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Job-hunting in the pandemic: What can graduates do to stay positive?

Job-hunting can be tough at the best of times; but trying to find employment while the world navigates a global pandemic adds another layer of pressure. With graduates looking ahead to what their future job-prospects hold, many may be feeling additional stress and worry about what is next.

To help navigate this, we caught up with Colette Lewis, Clinical Manager for Living Well UK member Newman Health & Wellbeing, to get her top tips.

Commenting on how graduates can cope with the stress of job-hunting during the pandemic, Colette, said:

“Recognise that looking for a job is a stressful process, but your degree will have taught you useful skills to help you during the time, such as managing different priorities, effective communication and meeting multiple deadlines. Looking for a job during a pandemic is another challenge and it is important to try and keep in a positive frame of mind: for example, you many want to manage your news consumption if you feel it is impacting on your mood, or create daily positive affirmations to help when your mood may fluctuate.

“It may help you to treat your search like a job or a project, so there are clear boundaries set and you keep time for self-care. What this care looks like will be different for everyone, but try and find yours, make it a priority, and recognise that this will help you to feel good about yourself when the right opportunity comes along.”

Talking about social media – in particular, LinkedIn – spurring comparison between graduates, Colette Lewis, Clinical Manager for Living Well UK member Newman Health & Wellbeing, commented:

“It is widely recognised that people’s social media posts often only show the positive side of life rather than the real picture, so it may be helpful to manage your social media consumption, or limit the people that you are connected to on LinkedIn. Equally, you could make your own positive space on LinkedIn, using it as a way of reaching out to other unemployed graduates as a source of support.”


Discussing the mental health impact of job-hunting induced stress on graduates, Colette Lewis, Clinical Manager for Living Well UK member Newman Health & Wellbeing, added:

 “Remember that job-hunting is an absorbing process, and you will need to be robust to deal with the challenges it brings. New graduates may be dealing with the loss of the structure of university life and friendships and may be having to re-establish networks in a new place or for some in their childhood home.

“Be kind to yourself during this time and remember this will time will pass. It is also important to recognise when you need help, this may be with peers, family members or professional support of a counsellor if the odd flat day turns into a longer period.”


Newman Health & Wellbeing is a wellbeing service on the campus of Newman University, and its practitioners are a mix of staff who are experienced counselling professionals and students who are trainees studying to be counsellors and psychotherapists. Newman Health & Wellbeing is a member of consortium charity, Living Well UK, which brings together those in the Third Sector focused on providing access to mental health support in the West Midlands.


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