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Embrace the power of anxiety (at work)!

Welcome to Kickresume Sidekick — your trusty companion to all the weird things career that won’t bore you to death. This time about work-related anxiety, emotional intelligence at job interviews, and stuff.

Feeling anxious at work? Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. This is how.

Nearly 40 million adults in the US are affected by anxiety, while half of them deal specifically with performance anxiety and fear at work (National Institute of Health). 

I mean, who are we to judge, but...there's a pretty good chance that you, your colleagues or your boss are in it too.

But is it the point of this email to remind you about your work anxiety? Of course not. We want to be constructive, which is why we found these 5 methods to help you cope with it. Just in case. Not all of them will apply to your situation, but at least you can test them in your own environment and see if they work for you personally. 

Now, how to cope with work anxiety? 

  • Redefine the feeling of anxiety to something called "goal-busting arousal congruency". What's that, you ask? Simply, don't fight the anxiety, accept it.
  • Don't waste your decision-making superstrength by multi-tasking. Otherwise you won’t be able to see a clear and satisfying finish line where you can finally pat yourself on the back and feel that you achieved something that day (even if it’s something as small as checking an item off your to-do list).
  • Be vigilant about anxiety warning signs — purposefully avoiding your to-do list, getting distracted even by the tiniest interruptions, feelings of being overwhelmed, or multi-tasking and switching between unfinished tasks.
  • Fight your nomophobic tendencies (fear of not having a working mobile phone) and cut the wire to the matrix. Download all documents you need for the job and turn the wifi off. Or at least try using social, game and news blocking apps. Sounds scary? Maybe, but the results can be astounding.
  • Clear out your priorities if overwhelmed or confused. By asking your colleagues or team leader for feedback, you can retake control over your to-do list.

Read full post: Fight Or Flight? How To Channel Your Work Anxiety In A Productive Way by Sean O'Meara (

Don’t avoid difficult conversations at work. Just come prepared.

As if the normal, everyday anxiety wasn’t enough, sometimes you have to have a difficult conversation at work. Like I did last month
(it sucked). 

When you’re about to face such conversation, your body reaction is the same as if you've noticed a bear right next to you: your body gets in the “fight or flight” mode. Your heart rate increases, you begin to breathe faster, and your muscles tighten. (No wonder we sometimes call these conversations fights.)

If this so-called "amygdala hijack" happens, your rational thinking says bye-bye. All of a sudden, your body betrays you and your mind is unable to catch up. Sure, this is the right reaction to save you from the bear, but it never helps to view your conversation partner as a wild predator.

Luckily, there are ways to tame physical responses, though they require a bit of training and mindful approach. You can count on the obvious techniques such as counting your breath, standing up and walking, or taking a break to organize your thoughts.

However, if these don't work, you can take it one step further with anchoring (creating your calming-down anchor for all stressful situations) or repeating a short mantra (“Go to neutral”, “This isn’t about me,” “This will pass,” “This is just business”).

Susan David, author of Emotional Agility, sees the solution in observing one's emotions and thoughts from a distance and putting a bit of space between you and whatever you're feeling at the moment. “He is so wrong about that and it’s making me mad becomes I’m having the thought that my coworker is wrong, and I’m feeling anger”. This way, you can declutter your mind and free it up for rational thought. 

Read full post: How to Control Your Emotions During a Difficult Conversation by Amy Gallo (

Emotional intelligence job interview questions are a thing now. This can help you answer them correctly.

“I don't know how to reply! Do they have predefined answers and a scoreboard to evaluate me based on what I tell them now? I'm sure they know what the correct answer should be!” 

Does it sound familiar?

Taking back control of our feelings, reactions, and emotions seems to be a life-long task. That's not to mention the sweat dripping down our backs the moment we get asked questions about our emotional intelligence during job interviews. 

Yet, you can increase your chances of landing a dream job during the upcoming interview simply by knowing what the hiring managers might ask. Elaine Mead from Positive Psychology has covered it for you

The emotional intelligence questions are built in a way that helps them learn how you would behave and react in various life situations:

  • Who inspires you, and why? 
  • What is one of your proudest achievements?
  • How do you recover from failure?
  • What kind of behavior makes you angry/annoyed?, and others.

Before you dive in, though, remember that these questions have no right or wrong answers. It's only about you and your self-awareness. And the same applies to the questions posed by the job interviewer — there’s no “gotcha!”. Any honest answer will do. 

And why should you foster your emotional intelligence in the first place (apart from scoring the job, of course)?

Research has proved that high emotional intelligence is linked to better psychological well-being, lower levels of stress, deeper relationships, improved social competence and better management of life and work challenges. 

In the article, you'll also find self-assessment questionnaires and tools to evaluate the baseline of your current emotional intelligence status. 

Read full post: 25 Sharp Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions by Elaine Mead, BSc



Hear! Hear! Kickresume’s resident HR expert Christy Morgan is about to dispense useful LinkedIn job search advice.

  • Can not having a LinkedIn profile cost you a job offer?

“I’m sure it does. A lot of recruiters use it these days. Companies often cross-post jobs there, or use it to search for candidates. So, if they’re only posting there and a couple of other places, then you might not see those opportunities.”

  • What kind of information do HR managers look for on your profile? 

“I firstly look at things like their current job responsibilities and accomplishments, as well as their earlier roles, to check for general consistency with the resume if I have that already — which is where having a complete profile helps. Because LinkedIn is public, so you’re less likely to hide or misrepresent stuff.”

  • How can you use LinkedIn to find a job?

“First of all, set up job alerts for the types of jobs you’re looking for. You can do that by job title and location, and LinkedIn will alert you daily or weekly by email and/or LinkedIn notification. Make sure that you’ve got your LinkedIn career interests section switched on to show that you’re open to opportunities.”

Need more tips? Check out the interview with our resident recruiter: Recruiter Reveals: This is How to Use LinkedIn Effectively During Job Search

  • Martin Poduska, Editor in Chief at Kickresume
  • Martin Poduska
    Editor in Chief
    Martin Poduska is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. He leads Kickresume’s team of writers and is the main person responsible for upholding the standards of expertise and quality on the blog. In addition to having written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles, as chief editor he has also edited and revised every single article on this blog. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. Martin holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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