Sometimes the right job takes a little longer than expected.
It could be weeks, months, or even years for you to land the right role. You may start to feel like no matter how much time you spend filling out job applications, refining your cover letter, or taking the time to reach out to prospective companies, that you just can’t catch a break.
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This leaves you feeling defeated, worthless, stuck, and more likely to settle for a job that will change the course of your career for the worse.
If this sounds like you, you should know that what you’re experiencing is burnout, and that you are not alone in how you feel. A job search can feel like full-time job, and can be utterly draining. It’s incredibly easy to lose your motivation when things aren’t looking up, but we’re here to change that. Here are six ways you can hack your job search when you’re at the lowest of lows:
1. Take a break.
You might think you’re getting ahead in your job search by getting up early or staying up late to submit job applications, but the more time you spend chipping away at finding your ideal role, the less time you have to actually focus on yourself and your needs outside of your job search.
There’s nothing glamorous about putting in 100 applications in one day. In fact, it’s not as productive as you might think. Make it a habit to carve time out during your day for yourself.
This can be something as simple as taking a walk to enjoy your neighborhood, attending a yoga class, or catching up with an old friend over lunch. It might seem unproductive, but in reality, shifting your focus away from your biggest stressor can actually do more good than you might think, and you’ll thank yourself for it.
2. Love your mission.
This article is a great way to get inspired from leaders around the world who have once been where you might be. This quote by Sweta Patel stood out from the bunch:
“Olympic athletes possess more than motivation, which is temporary and overrated. It’s self-discipline and sacrifice that sets them apart and drives them to the finish line.
To cultivate self-discipline, start with love. When your job becomes your mission, you can make the sacrifices necessary to succeed. When I wanted to run a marathon, I stopped eating everything that could derail my performance. When I wanted to start a business, I stopped spending time with anyone who didn’t further my mission.
In all these situations, my discipline was driven by my purpose to improve my life and the lives of others. Self-discipline coupled with love will keep you going when motivation wanes.”
This quote is a beautiful reminder that sometimes you have to find other ways to stay motivated. Fall in love with other things outside of your career and establish driving factors outside of your career. Your career can’t be the only thing holding your sanity and happiness together.
3. Focus on other aspects of your job search.
Don’t get too bogged down in job applications that you forget about the very components that will land you an interview.
Spend time quantifying your experience, revising your resume, updating your cover letter, and cleaning up your social media presence. If the only thing you find yourself doing everyday is putting in application after application, you’re setting yourself up for a swift and tumultuous burnout.
4. Reconnect with existing contacts
A trap job seekers fall into is spending most of their time networking to make new connections. While it’s great to network and expand your connections, you don’t want existing relationships to fade.
Reconnecting with old contacts is a great way to get re-motivated, and recharge in the middle of a job search. You can gain inspiration from a contact, learn about new job leads, get suggestions for your resume or cover letter, or walk right into an interview.
Tip: Don’t reconnect with old contacts only for job search reasons. Do it because you genuinely value their time, and the relationship thus far.
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