working through feelings and applying coping strategies will help achieve a state of mental balance,” she adds.

Dube shares five coping strategies for job seekers:

Use your time wisely

Upskill yourself. Find affordable or free courses to increase your chances of attracting new job opportunities.

Recognise the possibilities

Coping is a process, says Dube. Try to focus on what's positive and possible. According to a Harvard study, people who focus on the problem are limited in their ability to consider other options.

Follow a daily routine

Following a routine helps with productivity. Incorporate physical exercise into your daily routine.

“Exercise isn't only good for your health, but it helps boost your mood. When your mood is improved, it will help keep your mind away from temporary emotional fixes like alcohol and drugs, as these can worsen your mental state and increase your risk of developing anxiety and depression,” says Dube.

Create a support network

Surround yourself with people who will help you maintain optimism. To build a support network, inform some of your professional and social contacts that you're looking for employment.

Talk to someone

Talking about your issues makes you realise that you're not alone. This encourages you to stay motivated to persevere with your job search.

Dube advises, that if your mental state does not improve, seek professional help from your general practitioner or mental health support centres such as the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

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