Skip to Main Content

What to Do When You’re Burnt Out On Your Job Search

By Kat Boogaard

The daily grind can be tough and exhausting. But, honestly, so can job searching. Constantly tailoring your resume, drafting personalized cover letters, and anxiously refreshing your email in hopes of at least one reply from a hiring manager is enough to leave you feeling totally drained.

Unfortunately, when you’re hunting for a new position, you know you have no choice but to keep moving forward—no matter how wiped you feel. After all, you’ll never land the job of your dreams if you just throw your hands up and admit it’s all too difficult. You need to stay motivated and continue putting yourself out there.

However, that’s much easier said than done when you’re feeling completely burnt out during your job search. You’re convinced that if you have to fill out one more online application, you might actually just resign yourself to a life of unemployment.

Listen, I’ve been there. I know job searching is enough to bring you to the end of your rope. But, that doesn’t mean you need to stop searching entirely or head straight for the unemployment line. Take these tips instead.

Take a Break from Your Job Search

No, I’m not giving you a free pass to throw in the towel and call it quits on your job hunt altogether. That strategy isn’t going to get you anywhere in the long run. But, there’s nothing wrong with taking a short break from searching.

Whether you press pause for a couple of hours or even a few days, taking a step back from your job hunt can help you immensely. It gives you a much-needed mental break from the entire process, meaning you can come back with fresh eyes and a fresh attitude. In the end, that brief hiatus will likely actually improve your search—as you’ll feel motivated to send out the absolute best application you can, rather than getting it done in a rush in order to simply check it off your list.

Get Out and Network

With so many applications online today, searching for a job can feel surprisingly isolating. You’re just a faceless name behind a computer screen submitting endless pieces of information to a different faceless name behind another computer screen. It can be incredibly impersonal.

That’s exactly why it’s important to take a break from submitting your information into the internet black hole in order to get out there and meet some real people. Attend a local networking event or join a community organization. This change of pace is sure to help you feel a little more positive about the entire process. Plus, "networking can actually benefit your search"—you never know who you’ll meet!

Set Up Informational Interviews

Constantly submitting applications only to receive radio silence in return is undoubtedly discouraging. And, it can be hard to feel motivated to continue doing more of the same thing—without ever seeing any positive responses or results.

This is when it’s time to switch up your tactic and try something a little different. Instead of scouring the internet for job postings, focus your attention on identifying companies you really admire or you’re really interested in—even if they don’t currently have any available positions posted.

Then, reach out to a particular employee or manager that works in your career field at that organization and ask to set up an informational interview or coffee date in order to learn more about what exactly he or she does. Yes, it’s taking some of your time away from those employers that are actually hiring. But, I would argue that these informational interviews are just as valuable. You’ll learn a lot, meet new people, and—who knows—maybe even open a door!

Talk it Over With a Friend

The job hunt can be frustrating, and you’re allowed to feel exhausted with it every now and then. Nobody’s saying you need to be sunshine and positivity all of the time. And, getting together for a venting session with a close friend—particularly one who’s sharing a similar experience—can be helpful.

You don’t want to get wrapped up in so much hostility and whining that it clouds your focus and turns you off of the process even more. But, taking a bit of time to get the negative stuff off your chest and out of your mind will allow you to come back to your job hunt without all of that negativity weighing you down.

Stay Positive

Keep your chin up. It’s advice that’s been repeated time and time again. And, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I know. But, it’s so hard!”

Like I said, I can definitely relate. I’ve been through my fair share of torturously long and slow job hunts. But, staying positive really is important—even when it seems impossible. Negativity can be all-consuming, and before you know it you’ll feel so overwhelmed by the entire process that you can’t even bring yourself to sit in front of your computer and open up your resume.

So, before you get yourself trapped in that vicious cycle, make an effort to stay as upbeat for as possible. At the end of each day, take a few moments to think of at least one great thing that happened. It’ll help you end your job search session on a high note.

Job searching is definitely enough to leave you feeling completely wiped and exhausted. But, it’s important that you do your best to stay motivated and keep moving forward. It might seem impossible, but I assure you, it’s not. Put these tips into action, and you’re sure to come back to your job hunt with a refreshed attitude.

Kat Boogaard

Kat is a Wisconsin-based freelance writer covering topics related to careers, self-development, and entrepreneurship. Her byline has appeared in numerous outlets and publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, QuickBooks, Business Insider, and more. Find out more about her on her website, or connect with her on Twitter.

The information in our press releases, blogs, articles, testimonials, videos and presentations should be considered accurate only as of the date thereof. We disclaim any obligation to supplement or update the information in this type of content, and any links or references therein to third party articles or other third party content does not constitute our endorsement of that third party.

Read Related Articles