Extremely anxious to start applying for work

Hi everyone, basically I am petrified to start applying for jobs again. I knew this would happen, but I still don't regret my decision. Now i'm not scared for the idea of working - I actually want a little part time job just to give me a purpose. I'm looking forward to getting out there again and meeting people! But i'm so so scared for the recruitment process.

Basically I am officially unemployed as of Friday! (Hooray) But I haven't even started applying for jobs yet. I'm too scared to even look in case I see a good one which means I need to apply! (Stupid I know! But if I only see bad jobs I have an excuse for not applying!) When I start applying for jobs it just means that whole process of getting rejected time and time again, having to go to interviews that make me feel incredibly sick with anxiety, and being new to something all over again! The whole recruitment process is petrifying but I need to do it to get anywhere!

I want to get my mum to help me freshen up my CV with my new experience and qualifications but I am too scared to ask her in case she starts questioning why I haven't applied yet. She knows i'm afraid to start applying, but I don't know if she knows I haven't actually done anything yet!

Does anyone have any tips on how to just, push past this anxiety and cope with applying for work?

Thank you.

15 Replies

  • Hello again Maisiemay, you really must approach this more positively. Unless you are extremely lucky you're not going to end up with a job without going through a recruitment process. There's no reason you can't sit down with your Mum to improve your CV without telling her you have n't applied yet although IMO it would be better to be honest with your Mum.

    There's nothing terrifying about going through a recruitment process and who's saying you're going to get rejected time and time again. If there are 30 million jobs in the UK probably 25 million have gone through a recruitment process so it can't be that terrifying.

    How are you going to spend the rest of your life if you can't show the small amount of courage to become accustomed to the job recruitment process?


  • Thats the thing I know I need to go through it, and my mum keeps telling me how I coped really well last time with the recruitment process but I can't remember it well at all.

    I know I will deal with it when it happens (interviews and that) I just don't know how to get past this initial fear of applying. I'm literally too scared to open up a job site just in case i see something that suits what i'm looking for and know i need to apply. Then again all time time i'm leaving it i'm spending my day worrying about how i haven't applied for anything yet - it's all very stupid i know

  • MaisieMay , I really am at a loss to tell you how to overcome your anxiety about applying except just do it. Find something you want to apply for and sit down with your Mum and write an application, even better write several.

    No one else can do this for you altho your Mum will probably help. You can't spend weeks doing nothing about it and even your Mum will lose patience unless you make a start.

  • Yeah you're right. I know i'm capable of doing this! I did find one once and I asked my mum just to help me with the first one and then once ive done one i'll be applying for everything i see alone(it happened last time) but she said I don't need her to do it, maybe i'll just explain again and say how it will only be for the first one to give me that push and get me going.

    Thank you Olderal, I hope you are doing well

  • I can see where you're coming from Maisy, I stayed in a job for over a year that I absolutely loathed. I went home everyday and cried but I couldn't bare the thought of applying for jobs.

    I think once you've made that first step it is so much easier. And I know that's easy to say but honestly it can't get any harder. Turn it around and think like that, try to be positive.

    I think sitting down with your mum will be a great step. And like Olderal says you don't need to tell her you haven't started yet but you just want a bit of advice on how to get it right. Hopefully she'll be really supportive as she knows the struggles you've been having and had at your old job.

    What I've found about applying for jobs, it's better to apply for a handful that you really want and you out the time into applying for. Rather than loads that you're not that fussed about but will get you down if you're not successful

    With regards to interviews, it's all about the preparation, if you do your homework before it'll make you comfortable when it comes to the face to face as you'll know the company and what they expect from employees.

    Finally I don't think you should be scared of finding the job that suits you as that's a good thing and it'll make you more motivated to get it.

    I wish you the best of luck 😊

  • Yes thats exactly what i was like. In no way do i regret leaving work before getting another job as i honestly don't think i would have managed to continue unharmed.

