How to Beat Job-Search Burnout

Job-hunting can be a long and arduous process. A 2012 AARP survey found that workers under age 55 take an average of 35 weeks to get hired, while those over age 55 need an average of 55 weeks. That’s a lot of cover letters and interviews—and often a lot of rejection, too.

Whether you’re new to the search or you’ve been looking for a while, staying positive can be tough. Here are seven ways to energize and focus your search.

How to Beat Job-Search Burnout

Volunteer. The benefits of volunteering are obvious: not only will you improve your mood by helping others, you’ll also meet people with similar interests and skills. You can also use it to get valuable experience and boost your résumé. If you’re seeking a graphic design position, see if a local nonprofit needs free design services. Looking for a software job? Maybe you could mentor high school computer science students.

Try an information session. Find someone working in your desired field, and ask to grab coffee or lunch. Your goal is to learn about their job and how they got there, not to get hired. You’ll get out from behind the computer, maybe get some valuable advice, and grow your professional network.

Do something you love. Job-searching can be a full-time job in itself, but don’t forget to nurture your other interests and passions. This will give you a break from searching and relieve stress. Been meaning to take that painting workshop or Italian class for a while? Now is the time to try it.

Get active. Take a walk, go for a run, play some golf—whatever physical activity works for you. When you start to feel worn down, try hitting the gym or going outside to get a fresh start.

Take time to reflect. While networking and being around others is imperative for job-searchers, so is time alone. It’s easy to forget to take time for yourself—and we don’t mean time to edit your résumé. A few minutes outside in a peaceful spot–with your phone turned off—can do wonders for your mental health. If the outdoors isn’t your thing, try journaling, meditation, reading, or therapy.

Surround yourself with positive people. While you’re on the job hunt, being around supportive, positive friends and family is crucial. Having a strong support system will prevent burnout. So call up that friend who always makes you laugh, and spend less time with those who stress you out.

Get a sounding board. Start having weekly conversations with someone who is not in your immediate social circle—ideally a fellow job-searcher. You’ll connect with someone who has an objective view of your job search, but also will hold you accountable and keep you motivated.

Take care of yourself, be positive, and keep going–your next job is right around the corner.

Photo courtesy shutterstock.


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