So: you have reached the end of the educational conveyor belt, and you are now in the big heap of other new graduates who also do not yet have a job. It would be tempting, shallow and less than kind to write a post telling you how you shouldn’t let your situation stress you.

Frankly, if you have invested all that time and effort into acquiring an education, and now you find yourself indebted and unemployed, I think that feeling more than a bit stressed about the whole thing is perfectly rational. Just don’t let it get to you (and especially don’t do anything silly; your story has a long way to run yet).

There may, however, be some useful things to say about how to avoid your stress driving you into behaviours that will keep you unemployed longer than you should be. Stress is unavoidable, but you can learn to manage your reactions under stress.

Have a look at your Life Style Grid in the hoozyu report. Look for the Circle and Square markers (they will be superimposed on one another). The circle represents your Needs, the Square your likely reactions under Stress. So the first thing to register is that – for the most part – how you react under Stress will be a window onto Needs you have that aren’t currently being met.

Look at where your Circle and Square fall on the Grid: are they north of the border (Red or Green) or south (Yellow or Blue)?

Let’s start with south of the border. Under stress it is likely that you will withdraw from people. If you are Blue you may start living in your head too much, if Yellow you may immerse yourself in things that need doing; either way, the problem is that you are not doing the one thing you need to, which is mixing with real people who may be able to signpost job opportunities for you. This is why the advice I gave in the last post – go out and do something that you care about – is pretty important, because it will keep you mixing with people. If you are Blue Needs and Stress it gives you people around you who can show an interest in you, if Yellow then it gives you the structured environment you need (but where there will be people to interact with – not your felt need, but definitely your Job Search need). So – however you do it, if you are south of the border, engage with people.

North of the border is slightly simpler, in that you probably are engaging with people anyway. The challenge is that you may become too “pushy” (Green) or too “direct” (Red). Generally people are more likely to give you a generous push in the right direction if they don’t feel under pressure to do so. If your stress drives you into becoming very competitive (Green) or overly blunt (Red), then people may see you more as an annoyance than as someone they want to help. If they do give you a shove, it could be over the nearest (metaphorical) cliff rather than into the path of an oncoming opportunity.

Stress gets anti-social, one way or another – either by avoiding human contact or by driving it away. Make sure you engage with people, make a difference to them in a positive and happy way and you have a good chance that they will help you find what you are looking for.