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Beating Job Search Burn-out

Your search has gone on for longer than you dreamed possible and you are tired, cranky and ready to work. You finally hit the wall; you are experiencing job search burn out. It is time to reevaluate and re-energize your search and get back on top of your game. What to do?

Use this temporary stopping place to catch your breath and re-evaluate what is not working. Take a couple of days off from the search to take stock of your attitude, review your approach and assess your marketing tools. Sometimes candidates are so anxious to embark on their job search that they give short shrift to their marketing tools. Simply adding a couple of lines here or there to bring a resume or LinkedIn profile up to date won’t allow you to do justice to your job search. Consider that while your resume and LinkedIn profile provide information about where you’ve been, they are really tools that describe where you are going. Conveying that requires more than adding a few words here and there; it means reframing what you’ve done so that future employers see your potential.

Remove the cement shoes! Don’t let anger, hurt or indecision immobilize you. Doing what you have been doing isn’t working. Take a step in a new direction. It doesn’t have to be the perfect step or even the right direction. At this point, you simply need to get out of the rut you’ve fallen into. You can always adjust your course along the way.

Schedule a Zoom or socially distant brainstorming session with colleagues or former coworkers. They have seen you at work and can provide insight into your strengths, suggest ideas for people contact or companies to explore, and be a source of inspiration.

Consider the cost of being stuck. How much is the inaction, mental fatigue and stress costing you personally, professionally and financially? Too much? Find ways to reward yourself for being proactive.

Develop an identity outside of that of a job seeker. Find an arena that affords you some measure of comfort, connection and success to combat the challenges associated with job hunting. Get out into the great outdoors either alone or as member of a biking or hiking club. Look for opportunities to improve your skills through online classes or by joining an online Toastmasters club. Look for a neighborhood book group that meets on Zoom. Yes, even during a pandemic there are ways to nurture yourself and build connections.

Reframe the story in your head. Replace the negative narrative with a litany of positive thoughts. Keep a list of power words next to your desk and refer to it often. Note the difference between get to and have to, choice and no options, anticipation and dread, opportunity and problem. Drop the naysayers and seek out folks whose optimism meter is set higher than the average person’s.

Reach out for help when you need it. At one time or another, we all need a hand up. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Often that is the shortest distance between you and a new job.

©2021 Mary Jeanne Vincent.  All rights reserved.