Your job search isn’t an exact science, and the unknown can cause stress. It’s also a time when you’re more prone to burnout. The American Psychological Association and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found that 53% are overtired and overwhelmed after work. Burnout often occurs when we put in more than we get out. This is especially true in your job search if your strategy mainly consists of submitting numerous online job applications. I heard from an individual last week who had submitted over 100 applications and had heard back from only three, which is pretty deflating. Work plays such a vital role in our lives, and it’s no wonder it profoundly impacts our outlook. The Stress in America report by the American Psychological Association found that work is one of the most common causes of stress, representing 61% of the common stress factors. Looking for a job on top of working 40 hours a week can be taxing at every job search stage: discovery, strategy and interviewing.
According to a Glassdoor survey, the average interview process takes different amounts of time in the following industries:
Media/publishing – 25.2 days
Consulting – 24.4 days
Business services – 23.1 days
Accounting legal – 19.7 days
Marketing advertising – 14.9 days
Below are some proven ways to help eliminate stress and burnout as you await your ideal job role:
Detoxify with some early nights.
A lack of sleep causes the body to burnout. Rest helps us thrive and gives us the energy to think creatively and act purposefully. We take our sleep for granted, and as a nation, we’re not sleeping enough. Managing one's strength in the job-search process can help with rest and recovery, too.
I have my burned out clients to complete a sleep assessment because I care about their whole being and understand the link between sleep, productivity and emotions.
Save time with these free resources.
A lack of organization can add to the stress. I like the Jibber Jobber app and recommend it to clients. It can help you stay on top of your job search activities and leads.
To find email addresses of people you want to send cover letters or start networking conversations with, utilize hunter.
Cut through the ATS system, something I wrote about here, with keywords using a tool like Word Clouds. You can just copy and paste the job description to find the words, skills, experiences and job requirements that appear multiple times.
We often don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours each night because we don’t have enough hours in the day to get other things done. I hope those strategies give you back some of your sleep time.
Quit spending all your time on job applications
A LinkedIn report stated that 70% of people in 2016 were hired at a company where they had a connection. Entelo surveyed 1,143 global talent acquisition professionals, and they found that 62% of talent teams find more high-quality candidates through sourcing than inbound applications. If and when you are completing applications in your career search, make sure you finish them. Career Builder found that 30% of employees are willing to spend more than 20 minutes on completing job applications. In my experience, I’ve seen it take up to an hour to complete a strong application. Think about what you can learn, share and discover in a 60-minute networking chat.
Don’t fall in love with a job too soon.
I know how it feels: You’ve seen a job posting, and it sounds like a perfect fit, but here’s the thing: You will get a greater understanding of whether it actually is once you’ve done some more digging. After an informational or formal interview, is the best time to ascertain further whether it’s an ideal role. Plus, putting all your eggs, all in one basket, can make it harder to move on and notice other opportunities around you.
Do these five things if you’re going to use a résumé writer.
I’ve written three résumés this month, previously written by other service providers. Working with a career coach and strategist can be helpful, but please don’t choose lightly. Do the following if you want to eliminate the stress of creating a high-impact resume, LinkedIn profile and any other career documentation.
1. Find people who won’t just write your résumé but have a history and the ability to provide comprehensive support.
2. Ask the right questions and observe their work to figure out whether they’re in the industry for quality or quantity.
3. Where has their writing got them? You’re investing in someone to compile something for you, so what has their writing done for them?
4. What are the people they’ve recently helped doing now, and have they helped people like you?
5. Does their writing process support a unique approach to your résumé content creation? Your résumé should provide a compelling snapshot of your career achievements.
Be realistic and SMART.
It takes time to find a job, but celebrate the small wins that lead to finding the right role. Think of your goals in smaller increments, and set mini goals to build momentum and then be SMART with your goals — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Be realistic about what you want and want you can give. I often see clients selling themselves short. The use of labor market information helps us craft attainable goals, but we also need to be brave enough to fulfill our true potential.
Assess your current level of stress.
Research shows that stress affects the part of your brain responsible for executive function. Executive function impacts your decision-making abilities, emotions and focus. This is partly why I suggest self-care and confidence-boosting activities as part of one’s career search strategy. It's important to figure out where you currently are on a career burnout spectrum.
Rachel is a career coach helping bored and burned out professionals. See where you fall on the career burnout spectrum, plus get her H.I.R.E.D. résumé guide.