How to Overcome a Job Hunting Burnout

Switching or starting a new career can be a tiring job (no pun intended) with the seemingly endless job search and applications. Discover effective strategies on how to deal with and take care of yourself during this trying period.
Jasmine Mun_Writer_gradmalaysia_round
Jasmine Mun
Writer, gradmalaysia
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You’ve been job hunting for months now – some days you feel you’re a step closer to securing a new job, but most days you’re unmotivated and drained. At this point, you are contemplating whether to just look into continuing your studies or remain at your old job.

Despite all your efforts in job hunting, your applications are rarely turning into interviews and job offers. The thought of tweaking your CV for yet another vacancy or even browsing another job listing makes you want to pull your hair out.

Does this ring a bell? If so, you may be experiencing a classic case of job hunting burnout. Leaving this build-up of negativity in the trunk while you trudge on will hinder your job search and mental health. Consider these strategies to help you deal with that as well as build a healthy job hunt habit.

Take a Break

We’ve been taught to persist through life’s challenges, but rarely to recognise our limits. By understanding that a break is sometimes needed to fuel yourself for a better tomorrow will help you in getting out of that mental slump.

If your current financial situation allows, take a complete break from job hunting for a day or two. Use the downtime to further your skills or do something fun to get away from the fatigue of job search. If you can’t afford a break from job hunting, consider limiting your job hunting time to a couple of hours a day – about 2 to 3 hours. Once time’s up, just wrap it up for the day and free your mind with leisure activities, such as:  

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Build a Positive Proof Box

After countless applications and job interviews, defeat kicks in and you start filling yourself with negative thoughts such as you’re not worthy of being hired or not good enough for the job. Not only does this derail your job search, but also your confidence – you’ll need to tame your negative self-talk before it talks you out of your job search.

It’s a good idea to build and keep a positive proof box where you store all things motivating and is your go-to for self-assurance. Whenever your negative-self starts butting into your job search, whip out your positive proof box and have a moment to appreciate your qualities and abilities. Here’s what you can put inside it:

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Quit Panic Applying

You know the cycle: after multiple rejections via emails and phone calls, desperation kicks in. Before you know it, you’re on job sites submitting applications as fast as you can to any job within your industry. Then, over the next few days, your mood continues to plummet as more rejection emails roll into your inbox. What was supposed to help you feel better only ends up making you feel more dejected.

Hold your horses! Instead of panic-applying to jobs, only apply to those you feel genuinely excited about pursuing. Take your time to read the job descriptions and research on the job. Doing so will make putting together your CV and application more structured and organised, instead of just throwing your applications out there and hoping for the best.

Mind Over Matter

Needless to say, job hunting burnout worsens when you experience rejection from employers, especially when it’s a company or position you have been aiming for. Rather than throwing in the towel, it’s important to understand that it’s part of the process and, with a pandemic going on, it’s not going to be a smooth sailing one.

Don’t take these setbacks to heart! Instead, learn how to tackle them objectively. Being rejected doesn’t mean that you’re unqualified – it could be that you need to re-evaluate your job-hunting strategy. For example, finding other ways to beat the application tracking system or to write a more effective email job application.

There are many other factors that do not only affect a company’s hiring process, but the labour market as a whole, which in turn make your job search experience a little bumpy. Nevertheless, mastering your mind to handle such failures is key to tackling your job hunting burnout.