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Finding a job can be distressing and just like other work, it too might be a cause of burnout – especially if you are doing it the wrong way. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce or completely avoid job-seeking burnout. Experts suggest that building a strategy for the job hunt is the key to beating job search burnout.
But before expanding on how to avoid job-seeking burnout, let’s first understand what burnout actually is. It is basically a state of emotional and physical weariness that could stem from chronic stress. Burnout often results in pessimism, delay in accomplishing tasks, detachment, and persistent feelings of ineffectiveness.
A grave aspect of burnout is that if overlooked for a long period of time, it may seriously ruin your health, relationships, and career. Burnout, which has arisen due to improper job searches, may also zap all your endeavors to land your dream job. Thus, it is really crucial to reduce it or ward it off completely.
Let’s find out how a job seeker can effectively avoid job search burnout.
Take Advantage of the Technology
Use an array of software, technologies, and apps to work smartly – dedicating less time to searching for the job every day without compromising on the outcomes. This can be done in the following ways:
Job lead aggregators are a great way to do away with the hassles of manually hunting for open opportunities on job boards. Make use of an automated search tool to get relevant job posts directly into your inbox.
You can organize your job hunt and networking-related to-dos by using tools like JibberJobber that ease the task of follow-up.
Simple tools like the canned email feature make it possible to reuse email messages multiple times without the need to re-write them.
Depending on your industry and job type, you can look for apps and other tools too that can significantly save you the time that you dedicate to job search weekly.
Group Tasks to Streamline Job Hunt Workload
It means to keep all the like things together. Doing this will help you to speed up your job hunt tasks by keeping your mind focused for a particular period of time.
Voicemails and emails should be answered in the same duration as both tasks require nearly similar information as well as a mental approach.
Various things that you do to customize your resume should be done at the same time.
Plan all your activities pertaining to developing relationships with hiring professionals and recruiters for the same time slot as this will let you re-use messages and resources whenever required.
Utilize a couple of hours to do all your content curation work that can be used for a week’s time. By doing so, you can ensure instant access to the curated material while grouping emails to hiring professionals.
Dare to Deny
You should define limits for yourself and for others too. Figure out things that you can manage and make sure that you do everything as per the specified limits of time and effort.
Decline extra projects and assignments that go off-limits. Unemployment shouldn’t be understood as your complete availability to do things around your home. Prioritize your job search without hampering your personal relations. Also, specify limits for the number of projects that you can complete in a given time period.
Workaholism is a complete ‘no-no.’ Spending above 30-35 hours a week on a job hunt may backfire. Incessantly searching for jobs for several weeks in a row could drain your energy, which otherwise can be preserved for the time when you will need it the most, viz., preparing for job interviews, salary negotiation, and more.
Job experts suggest not to dedicate more than 4 days a week to a job search while completely keeping Friday as your ‘personal’ day. On this day, keep yourself away from the computer. Alternatively, spend time with your family and friends, go for an outing, or indulge in some leisure activities. For the rest two days, i.e., Saturday and Sunday, you can invest time in strengthening your professional network, personally meeting people, and doing other things to better yourself personally as well as professionally.
Don’t go overboard with making social contacts. You simply cannot do everything while actively looking for a job. This may require you to say no to some personal gatherings and professional meetings. Wisely select the ones that can help you with your job search, and plan to attend them at regular intervals across a month.
Although professional and social contacts are a crucial aspect of your job hunt endeavors, it is important to avoid overdoing them. You should be aware of what to avoid and what not to do.
Understand When It Is Just Enough
Ask yourself these questions: “How many job applications do you respond to in a week? How many hiring professionals should you ideally contact? How many connection requests should you send on LinkedIn? Remember that the bulk of job hunt to-dos can be well managed with proper planning and tracking.
You should generate a job search dashboard as this will help you work on and accomplish specific goals during each week. It is important to set achievable and realistic goals, specific to different facets of your job search.
Such weekly targets should be used to develop an action plan for a job search. This will define what job search-related activities you would perform at any given point of time within a week as well as keep you consistent with your effort month after month.
Pick daily to-dos from your weekly job search action plan and keep checking your day-to-day progress and success. Try to develop the habit of reviewing as well as updating your job search dashboard when you begin and end a job hunt day.
Invest in Improving Yourself and Your Career
Your job hunt days are a great time to hone your skills both professionally and personally. Try to get a new certificate relevant to your job profile, or pursue an MBA course.
You can follow your passion or revive your mind by engaging in your favorite hobbies, and work-related or fun activities. If you have a creative mind then you can create attractive blogs or videos for your social media accounts.
Explore your values and identify those that matter to you the most in relation to your personal life and work. Take out time to be with your family, friends, and people, with who you like being. Go on a vacation, especially before and after the job hunt.
Avoid doing anything that could bring stress to you. Keep a little fun time every day throughout your job search duration, and of course, you can do a bit more on Fridays.
Care for your home and family with a dash of fun during weekends. Not only will this keep you stress-free but believe us, your better half and kids will thank you for your positive attitude.
Change Your Approach
Unlike many job seekers, change your approach to searching for jobs from ‘everything me’ to ‘all about giving.’
Rather than just sending connection requests to people on your networking platform, consider sharing worthy suggestions, ideas, resources, and professional tips.
Instead of bothering hiring managers and recruiters to catch their attention, earn it by offering them crucial industry information, leads, and recruitment-related resources.
Don’t just follow recruiters concentrate on establishing long-term and fruitful relationships with them. Learn about their interests and problems and offer relevant solutions. Gradually, you will find them interested in you and your career aspirations. In fact, some may even offer you a helping hand all by themselves without being explicitly asked for it.
Results of many studies highlight the need of taking breaks every 90-120 minutes during work. Likewise, long breaks are necessary too; which can be either weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
You should take breaks every 1.5 - 2 hours during your job hunt days. Also, make sure to shift your attention completely off your computer and the technologies that you use for at least 20-30 minutes every day.
You should also take a full, one-hour break on a daily basis. During this time, try engaging other areas of your brain in activities different from a job search.
You can also consider changing your job search location once or twice a week. Sit with your laptop in the backyard or home garden. A job search can also be performed at a place away from your home, such as at a nearby beach or your favorite café.
Have a Perspective
You may consider searching for jobs extremely important, and yes, there is nothing wrong with it. But a cold truth is that it is still less important than many other aspects of your life. In fact, for many job seekers, several things can be way more important than a career search.
A job seeker should take out some time to think about his/her priorities in the middle of an extended job search. Recall the reasons behind your job search – why it is important to you at the moment and how getting a job will help your family. Shift your focus to what matters to you and things that make your life meaningful.
Identify your social needs since not every part of your social engagements can’t be only about network-building. So, make sure that you hang out with your near and dear ones, and partake in social gatherings. Don’t completely avoid social contact, just because you are jobless. Rather, set a limit for how much and what you will discuss about your job search to avoid being discouraged.
Not only does burnout wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and career, but it seriously thwarts all your job search efforts. You should avoid getting lost in despair for not having a job or increasing your chances of developing burnout, which usually occurs due to an unplanned or haphazard job search.
Building a strategy along with planning your job search is the only way to do away with job seekers’ burnout. Creating a perfect balance between your job search, social engagement and personal life can remarkably help you stay productive and pacific during the job hunt.
Make use of this time to improve yourself personally and professionally as well as to invest in family and friends. Remember that the more you will remain positive, the faster you will be able to land your dream job.