Whether the effects of the global pandemic have forced you to seek new employment or you’ve been searching for new opportunities, hunting for the right role with little to no success can lead to feelings of frustration or burnt out.
According to the New York Times, people experience an increased sense of well-being just after losing their jobs; however, this trend reverses if they’re still hunting after 10 to 12 weeks. The longer it takes for a candidate to secure employment, the worse their physical and mental health becomes due to financial stress and other adversities. Searching for your next opportunity is a full-time job in itself and can be demoralizing and discouraging if the process takes too long. Throughout this article, we’ll reveal new habits and tips to help you remain motivated and combat job search fatigue.
Signs you’re Burning out from your Job Search
Searching for employment can be challenging, especially in the face of a global pandemic. Not being selected for a second interview, hiring managers not getting back to you, or applications seemingly dismissed can all lead to physical and mental exhaustion even for the most confident, self-assured job seekers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to gauge whether you may or may not be on the brink of burnout:
Are my applications more generic and less tailored to the position I am applying for? Applicants experiencing job search fatigue will devote less time to cover letter writing, resume tailoring, and application submission.
Am I feeling overwhelmed by simple tasks? Perhaps at the beginning of your search sending out an application was exciting, as you imagine yourself working in the position. Now, it’s become repetitive, and you find yourself overwhelmed by the thought of yet another application process.
Is my health declining? Check-in with your mental and physical state, maybe you’re restless at night, or you’re in a state of constant anxiety.
Am I feeling irritable in other aspects of my life? If you’re upset over things that never bothered you before, this is a sign of increased stress levels and burnout.
Am I avoiding social interactions? You could be making up excuses to stay connected with peers to avoid the dreaded conversation about your job hunt.
How to Move Forward
For what it’s worth, you’re not alone. COVID-19 has created a massive surge of unemployment across the globe and pushed millions of people out of work. While combating job search fatigue is not always easy, consider the following tips to re-focus and forge forward.
Take a Break
Continuously applying for jobs with little to no results can become aggravating and discouraging; you may find yourself doubting your abilities and feeling like you’re not “good enough” for any job at all. No matter the duration of your break, it’s important to step aside and focus on something else. Take time to clear your mind and remind yourself that you’re only human. There are only so many hours in a day to accomplish your objectives. Ensure you’re spending your time wisely by partaking in activities or hobbies you genuinely enjoy. With spring in full effect, ensure you’re getting enough physical activity to contribute to your mental and physical health. When you return to your job hunt, you’ll feel your morale boosted, and your productivity will increase.
Have a Plan & Keep Track of your Efforts
To deter burnout, ensure you have a solid plan in place. Before you resume the search for your next job opportunity, create short-term and long-term goals to remain focused on your objective. Write down a list of companies you’d like to work for and conduct research to determine if they’re hiring. Commit to applying to a certain number of jobs per day but be aware that you need to allow enough time to tailor each application to the job description at hand. Create a spreadsheet of the applications you’ve sent; this will provide you with a visual representation of your application process and give you a sense of accomplishment as you’re working towards your goal.
Update your Application Materials
As we experience record-breaking unemployment statistics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition to gain employment in the Canadian labour force is fierce. With the candidate market oversaturated, you’ll need to ensure your application stands out. Set aside time to revamp your application materials such as; your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. The most crucial application material is your resume, which will be the first piece of the application the hiring manager will process. According to Careerbuilder, nearly one-quarter of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at a resume. To make your resume stand out from the others, a few basic updates such as a summary statement, including keywords within the job description, pops of colour, and a touch of personality will create a lasting impression and set you apart from your competition.
Find a Professional Mentor
Perhaps you’ve just graduated school, or you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder; whatever your job search motivation is, finding a mentor can ultimately change your professional life. The purpose of a mentor is to guide you throughout your career and be your first point of contact for any questions or concerns. This person is committed to helping you achieve your career goals and wants you to succeed. Typically, this is a past or current colleague in a higher position that has achieved great success within their role. The mentor should have several years of experience than the mentee and will have an extensive network of contacts due to longer working experience. A great mentor will introduce you to connections out of your realm that can get you closer to your professional goals.
Reach out to People in your Network
You might be surprised at just how much others are willing to help during a time of need. Reflect on previous positions you’ve held. Did you connect well with your superiors? Executive positions have a higher authority of power, making them more credible and likely better known within your industry than perhaps someone at the associate level. Reconnect with them via LinkedIn or send them a quick touchpoint email and let them know you’re searching for a new job. If you had a great working experience with them, they’d be happy to recommend you, or you’ll be top of mind when a position becomes available.
Learn a New Skill
During an employment gap, it can feel like our days lack a sense of purpose. Learning a new skill can help to deter this feeling. There are great, low-cost options to further your career development on platforms such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera or edX. Though it can be difficult to perceive it this way, look at this time as a gift. You most likely didn’t have the time to learn something new while you were employed. Seeking out a new skill related to your field helps to feel reconnected to the industry you were once employed in and adds new areas of expertise when applying for new roles.
We Can Help
At LRO Staffing, we have helped candidates find employment for over 15 years across our 9 divisions. We work hard to make a positive impact on the careers and lives we touch and placing our candidates in the right positions with the right companies is our primary goal. If you’re experiencing job search fatigue and want to connect with one of our staffing professionals to find your next role, contact us today.