    Thats what i'm thinking, i'm sure once i take that first step and apply for that first job i will get a rush of energy as i did last time!

    My mum is supportive but she gets a bit short fused when it comes to work because i think she thinks i'm trying to get away with having no job (i'm not at all, i do want a job i just don't want the process of getting one!)

    Yes last time i started applying for only the jobs that excited me. Id either hear nothing back or a rejection email in a months time. About 60 jobs after that I got a bit desperate and just applied for anything that suited my hours and when i actually got an interview for one of them i broke down crying because i didnt actually want that job😂 So i certainly wont be making that mistake again!

    Ive only had 2 interviews in my life and i smashed both of them. I take the preparation to the extreme, i practice every interview question that i could think of and i researched so much into the companies i probably knew more than them! I got offered both jobs (one i unfortunately couldn't take due to location). So although i know i handle them okay i still remember feeling sick and faint waiting for the interview.

    Thank you!!

  • Good luck 😊 you certainly sound like you're in the right mind frame for it. Let us know how you get on

  • Hi MaisyMay, all the advice given by my fellow posters is bang on the button. I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely suck at job hunting, like you, I can see loads of opportunities and want to apply for them all. Then once the application form goes off, I suck at waiting, really suck at waiting. But then the answer comes through, oh cripes, I have an interview. More anxiety, should I cancel, why did I apply for the job in the first place. Interview day, passes in a blur of anxious embarrassment as I try to sell myself as the best candidate. Argh, I have been offered the job!!!

    This has been my experience of job hunting since I was 16......I am now 48, I have a longer CV with some interesting bits on it, but I still go through the same process. Don't stress the small stuff, just get on with it.

    What did make job hunting easier was when I joined an agency that would arrange work for me. I think the Jobcentre run some courses about interview technique and applying for jobs, if you can't face your mum, you could drop in and see if they can help you.

    Good luck and I hope the next opportunity you spot will be challenging and exciting.


  • Thats exactly like me! I ended up applying for everything, checked my emails every day dreading the "we're sorry to say"'s that id get almost daily and then the one time i actually got an interview id burst into tears and cancel the interview because i didn't even want the job in the first place i just applied because i was desperate.

    Oh maybe i'll look into a job centre then! It must be useful having that outside support.

    Thank you!!

  • Hi yes tell the Jobcentre how you feel and if necessary ask to see the disability advisor. I think most Jobcentres these days will help you will a cv or be able to send you on a course etc.

    If you only want to apply for part time work and the Jobcentre pressurise you into applying for full time jobs then have a word with your doctor and they can do you a letter limiting your hours because of illness and also identifying the type of work you are capable of.

    The Jobcentre will then keep this on their records and keep to the limits the doctor advised. They did this with me when I was looking for work several years ago and I presume it hasn't changed since then.

  • Oh yes that sounds good then. Yeah hours wise I have the availability for full time but mental health wise i don't think it would do me any good at the moment.

    I just hope they wouldnt pressure me into applying for something i wouldnt wish to do?

    Thank you!

  • That's why I said you need a letter from your doctor!

  • It would be useful for forum to know what type of job that you are applying for and where you live as in many areas employers are desperate for staff and not all small employers have a formal recruitment policy. Agree go through agencies they do all the work for you. As an employer I get stressed when interviewing staff and any employer worth working for will appreciate that a candidate is nervous and help them. Good luck you have done the hard work.

  • Thank you! Yeah i just hope employers can look past the nerves and realise i'm actually an incredibly hard worker and all i ever want to do is please. Yeah i'm just looking for a part time job in like retail or a supermarket, just something I can meet new people and hopefully enjoy myself. Only looking for between 16-20 hours as i am aware most places ask for overtime and i'm looking in the Kent area - thank you

  • Good luck. Sometimes you see notices on small shop windows asking for staff. The owner probably just asks a few questions and then decides whether you suit. Is it worth doing a few hours in local charity shops to get back into swing of things.

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