Few things can be as discouraging as an endless job search. Not only is there financial stress, but you can begin to question your abilities and worth when the search drags on too long.
Despite understanding that this is a difficult economy and that many qualified and competent people are out of work, people who have been on the job search for a long time are likely to suffer some degree of burnout. Fortunately, there are ways to combat that burnout.
First of all, it can help to set goals that are within your reach as the job seeker. This means the goals do not depend on the actions of others because, ultimately, it’s impossible to control a company’s hiring decisions. Instead, focus on daily, weekly, and even monthly goals about researching, networking, setting up informational interviews, and filling out job applications. And don’t forget to spend time each week keeping your skills fresh.
Applying for jobs can seem tedious and never-ending, but setting goals and crossing them out as they are achieved reminds you that something is being accomplished. Just remember to celebrate your accomplishments and appreciate yourself for reaching your goals.
Stick to a Schedule
Organizing regular work days will help you stay on track. Some job seekers are tempted to procrastinate, while others go the opposite direction and feel that they must spend every waking moment looking for work. A better solution is to treat the job hunt like a job, complete with set hours and a clear stopping time. When work is over, it’s over; the job seeker should close the computer and do other things. Days off are important as well. Job hunters need a break just like regular employees do.
Tip: Committing to work on your job search from 9 to 5 is great, but having a detailed plan is better. Create a schedule that includes how much time you’re going to devote to each of your main job-getting tasks.
Take Care of Yourself
Maintaining proper nutrition, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep are very important. Looking after your general physical health will keep you mentally and emotionally healthier as well. The stress of the job search can seem much more daunting when your aren’t getting enough sleep. Exercise is another excellent way to reduce stress levels and also helps keep energy levels high.
Use the Buddy System
If you know someone else who is job searching, then team up and take advantage of the buddy system. People use this all the time when dieting or training for a marathon, and for good reason. Your buddy will be great at keeping you motivated during frustrating times, and you can keep her accountable to her goals as well. Your buddy with also be great for bouncing around ideas, reviewing job application materials, and attending networking events with you.
A times, the job search might seem like an endless round of futile networking and the spouting off of resumes. But persistence will help you find opportunities, and a positive outlook will help the job search process come along. The important thing to remember is that it isn’t necessary for there to be dozens of suitable jobs out there. There only needs to be the right job, and with hard work and tenacity, the burnt out job seeker will find it.