I believe I have some form of social anxiety. I'm uncomfortable speaking to people on the phone, especially people I haven't met, and I'm also uncomfortable meeting new people - especially in the context of an interview (for a job or otherwise), which I understand is not uncommon.
In order to make it less stressful, the last time I was looking for work I attempted to "take it slow". There was no urgent need since I was already in employment, so I decided to just look for available jobs once in a while and apply only to the ones I personally believed I had a shot.
That plan failed. The vast majority of job postings is done through recruitment agencies instead of the employer directly, and the moment I applied for a single job through a recruiter, I began to get calls from several people in that agency where they wanted to get information about me and my experience in order to call me again later with more positions that may fit me. This was eventually followed by calls from people from other agencies as well.
I went along with that and the result was that my stress levels were practically unbearable. Instead of staying with my (then) current employer and waiting until I found something better, I found myself having to answer calls and emails practically every day. Trying to ignore them did not help much; I'd get follow-up emails and messages on my voice mail. Those were always at the back of my mind and as a result I became even more stressed.
In addition, overzealous recruiters often arranged interviews for positions I could tell required more experience and knowledge than I had. When I failed to get through these, my stress elevated even more.
All this stress took me to a place where I'd rather not go again.
When I decide to start looking for other work again, I'd like to make my original plan succeed: Only apply to jobs I personally find, at a pace I would set myself. And yet that seems to be impossible as long as I must apply through recruitment agencies. Even if I explained to a single recruiter that I do not want to hear about other positions (and even if they accepted this), others would still call me and send messages.
I've identified a few things I could have done better, but I'm looking for advice on anything else I could do.
If I start looking again, I plan to do the following things differently than the last time:
- Not make my CV publicly available.
- Not list a telephone number; although getting a lot of emails is stressful, phone calls are several times more so.
- Use a different email address than my main one, for which I wouldn't get notifications. Instead I'd check for new messages periodically.
- Explain to every recruiter that contacts me that I do not want to be sent information on any position I've not personally chosen to apply to. Even if most wouldn't listen, some would.
Is there anything more I could do? I thought about adding a notice like "Please, no unsolicited messages" next to my email but I'm not sure that would be a good idea.