6 Tips to Tackle Tech Job Search Anxiety
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- The tech job search can trigger anxiety and stress, just like other job searches.
- Set boundaries and routines to help you spend the right amount of time searching.
- Practice technical and behavioral interview questions to boost your confidence.
- Celebrate your progress and engage in positive self-talk to lower your stress.
You've graduated from your coding bootcamp and now you're ready to jump into the tech job search. Here's the good news: The tech industry continues to grow. The number of computer and information technology jobs is projected to increase by 11% from 2019 to 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nevertheless, the job search can still be tough. It can take months for coding bootcamp graduates to land their first position, even with career coaching resources and networking opportunities available. For many, the job search process can cause unwelcome anxiety.
This guide offers a few practical tips to help you manage and overcome job search anxiety.
Why the Tech Job Search Triggers So Much Anxiety
Any type of job search is stressful, especially when so much is out of your control. However, this anxiety can feel especially acute when carrying out a tech job search.
Recruiters and employers sometimes lack transparency, which can be frustrating when waiting for an update on your application. Technical interview questions and coding evaluations can be difficult to prepare for and trigger performance anxiety. Even within the growing tech industry, you're likely to face ample competition, and it can sometimes take longer than expected to find a new role.
With all of these factors, you may be wondering how you can reduce your stress levels when starting your tech job search.
How Can I Reduce Job Search Anxiety?
There's no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing your job search anxiety, but the six strategies below can help lessen your stress.
When you're on the tech job search —and especially if you're unemployed at the time — it's easy to become apathetic. Wake up mid-morning, scroll through your Facebook feed, watch Netflix after breakfast … and then half of your day is gone.
That's why it's vital to set a schedule. Set aside a daily block of time to make progress in your job search. Wake up at the same time each day, shower, get dressed, and log onto LinkedIn. Even if you're not feeling motivated, discipline can help you pull through.
Don't let your tech job search consume your life. Make sure your job hunting doesn't eat into other critical responsibilities, like your current job or caring for your family. Set aside time for hobbies or activities that bring you joy, and take time to rest.
To help you set those boundaries, dedicate a certain number of hours to the job search each week —and stick to it.
Although it's tempting to apply to as many jobs as possible early in your job search, pacing yourself is a smarter strategy. Remember that it often takes awhile to land a new position,especially if it's your first tech job.
Rushing into the job search means you might not dedicate enough time to each application to make it compelling to employers. Plus, pacing yourself and taking breaks can help you avoid burnout during your search.
It's a difficult truth to swallow, but you can't control everything. For example, you can't control what your ideal employer is looking for in a job candidate. Maybe they're looking for someone with many years of programming experience — that's not something you can change.
Instead, focus on what you can control. Keep your resume and LinkedIn profile up to date, customize each cover letter to match the specific job posting, emphasize your relevant experience from previous roles, and continue to network.
Searching for a job is no different from any other skill — it takes practice. Nobody is naturally an expert in writing resumes and cover letters, or completing coding challenges and technical interviews. Practice can help you get better at these skills, and improve your confidence during the tech job search.
Luckily, you have several resources at your disposal to help you practice these skills. Most bootcamps offer mock interviews and resume reviews as part of their career services. You can also find resume and cover letter examples online, and websites like Glassdoor may list technical interview questions you're likely to encounter at specific companies.
Just because you don't land the first job you interview for doesn't mean you've failed. Find the little victories in every step of the job search process.
Maybe you've nailed an interview question, and you feel better prepared for interviews in the future. Perhaps you've mastered the art of writing a cover letter, or you've connected with someone you admire in the industry. A small win can also be something as minor as keeping your workspace organized and free of distractions.
Start thinking about these steps as achievements and you'll adopt a better perspective of your tech job search.
Be Kind to Yourself During the Tech Job Search
It's easy to get discouraged every time you find yourself ghosted by a recruiter, or when you open that dreaded rejection email in your inbox.
Even when you find yourself facing these experiences, refrain from negative self-talk. With discipline and persistence, you can find a job that's a good fit for you.
Finally, remember that the job search is only temporary. Be kind to yourself, and stay patient.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Tech Job Search
It's different for everybody, but many bootcamp grads land their first job within six months of completing their program. According to the Council for Integrity in Results Reporting, the average percentage of graduates employed in the field 180 days after graduation was around 79%, based on data collected from 46 coding bootcamps between January and June 2019. Read more about the kinds of jobs available to bootcamp grads.
Your salary potential after a bootcamp depends on multiple factors, like your experience, skill set, industry, specific coding job, and location. Individuals living in large cities or tech hubs are likely to find higher-paying positions, while people living in smaller cities with a lower cost of living may find their salaries don't match common rates in Silicon Valley.
Many bootcamps report that major tech companies hire their graduates. These include Google, Amazon, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, Spotify, Venmo, Expedia, and IBM. Keep in mind, many small and medium-sized tech companies also hire bootcamp graduates, as well as non-tech companies of all sizes.
Editor's Note: This article contains general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a professional advisor before making decisions about health-related issues.