Job searching is often a lonely and stressful pursuit. Spending hours scrolling through hiring sites, tweaking your resume font and waiting for responses from potential employers can definitely get on your nerves. But it doesn’t have to be such a downer.
Here’s how to set reasonable goals and boundaries to keep your enthusiasm up during this process.
What is job search burnout?
Many people are aware of the signs of burnout at work, such as lack of motivation and decreased job performance. However, the whole process of finding a new job is also ripe for this particular type of stress.
In fact, according to the Journal of Vocational Behavior, experiencing fatigue is a common side effect of job searching. If you’ve ever felt completely exhausted by the job search process, know that you are far from alone.
Unfortunately, even the most talented and successful people can take some time to find a new career opportunity. With this in mind, it’s important to take time for your own self-care and peace of mind.
1. Set a Time Limit
When you’re looking for a new gig, it can be tempting to spend every waking hour firing resumes out into the world. Although the optimal amount of time to spend job-hunting will vary from person to person, you also need and deserve time to decompress each day.
Use a calendar app for time management and block off some downtime each day to spend however you like. Step away from LinkedIn, close your email, and take a well-deserved breath. You’ll return to the process feeling more refreshed and relaxed.
2. Increase your self-confidence
Putting yourself out there with a flurry of resumes and cover letters can erode your confidence after a while. In many cases, it can take a while for interested employers to get back to you, and the waiting game can be tough to deal with in the interim.
With this in mind, it is important to prepare yourself while waiting for responses. For some people, self-affirmation tools such as the Affirmations app can help maintain a positive outlook. People from all walks of life use affirmations, or positive statements that help reinforce self-esteem, to combat doubt and pessimism.
There is also a vast selection of eBooks, websites, podcasts and additional resources to help you build your confidence and self-esteem. Browse around until you find something that will help you feel more confident and capable. Pumping yourself up is important during the job search process, so make some time for whatever makes you feel your best.
3. Prepare yourself for daily successes
Similar to those who work from home, it is important to maintain some form of daily work schedule and stick to it as you search for your next career opportunity. This creates specific time to take a breather now and then while also focusing completely on your job search. Also, many people do well with a set routine.
Plus, setting specific, achievable goals for your day or week can give you a little more control over the whole process. For example, deciding to apply to two jobs every day, or to spend an hour reviewing potential job sites, are both attainable goals. It’s also a good time to review the best ways to set SMART goals for your career.
4. Make Time for Movement
Even when job-hunting takes up most of your time, exercising a few times a week will help you deal with stress and generally feel a little more relaxed. Even better, according to the Mayo Clinic, any kind of movement can help reduce your stress levels. Go dancing, do tai chi, or break out your roller skates: It’s all cool.
For more structured routines, there are plenty of excellent beginner workout apps for yoga, Pilates, gym routines, and more. If you’re short on time, HIIT apps with quick workouts provide plenty of speed in just a few minutes.
5. Connect with other people
Call a friend to share about your job search experience. Job searching is difficult for many people, so even your most successful friends can probably relate and appreciate that. They might even have some insight to help you land a new gig.
It is also an important time to look after your own mental health and wellbeing. If you do not already have a physician, there is an opportunity to receive a consultation via telehealth appointment. Alternatively, consider some of the best websites for talking about your mental health, such as The Mighty or Calm Sage.
The search for a new gig is often isolating, so reaching out to others for support can be important.
6. Streamline Your Job Search Process (As Much As Possible)
Make sure you are making the best use of your time throughout the job search process.