Looking after yourself in recruitment season

01 Jun 2023
Recruitment season is an important time of the year. We know it can also feel like a long time. From applications, assessments to parties, exams, family gatherings; it is all happening at once!
Brittney Brightwell
Graduate Resourcing Consultant
Having previous recruitment experience within the law, I knew Clayton Utz had a reputation for excellence, fostered genuine relationships and encouraged authenticity. This reputation inspired me to join Clayton Utz's Graduate Recruitment Team in May 2022. I love building professional relationships with university students and supporting them through their early career journeys. In my free time I love going to the gym, playing board games, reading and spending time with my husband and 2 cats, Ivy and Harley

These demands can sometimes feel like a lot to manage and may result in stress. Below are some useful tips to help manage pressure and to harness it for your own success:

Be aware of stress

  • There are two types of stress; positive and negative. Stress, whether positive or negative, is a normal part of life. Too little or too much stress can hinder our productivity. Negative stress commonly transpires when a person feels they are unable to perform or cope in a situation. Whereas positive stress enables a person to perform at a high standard and increase motivation and satisfaction.

  • Being self-aware of stress is important so you can pivot away from negative stress. There are various signs of negative stress such as:
  • Psychological signs include memory lapses, becoming easily distracted and negative thinking.
  • Emotional signs include mood swings, lack of motivation, being defensive and extra sensitive.
  • Physical signs include weight loss or gain, panic attacks, nausea and tiredness.
  • Behavioural signs include increased reliance on alcohol, smoking and caffeine, absenteeism and recklessness.
  • A way to combat negative stress is to exercise positive thinking.
  • Usually negative thinking comes from us magnifying negative aspects of a situation, taking things personally, anticipating the worst and when we only see things as good or bad.
  • Look at the positive side of circumstances and think outside the box for solutions. Implement a healthy routine, surround yourself with positive people and practice positive self-talk. For some further tips on "how to make stress your friend" check out this TED talk by Kelly McGonigal.


Take active steps towards self-care

  • Every person handles stress in different ways and some coping mechanisms may work for one person but not another. It is important to focus on what you can do, how you can manage your emotions and focus on realistic thoughts.
  • Self-care is actively participating in activities to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Good self-care assists with improving your mood and can reduce anxiety.

Some things you can implement to take care of yourself this recruitment season are:

Practice mindfulness

  • Take a step back and look at the world around you. Choose an object around you and focus on it. Relax, explore every aspect and connect with the energy of the object.
  • Meditation is a great way to start your day! Meditating can reduce stress, lengthen attention span and enhance self-awareness.
  • It gets hard sitting and standing in the same spot for a long period of time. Throughout your day take a few seconds to stretch your arms and legs. Calm the body and pause. Use deep breathing exercises throughout the day to increase your energy.

Ensure you have a nutritious and healthy diet

  • Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • When attending events and parties, drink alcohol in moderation.
  • While caffeine and sugar are short term energy boosters, use them sparingly. Limit your sugar and caffeine intake and replace it with complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.

Get enough sleep

  • A good night's rest can affect how you feel the next day. Aim for 8 hours' sleep each night.
  • Stay away from caffeine and sugar before going to bed as this can prevent you from relaxing and having a restful sleep.
  • Set yourself a goal time for going to bed and waking up. Practice a routine to help you feel more rested.

Exercise regularly

  • You may feel you don’t have time to do anything! Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity into your daily routine.
  • Sometimes it is hard to get to the gym, so take advantage of going for a walk, run or doing some backyard yoga.

Implement good time management methods

  • Getting organised can make you healthier! Planning out each day allows you to make time for yourself and can keep you on top of your priorities.
  • Your phone calendar can keep you on track of important dates to remember, events, assignment due dates, birthdays, interviews, exam periods, breaks and catching up with friends.

Relax and recharge

  • Take a moment to have a break. Read a book. Bake some cupcakes. Connect with family and friends.
  • If the weather is pleasant, go outside! Getting outside can reduce fatigue, overcome symptoms of burnout, and help promote a better night's sleep.

Keep resources at your finger tips

  • In the recruitment season remember you are not alone! Use the resources you have access to including:
  • University Career Advisers;
  • Law Firm Recruitment Consultants;
  • Family and Friends;
  • GPs and Psychologists; and
  • Assistance hotlines.

Get in touch

Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.