10 Tips to Beat Job Search Burn Out

Published: Mar 20, 2012

 Job Search       Networking       Resumes & Cover Letters       Workplace Issues       
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The weather's heating up, but are your job hunting efforts cooling off?

Fight the urge to abandon your search—stay on track and refresh your motivation with these tips:

1. Do Something You're Awesome At

One of the best ways to right burn out is to feel A. successful, and B. energized. This is most easily and effectively achieved by doing something you enjoy, and you kind of rule at. Be it table tennis, interpretive dance, or beating your niece at Crazy Eights, do it. The sillier (and most different from sitting in front of your computer, applying to jobs), the better. Extra points awarded for physicality.

2. Set Smaller Goals

If your goal is simply to get a job offer, you don't have a lot of control over your success. Which stinks, considering how long and arduous a job search can be. Instead, set smaller goals—quotas for resume send outs, or events attended, or "check ins" with contacts, so you can have little victories to celebrate on your way to the big one.

3. Stay Social

Burn out, by definition, means feeling tired and unmotivated. Your natural response may be to withdraw further, spending more time alone so as to avoid drains on your already low energy. But resist the urge: not only is it vital to your mood and attitude to stay connected, making the social rounds increases your chances of finding a job:  it gets you circulating, and keeps you fresh in your friends' minds. After all, if they haven't seen you recently, how will they remember you when an opportunity arises?

4. Seek Support

Job hunting is a rejection game. No matter how hard you try to stay objective, the fact of the matter is, it's going to start feeling personal when you don't get call backs.

If you keep in touch with others who are also on the hunt, you can compare notes on what's working, what's not working, and best of all, who's getting rejected--because no matter how much it can feel that way, it's not just happening to you.

5. Read Your Own Resume

Again, a job search can mean a serious beating for your ego. Try reading your own resume objectively. You forgot how qualified and accomplished you actually are, didn't you?

6. Respect Yourself

It's easy to start feeling like a bit of a social pariah when you're broke and unemployed. Fight back hard against this affect by treating yourself like a worthy, valuable, and fine tuned machine. Start your day with coffee and breakfast, shower and dress professionally, and, in between stretches of honest-to-god working at the job search, take yourself outside for a break. You've earned it.

7. Eat Well, Exercise, and Rest

Beyond just being emotionally rough, the lack of structure a workday can provide may lead to some unhealthy choices—eating all day, sleeping and waking at odd times, or forgetting to actually leave the house while the sun's still up. All this can have a huge affect on your health, mood, and attitude towards your search. Keep yourself in top condition when that opportunity comes through: you want to be on your a-game, right?

8. Use "Personal" Days

Yes, it's stressful to be unemployed, and you'd like it to end as soon as possible. But feverishly trolling the internet for jobs at all hours is not the best strategy overall. If you go overboard with quantity, and the quality of what you send out will start dropping—as will your motivation to keep at it.

Schedule at least one day per week to do the complete opposite of your normal routine that will refresh your brain and body. Do you usually inside in your sweatpants, alone with your laptop? Get dressed up and see a movie with a friend, or hit the great outdoors with a book and some GORP. Anything outside of your normal routine should do.

9. Consider Everything an Opportunity

You know that annoying dating advice that you'll find the right person when you stop looking? Well, we're not advocating that you stop looking, but staying open to whatever that comes your way can seriously increase your opportunities.

Say yes to as many invitations as possible. You never know who you might meet or what you might learn--that friend of a friend that comes to drinks on Friday could work at your target company, or that rock climbing trip your cousin invited you on could introduce you to your next boss. If nothing else, you'll have great anecdotes for your next interview, so get out there.

10. Laugh

When all else fails, read The Onion.

It will get better.

Cathy Vandewater, Vault.com

Read More:
How to Deal With Job Search Anxiety
Five Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Job Search