Job search burnout is real: 3 tips to overcome it

Last updated: March 2, 2024
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Elyssa Duncan
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Job search burnout is real: 3 tips to overcome it
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The job search isn’t easy.

Rejection letters, no response from recruiters, uncomfortable interviews, and last-minute rejections are some of the challenges job seekers experience. All these can affect your mental health, and even the most resilient may find themselves suffering from job search burnout.

Should you give up and stop sending in those applications? No!

Job search burnout isn’t a dead-end, as with a few tips, you can avoid it and make sure you're committed to the process, despite the challenges.

What’s the main cause of job search burnout?

A recent study indicates that 25.2% of unemployed people in the United States were unemployed for more than 27 weeks. In addition, the unemployment rate in the United States currently stands at 3.6%.

Job seekers face competition for limited roles and might have to be smarter when applying for positions. Besides, the job market is shifting due to COVID-19, massive globalization, and technology adoption that’s phasing out traditional roles and creating new ones.

Combined, all these factors increase the likelihood that anyone applying for a job will suffer from job search burnout.

This is a mix of physical and mental fatigue resulting from long periods of unsuccessful job search.

Let’s face it — a proper job application process isn’t straightforward.

First, you need to find the positions to apply for. Luckily, the internet is here to help in this regard, but it’s anything but easy. The best jobs are often shared in closed circles where hiring managers are sure to get the best candidates and avoid the process of shortlisting from a wider pool.

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Next, you have to go through job descriptions, which in some cases only lay bare some of the skills you lack. Best practices dictate that you curate your resume for every job, which requires some effort.

Doing all this and getting no success can be frustrating and demoralizing, which eventually affects you in the quest for a job. With no sign of success, you’ll be quickly overwhelmed and find it hard to keep on applying for jobs with the required commitment.

How to avoid job search burnout

Avoiding job search burnout isn't a one-time fix but rather multiple enhancements to how you approach the whole process. Here are some tips.

Improve your job application process

Most people don’t have a structure around how they approach the job hunt process. You come across an opportunity while browsing the internet for something else and decide to send in your application.

A haphazard approach means you’re always subconsciously thinking about the job search, which is exhausting. Doing this will probably lead to job search burnout, and the solution is to have a plan.

Approach the job search like any task and set a block of time to handle it. Depending on the volumes of applications you plan to send, decide the amount of time that works for you.

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With a predefined plan, say for a block of time like two hours, you’ll be mentally prepared to handle the task at hand.

With time dedicated only to one task, you’ll focus better, curate your resumes with the right energy, write compelling cover letters, research to find skills you need to learn, and improve your chances of landing that dream job.

Once you’ve completed your time block, don’t forget to take a break, rest, and reward yourself with an easier or fun activity.

Take regular breaks and be positive

With a proper structure, you should have enough time to get on with other aspects of your life and not dwell too much on the job application process.

Regular breaks are essential to allow you to replenish and get more energy to tackle the job search task during the next scheduled window.

Find a plan that works, but don’t spend the whole day sending applications. You should use your spare time to improve your skills as these are what will get you that role.

The job search is a journey, and it takes two to tango in that you need to find an employer that’s looking for a candidate like you. This might take time, so hold a positive outlook. It’s hard and takes a lot of determination, but it helps to keep you going as you wait for a breakthrough.

Lack of this will discourage you when the first rejection email comes in and affect your ability to focus on the next application.

Interact with cheerleaders

Some external perspective is always helpful while in the job-hunting process. Leverage networking opportunities to seek the perspective of other people in your journey, both those who are early in the process and those who have made a breakthrough.

You may be surprised to find other people are experiencing more challenges than you are, and it gives you a chance to share positives and learn from each other. It’s also a good opportunity to enrich your professional network.

Living through other people’s eyes also makes it easier to pick up key lessons and maintain a positive attitude.

The job market is constantly evolving, especially in line with the current technological advances happening globally. As such, it’s easy to feel unprepared for current industry needs, and this makes it harder to get a job.

Roles are being phased out and replaced by newer ones, so be keen. Watch the industry trends and see what people in the role you are eyeing are learning and what skills employers are looking for.

Try to improve and learn these skills to improve your chances of landing a job fast.

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Avoid job search burnout with planning and positivity

Staying free from job search burnout isn't rocket science, but there are a few things you can do to tackle this task to improve the overall outcome.

It's easy to underestimate the work that goes into searching for a job and go about it without the required preparation.

Some of the tips listed above will help enhance how you tackle the job search and give you peace and clarity during this period.

If you are in the job hunt process, check out the Jobcase job board for potential opportunities across all industries and additional tips and tricks to navigate through the hurdles and land your desired role.

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Sudesna Paul
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teach me

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Darryl Hartley
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Take time off from the job search otherwise you will get frustrated and mad

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Kathleen King
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Cashier Customer Sevice Styles at Dress Barn

I apply to at least 5 jobs and one git hire before pandemic they had close school still have call me back still wait to start with them .

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Jeremy Tachell
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How did it just fell in your lap?

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ricky snow
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A job fell into my lap

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