Recover from Job Search Burnout

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MARTY had been looking for a new job for 6 months and was burning out. When he went out with family and friends, he continually checked his smart phone for voice and email messages in case he got a response to a job application. He felt he was never fully present with his family and friends when they got together. And then when he tried to focus on his search, he found himself easily distracted. He’d check other websites, go on Facebook, or he’d go to the kitchen and brew another cup of coffee. He got tired of the rejection emails or, even worse, no responses at all to his applications. When he did have interviews, he got so stressed that he didn’t interview well any more. He felt drained and scattered. He began to feel like a failure because he just couldn’t seem to get a job. The longer things went on, the more discouraged he became. And the less effective his job search became.

Have you ever felt like Marty? I know I have. I talk quite a bit about job and career burnout, and what to do about it. But it is also possible to experience burnout in your job search. If you don’t manage it properly, the search for your ideal job can become an exhausting process.

Here are three of the most common sources of job search burnout.

  1. Limited opportunities.

    When you do all the work required to get a clear picture of what is the best job for you, it fills you with excitement about the possibilities. Sometimes though, when you start looking, it seems there aren’t a lot of openings for the job you want. You can start to worry, and wonder how long it will take to find the job you want. After awhile, your excitement can turn to anxiety.

  2. Lack of responses.

    One of the most disheartening practices in today’s job market is that companies rarely acknowledge your submission for a job. It can be frustrating and worrisome to be met by so much silence. Often, you only hear from the companies that want to schedule you for an interview. You can wonder, “Did they even receive my resume? Did they like anything about me? Did they hire someone else?” Of course, it’s also possible they decided to not hire someone after all. Very rarely do they acknowledge your work, your effort, or your interest. That can be quite draining.

  3. Outright rejections.

    Lastly there are the rejection notices: “You don’t have the qualifications we’re looking for,” or “We hired someone else.” You worked so hard, put so much energy and effort into choosing them, and they rejected you. Rejection of any form hurts.

The job search can be a draining and disappointing process. But if you want a new job, a job you love, you have to find a way to follow through. So what are the things you can do to manage your search in a way that keeps you energized and excited about your possibilities?

  1. Revamp your tools:resume, cover letter, online profiles such as LinkedIn

    Are your tools targeted for the position you want? Are they as compelling as they can be? Do they show off your unique strengths and skills for the position you desire? It can be worth consulting an expert, such as a career coach or resume writer, for advice or support in revamping your tools.

  2. Refresh your skills:Interviewing, Online Networking, In person Networking

    Are you a master of the job interview? Do you control the conversation and the flow of information? Do you know how to fully leverage your online and in person network to find hidden job opportunities? Mastering these skills can boost the results of your job search.

  3. Rejuvenate your spirit.

    Take a break! Schedule down time away from your job search. Just as you schedule time in your calendar for your search activities, you should also schedule times of refreshment and renewal. Go out with friends or have a game night with your family. Most important, do not check your email or cell phone during your time of rejuvenation. It is good to remember that while having a job you love is important, it is not the only important element in your life.

It is possible to stay energized during your search for the job you love. It is possible to stay focused on the opportunities in front of you. Are you being drained by your job search? What are steps you can take right now to revamp, refresh, or rejuvenate your search?

I invite you to commit to your action steps on my blog below, and then let me know how it goes.

1 comment to Recover from Job Search Burnout

  • […] You will be amazed at how different you will feel by taking these three actions. By setting realistic expectations of results, planning your job search activities and doing them, and scheduling breaks for fun and refreshment, you will be able to maintain your positive energy and outlook for your job search. If you are feeling drained by your job search, I encourage you to take one of these steps today. (For more ideas, see Recover from Job Search Burnout.) […]

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Client Stories

At the time I hired Lori, I was looking for someone to help me develop a resume which focuses on career transitions.  I had hired a coach who did not hear a word I said and sent me a resume that was totally wrong.  Lori, on the other hand, did listen to what my needs were and asked me pointed questions.  I decided to work with her and never regretted this decision. Lori helped develop two resumes which highlighted skills needed for two different types of positions.  She was easy to work with, took all my comments into consideration, and made the appropriate revisions.  In the end, I received two resumes which I was totally happy with.  I would recommend Lori without hesitation.  She is a true professional and a delight to work with.

Marsha Weil, New York, NY