When some people hear the word “mindfulness,” they imagine crystals and chakras that seem scary and hard to understand. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or something you put a ton of energy into. Even meditation in the simplest form can have a huge impact on job search efforts.

The good news is you don’t need to be an expert to reap the benefits that come with this practice! We’re all about keeping things simple here at Rake. In fact, so many websites and apps like Headspace to assist us with mindfulness that it’s easy to learn about. Devoting just 5-10 minutes every day to meditation can change your life, especially during stressful times like a job search.

Mindfulness, or a general sense of increased awareness, has endless benefits when job searching. Applying for jobs, networking, and interviewing can be a doozy (we’re stressed just thinking about it!), and it’s easy to get so overwhelmed that it’s hard to stay organized. Plus, while in the middle of a job search, it’s easy to worry about uncontrollable forces at hand (for example the qualifications of other candidates). Luckily, mindfulness helps us focus on what we can control, and then form a plan of attack. When we use meditation to become mindful about the tasks at hand, mental clarity and organization become easier, and we’re more likely to get what we need to get done, done (in other words, serious productivity!)

When we participate in meditation, we’re encouraged to close our eyes, clear our minds, and focus on our breathe. Sometimes, when we’re stressed, we feel guilty about taking time for ourselves. However, you don’t have to feel guilty about meditation because its benefits can have a directly positive impact on your job search!  Paying attention to your breathing and taking a break from your laptop for just 10 minutes will help you relax and reduce stress levels – enough so that you will be more productive in your job search afterwards.

Mindful practices like meditation will help you not only relax, but can actually make you a more compassionate and empathetic person. How? One of the most commonly recommended meditation practices for people who are job searching is this: Picture yourself getting a job. Done? Now, picture others getting a job. It may seem silly to imagine other people – who may possibly be your competition – getting a job, but hear us out. It’s a psychological fact that repeating your goal to yourself (whether out loud or in your mind) primes you to complete that goal.  Similarly, sending out good vibes to other people who are job searching has been linked to increased levels of empathy – and studies show that this type of emotional intelligence is important to hiring managers.

Finally, many practiced meditators swear by one idea in particular: focusing on the journey instead of the destination. People generally dislike the process of job searching. And we don’t blame them! Creating and compiling resumes alone can be hard work – and that’s just the beginning. However, meditation helps us focus on the present, which helps us complete tasks one at a time and – once again – increase productivity.

By taking some time for self care through meditation, you can drastically improve your experience and results during your search. And don’t forget, hiring managers can distinguish between a healthy job searcher and an overwhelmed one. Utilize the resources that are out there to help you learn to meditate, and don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult at first! Focus on the journey, not the destination, and your Rake app will be waiting for you when you’re ready to start your search.

Also published on Medium.