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Dealing with job search burnout
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - Applying for a new job can be stressful at the best of times; nowadays, it is even more difficult. Last year, unemployment rates hit a high after the start of the pandemic. Many people continue to face unemployment. Some sectors are still recovering after seeing major loss of jobs and revenue. The job search process is undoubtably more of a challenge than it used to be. Interviewing has changed quite a bit, for example, with many employers switching to virtual interviews instead of meeting candidates in person. Feeling the pressure to find a new job (mixed with the added stress of rejections) can quickly become tiring, so we have put together some tips to help you deal better with the inevitable job search burnout.
Break things down into smaller chunks
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when you have a lot of big tasks to get done. Make things simpler by breaking them down into smaller chunks that are more doable. Instead of committing to rewriting your whole resume in one sitting, do it in sections instead. This will make it easier to focus on and it will make you feel like you are getting more done by being able to cross off more items on your to do list. Similarly, doing small tasks unrelated to your job search (such as laundry, dishes, etc.) can give you a boost by making you feel productive. Thus, when you feel stuck on your job search, do a different kind of task instead. This can help get you back on track and motivated to start that next job application. Many online job applications allow you to save your information and come back later to complete the application process. If you are having trouble finishing an application, save it and take a break so you can come back to it after recharging.
Stick to a schedule
Following a routine each day will help you stay on track. Treat the job search as your job and stick to a set schedule. Make a goal of spending a set number of hours per week on the job search, being realistic about how much time you can devote to it. Wake up at the same time each day and get started at a specific time. If you find you work best at a certain time of day, schedule yourself to work on applications then so you can get the most out of your time. Writing down a list of what needs to get done each day will help you stay organized and relieve stress – you will not have to worry that you are forgetting something if you have it all written out beforehand.
Shift your focus to improving skills
If you feel burned out from putting in applications, switch gears and spend time focusing on developing or improving your skills instead. Changing your focus to something else can allow you to return to the job search refreshed and with a new mindset when you are ready to apply for more jobs. Employers are looking to hire job applicants who have the skills needed. Spend some time perfecting your Microsoft Word or Excel skills if most of the jobs you are applying for require knowledge of this software. Practice your presentation and communication skills if you are looking for a job that requires you to lead meetings or work closely with others.
CCPL is here to help you build your skills with online learning opportunities. For instance, you can visit our Facebook page for new technology training videos from our library staff every Saturday. Your library card also gets you free access to Lynda.com, which offers training videos on a wide variety of skillsets. You can access this resource on our website www.ccpl.org by clicking on the Research tab at the top of the page. Another resource listed on this page that may be helpful is Mango Languages, an easy-to-use language learning platform. Many companies are looking for employees who can speak another language so they can communicate better with a wider customer base.
Make sure you get the essential tasks done first each week. Putting in the required number of job applications and submitting for weekly unemployment benefits will be more time-sensitive than other tasks. Pay attention to closing dates on job applications and prioritize based on those deadlines. If two job postings close on the same day, do the one that is a better fit for you first. That way, if something comes up and you are not able to complete a second application that day, you will not be missing out on applying for the one that would work better for you.
Hold yourself accountable
Write down your to-do list and check off items as you finish them. Keep a list of your accomplishments. Share your progress with a friend or family member. You could even keep yourself accountable by posting on social media things like: “I applied to four jobs this week”. This could prompt feedback and encouragement from others. You may find that your friend/family member or social media connections know of a company that is hiring or can put you in contact with others in their network who could be of assistance to you.
Take time for yourself & reconnect to what matters
It is important to take breaks and not overwhelm yourself. Submitting too many applications in one sitting or spending long periods of time revising your resume can lead to burnout. Burnout can then lead you to perform these tasks more poorly. You will not have the same amount of mental energy filling out your tenth application of the day as you did on your first application. When you feel yourself losing steam, take some time away from the job search – whether an hour or a day, do what feels right for yourself.
Spending time with people who support you can help you to refocus on having a positive attitude. It can be hard to maintain a positive outlook when you are searching for a job, and your attitude will show in each interview you have. If you are feeling down after a couple of rejections, then taking a break is necessary to regain that optimistic mindset that employers will want to see shine through in your interviews. Try to think of each interview as practice for the next one and commit to do better if you did not get the job this time around.
Count each task that you complete as a win. If you put in one application or spend a few minutes watching a video to help you improve your relevant skills, that counts as an achievement. Take time to celebrate the small accomplishments because they are getting you one step closer to landing the job you want. Be patient with yourself and with the process. Remember that a no from an interviewer is not a reflection on yourself or your value. A great way to combat this thinking is to learn to find worth in other aspects of yourself than simply what you bring to the table professionally. You are more than the work you do.
If you would like more information, assistance in finding more resources, tips on how to get the job hunting process started, or more, please reach out to us at CCPL by email, chat, or text. You may also call us at 843-805-6930, leave a voice message, and a library staff member will return your call. Remember, you are not alone.