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

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA