Job Hunting Burnout: How to Deal with It

Dealing with a seemingly endless job search can be draining in more ways than one. Here’s how to take care of yourself during this trying period.
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The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
Editorial Intern, gradsingapore
Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it

How long has it been since your last application response? You’re slumped over your desk, body heavy and mind unmotivated, wondering if all this effort is even worth it. The thought of touching up your resume or even looking at another job listing makes you want to scream.

Does this sound familiar? If so, you might be slipping into job hunting burnout. Left unchecked, it can not only derail your job search, but your lifestyle as well. So, what can you do to avoid this from happening?

Burnout signs

Yes, it’s important to be persistent, but we all have our limits. Apart from the already high anxiety building up due to interviews and assessments, with every rejection or lack of response comes frustration and hurt, which can build up over time. All of that can accumulate to you feeling absolutely burnt out, which can hurt your drive towards job hunting.

Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it_Signs of burnout

Pace yourself accordingly

It’s one thing to keep up a routine for your job search, and yes you should stick to a routine. But you don’t have to dedicate every waking hour to just that! Instead, allocate some time of the day where you’re most productive – about 2-3 hours – to focus on just job hunting. Once time’s up, just wrap it up for the day.

Treat the search like a job in itself. After all, overworking will only worsen your mood over time, which can in turn affect your productivity. Your applications won’t be as sharp and you’ll be more prone to making mistakes, like forgetting to attach a cover letter with your application!

Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it_Pace yourself accordingly

Be sure to take breaks

Playing the waiting game for your applications is agonising but dwelling on it isn’t going to make it go any faster. Take that brief downtime to take a short break instead.

Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it_Make plans to take breaks

Don’t just keep to yourself

As they say, a burden shared is a burden halved. Talk to someone who cares about you – it can be a close friend or family member (or several, if you want), so you know that there’s at least someone in your corner in this predicament. They can lend you their ears if you need to vent or accompany you on your downtime, be it going to movies or having a fun game of badminton.

You can turn to your other connections if they can help you during the job search process. From being a second pair of eyes when reviewing your resume and applications to even being a fresh source of job opportunities and connections if they have any.

Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it_Stay connected

Be patient, and don’t lose heart

It can be discouraging if you don’t hear from a hiring manager or get a message saying that you weren’t picked for the position. But as you keep going, it’s absolutely crucial that you shake off this mindset as soon as you can.

Don’t take these setbacks personally. It doesn’t mean that you’re unqualified — it could be that you need help beating the application tracking system or to write a more effective email job application. There are plenty of other factors that not only affect a company’s hiring process, but the job market as a whole, especially with the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic still going on right now.

Job-hunting burnout_How to deal with it_Reduce the negative self-talk

Searching for a job is like running a marathon — knowing when to sprint and when to pace yourself is critical, lest you find your efforts turning counter-productive. Remind yourself that finding a job and employer that best fits you will take time and effort. All the resources you need are within reach, you just need to keep going and don’t give up.

But remember, while you may be busy job hunting, it’s also just as important to take a step back every once in a while and take care of yourself, too.