The job search can be a long, tedious process. No matter how strong you are as a candidate, it might be filled with frustration, annoyance, and disappointment. Often, for reasons entirely out of your control, the job search may take a whole lot longer than you expect. For all these reasons, you might start feeling burnt out by the entire process.
But you can’t let that stop you. Finding a new position is crucial to your continued career progression and financial health. If you’re feeling burnt out by the job search, there are a few things you can do to get back on the path to success.
Take a quick vacation
If you're like many job seekers, the job search isn't just draining you while you're on the computer actively looking and applying. It's constantly on your mind, weighing you down, and giving you fatigue.
That drain also happens when you’re employed, but you avoid it by taking the occassional vacation. You take a week or two to go to a tropical paradise, a new country, or even a drive to the beach. If you treat your job search like a full time job and it's taking longer than you expected, it’s only logical that there might come a time when you should take a brief vacation.
You don't need to have a ton of disposable money available, either. Go visit a friend a few towns over or take a few day trips in a row to get out of and away from the house. Just like burning out at work or in school, you're doing yourself a disservice by not resetting your clock and recharging your batteries. Your motivation will dwindle and your passion will disappear, leading to a poor showing at interviews and putting you into a cycle of rejection.
So take the time to rest, recharge, and replenish your energy for another round of job hunting. Hit the slopes, go to the beach, or simply lounge in front of the TV for a few days straight. You’ll thank yourself when you get back to the grind with new gusto.
Start from scratch
When you fall into the same exact routine every day for hours on end, you lose the focus and drive necessary for a successful job search. If your process is becoming monotonous, you risk miscommunicating passion and excitement because you're just churning through steps.
So instead of trudging forward with the same tactics, try a complete refresh on your job search to get some life back into it. Write a brand new resume from scratch by gathering five to ten top job descriptions and catering your experience to the language contained within. Instead of using a template cover letter, write each cover letter from scratch. Instead of applying to every single job you think is suitable, be more precise in targeting the specific companies that truly excite you.
Starting from scratch doesn’t just allow you to refresh your job search. It also allows you to take all the lessons you learned from your various mistakes, failures, and successes, and combine them to run a smarter, more optimized hunt.
Try new outreach tactics that you haven’t tried before, such as foregoing the online application and instead directly emailing the hiring manager. Test a different approach to your cover letters, going for casual rather than formal. Get a job search buddy. By switching things up, you learn what works and improve yourself as a job seeker.
If you’re so disillusioned by the job search that you simply don’t want to continue it, there are options that will allow you to take an extended break. You don’t have to go for a full time job to have financial stability and make career progress. Instead, you can go for some alternatives that will give you the finances you need while still adding to your resume.
One of these alternatives is freelancing. Websites like Elance, Freelancer.com, or even profession-specific communities on Reddit, will give you the opportunities you need to do some freelance work for businesses and individuals that need your talents. If you’re a good writer with a quality portfolio of work, find media outlets that would pay for your work.
Build out a portfolio of your work and display it online in one of the many available portfolio sites. Start advertising your services. Reach out to different want ads for freelance projects.
Plenty of alternatives to full time employment exist. You can treat them as your full time job or a way to make some money while you continue your job hunt. Either way, they’re a great way to show yourself as an active professional.
How you respond to job search burnout can be the difference between a long extension to your job hunt or a faster positive result. It all depends on your willingness to change your mindset about how you approach the process. Get the rest you need, make some changes to your routine, and you’ll have the energy to power through the hiring process.