Job search fatigue is real and well-known to those who have endured a lengthy one. The longer a job search stretches out, the more challenging it can become to maintain your motivation and the belief that your dream job is just around the corner.
What are some signs that you could be experiencing job search fatigue?
- You find yourself procrastinating or have stopped applying for jobs that tick all of your boxes.
- You prepare a little less for each job interview as opposed to better preparing to apply what you’ve learned from past interviews.
- You avoid the topic with your spouse or partner.
- You find the time and attention you are giving to your search is becoming less each week.
- You make excuses about why your search has been unsuccessful when you know your heart’s not in it anymore.
Beyond the mental and emotional drain that you feel, recruiters can tell when you’ve become worn out or apathetic and the signals you are giving out could be concerning to them when considering you as a potential employee.
Before you throw in the towel or settle for less than you deserve just to get the whole thing over, consider taking the following actions to breath new life into an old search:
- Take a break. It’s important to feel your best going into a job search and to keep your energy and engagement high throughout. A short break of one or two weeks can be just what you need to reset your outlook and launch a refreshed approach.
- Build more networking and conversations into your plan. Submitting repeated online applications can be habit-forming, yet unproductive. Talking to individuals in your industry or at companies you’d like to work for can accelerate your search and also help you gain a new perspective on your old strategy.
- Make sure your resume is reflective of the value you offer vs. just the tasks that you’ve done. Resumes that focus on accomplishments and specific results help separate you from your competition and will get the call before one that is a copy and paste of an old job description.
- Set reasonable yet specific goals for your search each week and track your outcomes. It’s easy to overestimate the actions you are taking and even easier to lose track of how effective they are to be able to make necessary adjustments. Don’t be judgmental and negative about the outcomes if they are not favorable but use the information to validate the need to create an alternate approach.
- Set up an accountability partner. Asking a friend, coach, or colleague to hold you accountable for results is not intended to shame you into action or asking to be judged. It is meant to provide motivation and support from someone invested in your success. This can be a great way to pay it forward when your accountability partner is another job seeker.
- Remind yourself of your “why.” Why, as in, why did you begin a job search in the first place? Was the goal of a new job to make more money, work from home, go part-time, or to achieve greater professional growth? Getting back in touch with your “why” can be a powerful way to refocus on the end goal and revitalize your search.
If you find your job search is going on longer than anticipated and fatigue has replaced the excitement you once felt for a new career opportunity, don’t quit—reset. Applying one or some of these strategies can help reignite the momentum in your search and remind you that success is just one interview away.