Is your job search taking longer than you expected? Are you feeling discouraged because you’re not getting the kind of offers or feedback that you want or need? Job search fatigue is real, and when you’re in the thick of an intense job hunt, the stress of the “network, apply, interview, eat, sleep, repeat” routine can start to wear even the most confident, self-assured job seekers down.
But the key here is not to let this discourage you to the point that you feel desperate or begin to doubt yourself, both negative vibes that can come across to a potential employer and put them off of your candidacy. Or, what’s worse, you could end up accepting a job that you really don’t want simply just to take yourself off the market. Either way, don’t get stuck into a vicious, self-defeating cycle of self-doubt that can come from being on the job market for months on end.
Instead, find healthy ways to cope with your frustrations. These strategies will not only boost your morale level and leave you more energized to continue your job search, but several of them can also have immediate and direct positive effects on your candidacy and even boost your chances of landing just the right job… and making all that hard work and waiting worthwhile.
Identify the problem
Job search fatigue is typically a mixture of physical and emotional exhaustion. When we become fatigued, our body and our mind are communicating with us. Our work is then to pay attention to where the fatigue derives from.
Are you losing steam because you aren’t really that excited about the jobs you’re applying to? Are you physically tired because you have to search for a job after a day in the office? Are you discouraged because you haven’t heard back on your applications? Only once you’ve isolated the cause can you start to think about strategies to help you push forward.
Take a Breath
When your efforts aren’t working, the natural tendency is to run faster, harder, and more frenetically. Apply for more positions. Stay up later surfing job boards. This can be incredibly counter-productive (and demoralising if you still get nowhere fast). It’s almost always better to stop and take a breather.
When you’ve regrouped, try to objectively troubleshoot which parts of your strategy aren’t working. If you’re not sure, consider investing in a professional job search strategist, who may be able to pinpoint what’s wrong. You can use that information to fine-tune your game plan and run at it in a more strategic way.
Step Away from the Computer
Step away from the computer and set up a coffee date with a trusted contact. Reach out to someone in your network who works for a company of interest to you. Attend a professional association meeting or industry event.
Focus on one-on-one relationship building so you can cultivate mutually beneficial contacts. Work with a coach, who can help you explore approaches to get you out of your job search rut and develop new, more dynamic techniques.
Network with the Right People
Invest your time and energy into the recruiters, hiring managers, and employees in the area of the company with which you are looking to work. Having conversations with people is more rewarding than submitting your job application through a website. Attend events and use professional online platforms to make connections, build rapport, and network your way to success.
Take Time Off
Depending on your circumstances, take time off to do a major reboot on your search. Instead of thinking about how to get your next job, ask yourself why you want it in the first place. Yes, we all need a salary, but what is your deeper motivation?
What do you do love about the work that you do or desire? Why are you interested in a particular company or role? The more specific and clear you can be about who you are, what you have to offer, and what you want to experience, the more focused and excited you will be about potential opportunities.
Looking for a new opportunity is never easy, especially combined with the challenges presented by the pandemic. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, you don’t have to let your job search get you down. You have the power to change this situation, and we believe that you can!