How To Avoid Jobseeker's Burnout

Feb 20, 2021

Set yourself up for success

Job searching may be a very emotional experience. Some days you feel on top, others you do not. Getting job searching routines will help you level up and become a stronger candidate. Here are my top 14 tips to help avoid jobseeker's fatigue and make job searching more productive and rewarding:

1. Change your mindset by changing your questions

When things are not working according to plan, you might ask questions such as:  

- Why can I not get a job? Why have I not found a job yet? Or why do I not succeed?

However, your brain is like Google, and it will answer any question you pose to the best of its ability regardless of question quality. Consequently, our answers are often misleading, causing job searching to seem hopeless, depressing, and exhausting.

By changing these questions to positives, you engage and activate your creativity in new ways. See what happens when you ask:  - Why can I get a job? - Why will I succeed?

Here are some other questions that can help your brain get creative and see a brighter future:

  • What is the best thing about this situation?

  • Why will I get a job quickly?

  • Why will I get better and stronger after this?

  • What can I do right now to move forward?

  • What will give me the fastest results?

 

2. Implement the 75-15-10 job hunting mindset.

According to the Cademix Institute of Technology (2020), the hidden, unannounced job market may be as much as 75% of the opportunities. There are very few people who know of and go after these unannounced jobs. Simultaneously, there may be hundreds or thousands of applicants for employment in the announced market.

 Consequently, it makes sense to spend most of your time going after hidden market opportunities at your chosen companies and networking with potential hiring managers. Allocate 75% of your time pursuing opportunities in the hidden market by networking. Allocate 15% of your time staying abreast of your industry and updating your skillset and personal brand. The remaining 10% left is for applying to perfect-match positions in the announced market. The 75-15-10 may sound daunting to your right now. Rest assured. After reading the next chapters and trying out the networking techniques for yourself, you will be networking like a pro.

3. Find your spot to work.

You may be more productive by identifying a place where you work effectively. Extroverts may need people and work from their local coffee shops. Introverts may find a place where they can work uninterrupted.

4. Keep momentum by doing something to reach your goals every day.

Make sure you do something that pushes your needle in the right direction every single day. To stay motivated, you must set yourself some milestones and targets. What are you going to accomplish today?

 

Congratulate yourself daily on everything you are doing right. It makes you feel like doing more(Breuning 2015).  

 5. Define your excellent daily job searching routines!

With daily habits, you do not have to reinvent your schedule every day. You will get up in the morning and find ways of making your day more productive and fun. Take some time to think out a daily routine that works for you, your loved ones, and the professional world. Here is one example of how to organize your day:

 

06:30-07:30 Exercise/workout (meditation or listen to podcasts)

07:30-08:00 Get ready

08:00-08:30 Skill and industry training

08:30-09:00 Short morning coffee meetings, in person or on video

09:00-10:00 Job searching online and networking on LinkedIn

10:00-11:30 Write applications for 100% match positions

12:00-13:00 Lunch - Networking meetings and walk and talks

13:00-17:30 Networking in meetings, online, and on social media

17:30-18:00 Track progress and plan next day with asana.com

18:00 -> Time with family and friends (spreading the word and networking light)

22:30- 06:30    Sleep to look, feel and perform better.

 

Everyone is different, but you will benefit from setting a daily routine where your get some daylight: Create your day or weekly schedule  based on element you want to include: 

  • Eight h sleep daily

  • One hour of exercise daily

  • 0,5h  meditation daily

  • Eight h job searching daily (or 40 hours per week)

    • Six h daily/ 30 h weekly networking  tracking target  companies and positions

    • One h 20 min daily (6 hours weekly)  Updating your social platforms and skills

    • 0,3h  daily/ 3h 20 min sending 100% match applications


6. Track activities.

-Get a natural high and stay organized by planning and tracking your activities. How much fun would it be to watch a game if there was no scoreboard?

Measure progress to keep track and see that you are advancing. Being aware of your progress enhances your performance, and your brain rewards you for goal attainment. Research shows that goal attainment releases dopamine every time you physically cross off items on your list (Breuning 2015). The dopamine gives you a sensation of pleasure and stimulates you to keep going! 

There are more benefits to planning and crossing off accomplished tasks. Planning and tracking your activities will help you keep an overview and ensure you are on top of your processes. You do not want to contact people about the same position twice or forget to follow up on a hot job opportunity. Please feel free to use our complimentary  Job searchers tracker (TM) – (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Sj8JN3-BByWkAo1jofsjq7b96siPmeILxqOSUQJh0X0/edit?usp=sharing, (Brante 2018) to track your movements, including contacts, original ads, applications sent, referrals, interview dates, and more. The sheet will be ready to download.

7. Apply the 80/20 rule!

The Pareto Principle (Pareto, 1896), or the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the result comes from 20% of your effort. (While the 75-15-10 is about how much time you should allocate to each category, the 80/20 rule is about prioritizing activities within each category.)

Applying this rule when planning your efforts will leave you a lot less stressed. Here is how:

1) Write down everything you need to do 

 2) Prioritize the tasks that will have the most impact and help you reach your goals with the least effort. If you have ten things on your to-do list for the day (or week), what are the two most essential items? Those two, your top 20%, will usually get you 80% of the result you want. If you get to another 10% of your list, you are making headway. Isn't that the most excellent stress reliever tip ever?

 

8 . Plan your day the night before.

Planning will increase your productivity by 25% (Tracy, 2016). 

 

9. Keep up the intensity and take breaks.

Job searching may be draining. How do you keep up the intensity when the job search drags out, and you feel like giving up? If you regard the process as a marathon, you will slow down your pace, reduce your effort, and have less activity overall. You may not get the results you want, and your motivation may suffer.

The trick is to look at your job search as interval training where you apply full speed with breaks in-between. This way, you get to see progress from your activity that helps you stay motivated. You also get to take well-deserved breaks where you get to enjoy your milestones and part-victories.

 

 10. Protect your time by staying busy.

- I have just been too tired to focus on the job search this week, Thor said. - My mother called me one morning and asked me if I could paint her house. Since I didn't have much to do, it seemed reasonable to help her out. Thor looked tired. I could tell that he was frustrated. People may assume that you have very little to do while unemployed. However, when unemployed, finding a new job is your full-time occupation, and you need to treat it as such.

- Be too busy to pick up the phone during working hours. Schedule your routines, meetings, and tasks to ensure that you are less available for others and their projects (unless there are networking opportunities that may land you a new job).

Thor decided to talk to his mother about helping her in the evenings and the coming weekends. He soon went on to land a new job and had time to help his mother on his days off before starting the new position.

 

  1. Distinguish between your emotional support system and your network.

Real friends are priceless. You may need to show your emotional wounds and share inner thoughts with somebody as you go through the ups and downs. Decide on who will be your emotional support and who is going to help you get a job. These roles will, in most cases, be mutually exclusive. It may be tough to promote you as an excellent employee while they are your shoulder on which to cry. If any, few are willing to jeopardize their reputation by referring to an emotional, depressed, angry, or in other ways unbalanced candidate.

 

Liz called Beth wanting to discuss an opening at her office where they needed someone with Beth's skills:  

  • How are you? Liz asked.

  • I am so tired and exhausted; I need to see a professional and get myself together, Beth confessed. 

  • I understand. Well, Beth, you know I am here for you. Let me know if you need anything. 

 

Liz genuinely wanted to help Beth but could not stake her reputation if Beth wasn't ready. 

 

  1. Create a support system.

Invite people who inspire you, want the best for you, and have them help you in this process. You will be surprised by how well they know you and how much insight and value they may bring. Ensure that you are positive and show up like the kind of person they would like to recommend.

 

13. Keep away from peers in the same situation.

 

Job searching can be stressful, overwhelming, and frustrating. A peer group of job seekers coming together may seem like a great idea. It is not! 

Partnerships may be highly addictive and take too much time: Meeting or talking for hours about the difficulties of being a job searcher without coaching may emphasize the challenges and deplete your energy. It is often much less productive and rewarding than making job search efforts. Another truth is that the partnership will break up sooner or later and may leave you depressed or feeling guilty.

If you need support, find an experienced coach that will help you stay positive. Online group coaching may suffice. A coach ensures sharing of inspiring and valuable experiences. There will also be new people entering the group, and there is a coach that facilitates progress and keeps you accountable.

 

14 Take care of yourself and implement high-performance habits.

It is easy to become self-destructive when struggling in life. However, any step you take to enhance your health will help your candidacies. Also:

  • You enjoy this process, and taking extra good care of yourself can improve your chances of getting hired. 

  • Recruiters love energetic yet relaxed, confident, and healthy-looking candidates.

 What habits you can implement to look and feel fantastic:

  • De-stress with laughter (Mayo Clinic Staff 2019) every day to release tension. Make time to watch comedy and have fun with friends every day to release stress.

  • Drink your eight glasses of water a day and give yourself a star.

  • Exercise according to your doctor's recommendations. Ease into it by getting an exercise routine—quantity before you do hardcore quality.

  • Keep a journal to get the 83 benefits from it, including reduced depression, anxiety, and stress (Ackerman 2020)

  • Meditate. According to Inc. magazine at Inc.com, it makes you 23% smarter! (Curtin 2016)

  • Make sure you go for healthy foods with essential nutrition. Your body needs proper fuel.

  • Sleep your 8 hours. Sleeping helps you avoid depression (WebMD 2019)

 

Summary

Implementing any of these routines will give you an extra competitive edge. To maintain low-stress levels, you may want to implement them one at a time. The main thing is still to focus on your job search.

  1. Change your mindset by changing your questions.

  2. Implement the 75-15-10 job hunting focus.

  3. Find your spot to work.
  4. Keep momentum by doing something to reach your goals every day.

  5. Define your daily awesome job searching routines!

  6. Track activities. 

  7. The most fantastic tip: Apply the 80/20 rule! Get a natural high and stay organized by planning and tracking your activities.

  8. Plan your day the night before. ?Keep momentum by doing something every day.

  9. Keep up the intensity and take breaks.
  10. Protect your time by staying busy

  11. Distinguish between your emotional support system and your network

  12. Create a support system.

  13. Keep away from peers in the same situation.

  14. Take care of yourself and implement high-performance habits

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