Why Exercise Is Important For Your Job Search (And How to Make Time For It)

A polished resume, a perfected elevator pitch, a well-crafted cover letter, a professional interview outfit, and a tuned-up LinkedIn profile. You already know that there are tons of different elements that are important for success in your job hunt. But, exercise? Well, let’s just say that it’s likely not the first thing to spring to mind.

However, believe it or not, making time for physical activity during your job search can actually greatly improve the experience—and maybe even the results. Here are three ways that exercise can benefit your job search, as well as how exactly you can manage to make time for it.

1. Exercise Reduces Stress

Let’s face it—job hunting can be stressful. But, camping out in front of your computer until you’re sore, blurry-eyed, and exhausted will only serve to make matters worse. This is when stepping away from your desk and squeezing in some activity can really make a difference in your overall outlook!

Aside from forcing you to tear yourself away from that computer, exercise has been proven to have some stress-busting benefits. Physical activity produces endorphins, which are feel-good hormones that can act as natural painkillers. These endorphins not only make you feel better and battle that pesky job search stress, they also improve your ability to sleep—which also helps to reduce your stress levels. More snoozin’ and less stressin’? That’s enough motivation to hop on that treadmill.

2. Exercise Increases Your Productivity

Hunting for a new gig can quickly turn into a full-time job on its own. And, in order to make the most of your time, you need to put your nose to the grindstone and be as productive as possible.

When you exercise, your body increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn makes you more alert and gives you more energy. That mental sharpness and increased efficiency will undoubtedly come in handy as you’re submitting application after application and attending interview after interview.

3. Exercise Boosts Your Confidence

Anyone who has ever job hunted before knows that it can involve a lot of shots to to the ego. With plenty of rejection and “constructive feedback”, it’s all too easy to get dragged down into feeling worthless and incompetent.

However, exercise has been linked to a nice, healthy confidence boost. By providing a sense of achievement, giving you an outlet to get rid of those negative thoughts, and even improving your physical appearance, exercise gives you an increased sense of self-confidence that you can channel into your job search! After all, everyone loves a self-assured candidate.

While you might be convinced of the benefits involved with exercising, that doesn’t necessarily make finding the time for it any easier. Life gets busy—particularly if you’re job hunting on top of your normal 9 to 5. And, identifying a few minutes here and there where you can squeeze in some physical activity can be a challenge.

But, if you’re eager to work a little more exercise into your routine, give these quick tips a try.

Find Something You Enjoy

If you dread exercising, it’s going to be much harder to make the time to actually do it. As humans, we’re much more inclined to set aside time for the things we enjoy. So, whether it’s running, dancing, or swimming, find something that you like—or, at the very least, can tolerate.

Schedule It

Sometimes you just need to actually force yourself to make time for things that aren’t necessarily related to your job search. The best way to do that? Schedule it like you would anything else. Block out some time in your planner, and then honor it as you would any other meeting or commitment.

Partner Up

We could all use a little accountability every now and then. Finding a workout buddy will inspire you to actually stick to the workout schedule that you set for yourself, as you’ll have someone else counting on you to be there. Signing up for a group workout class is another great way to instill some structure and ensure you get yourself out of the house to exercise.

Multitask

If you’re feeling particularly pressed for time, there’s no rule stating you can’t do any job search-related tasks while you’re exercising. Rehearse your answers to common interview questions while you’re on the treadmill or use your phone to research a company while you’re on the recumbent bike. It’s the ultimate multitasking!

Exercising might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to benefiting your job search. However, it can have some definite positive effects on your hunt for a new gig—as long as you can find the time for it. Keep these tips in mind, and you’re sure to notice a big difference!

Kat Boogaard

Written by

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

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