HOV: Preparing Mentally During Job Search

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WESLACO – Preparing to find a job is more than just finding the right clothes. It's also about preparing mentally for the change.

Losing a job and looking for a job both come with stress. Experts advise you keep an eye on your mental health throughout the process.

Whether a teacher, nurse, or construction worker -- whatever you do, it can be defining says mental health expert Ricardo Tovar.

"For a lot of people, employment gives people a sense of purpose," he explains. “Losing that sense of purpose can leave the unemployed battling themselves.”

Robert Morales is on the hunt for a job. He's been living off food stamps and Medicaid.

"It's going to be hard for me to find a job. My mind goes, 'The job is too hard for you so you can't work,'" he says.

Even getting the basics is a struggle right now, he says.

"What's pushing me forward is basically trying to get off the (streets), staying away from the shelters and trying to get the money in order to provide myself a new home. Money for food, clothes, everything I need," he adds.

Self-esteem can dip during these times. Tovar says if left unmonitored, the situation can breed greater problems.

"A person can go into depression and you'll see increase alcohol usage, increased anxiety, problems with sleeping," he says.

Tovar says one of the best things to do during these times is to surround yourself with positive people.

He recommends to, "find a good support group with family or friends and that should help build up your confidence again so you can get back out there."

Tovar adds a good support group can also help you prepare for those upcoming interviews.

Morales says he also uses music to keep him upbeat through tough times.

When the time comes for the job interview, there are some tips from AARP on what to do before:

  • Think about your technical skills and personal attributes that will help you stand out from other candidates
  • Write down some of your top accomplishments or times you've helped solve a problem for a previous employer
  • Invest time with friends or a career coach to build up your confidence and role play the interview
  • Manage your stress and picture yourself in that job - this is called visualization.
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