You need look no further than popular television shows like The X Factor and American Idol to see how people become stressed as they passionately compete for jobs.
It's no surprise, since job seeking and the workplace are top contributors to stress.
Managing and addressing your stress during the job search is critical to successfully landing employment. This is especially true in our current job market given its radical fluctuations that can be a major source of increased stress.
"Stress is not unusual given that seeking or changing employment is a major life event. Career and personal life go hand-in-hand," said Delila Owens, associate professor at Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. "Our careers or jobs are tied to so many other areas of our lives such as our family, happiness, stability, children, spouses, etc."
You might be surprised that employers also deal with stress.
"Employers want to make the right decision, but in the process there are so many rules and regulations in conducting interviews that adds the stress," said Dana Branham, financial planner at Edward Jones.
Branham said it's also tough on employers as they have to leave their personal feelings out of decision making.
"Liking someone does not mean they will be good in the position they're interviewing for," Branham said.
So what can you do to reduce your stress? You can never be too early or prepared for your job search. A lack of preparation is one of the leading contributors to stress while seeking employment.
Take the advice of Amy Tomlinson, a second-year law student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas.
"Make a plan, listing and ranking options and goals presenting all possible scenarios before starting out," Tomlinson said. "Then put that plan into action to achieve the most favorable result based on circumstances."
Worktree.com suggests the following six tips to get rid of unnecessary job stress:
■ Get organized
■ Stick to a schedule
■ Take a break
■ Know where you stand
■ Avoid repetitive stress
■ Practice makes perfect
I caught up with Rodney Branum, store team leader at Target, during the University of Kentucky's Employer Showcase last week that saw hundreds of job seekers moving from booth to booth. There was great excitement as job seekers networked with employers, but I also sensed some stress in the air. Branum, an 18-year veteran, offered clear and to-the-point advice for those looking to impress:
■ Come prepared
■ Research the company
■ Practice your interview
■ Anticipate and prepare for your first questions, such as "Tell me about yourself."
■ Sell yourself during and at the end of the interview
■ Smile throughout the interview
To reduce or at least manage the stress in your job search, I suggest you develop a strategy that best works for you. You should be able to maintain a good optimistic perspective during your search. So be prepared to manage the stress and not allow it to manage you.