Avoiding Job Search Burnout

Looking for a job is not easy, especially in a year like 2023.

Revamping your portfolio and resume, refreshing your LinkedIn, and writing customized cover letters day after day can be a drag. 

And it’s even harder to stay positive when you haven’t gotten any bites in awhile. Eventually, all this work and all these feelings can lead to severe burnout. 

Thankfully, there are some strategies that can help you manage the stress of the job hunt and maintain a healthy mindset throughout the process. 

Below are five tips that have helped our candidates land new jobs — without overexertion or overwhelm. We’ve found that these strategies are essential to keep burnout at bay and maintain a positive attitude.  

5 Tips To Curb Burnout When Applying for Jobs 

1. Set Realistic Goals 

Job searching can feel like a never-ending task.

Setting goals can add some structure to your day and help you feel like you’re checking things off your to-do list. 

Goals can range from the number of applications you want to send per day to the amount of time you spend applying. What’s more, for creatives, goals can be a set amount of time to update your portfolio.  

It’s difficult to give benchmarks, though. Some applications take just a few clicks, and others are quite involved. But we’d recommend spending 6 - 8 hours a day on your search — as much time as you’d spend at a typical job. 

Remember, it’s ok to stop if you feel exhausted. If you’re tired, you probably won’t be putting your best foot forward. 

2. Take Breaks

Applying to jobs should be treated like a job in and of itself, but even jobs have breaks and days off. 

Taking breaks keeps your mind fresh, and going on walks and moments of reflection can be a surprisingly good way to get new ideas.  

If you tend to get laser-focused and lose track of time, consider scheduling your breaks with alarms and reminders to hold yourself accountable. Give yourself some grace.

3. Talk to Other People 

It’s tempting to spend your time on your computer sifting through job descriptions and endlessly tweaking your portfolio. But connecting with old colleagues, friends, and family can be just as productive. 

Ask other creatives how they landed their last jobs. Ask them for interview tips. You could even ask them if they’d be willing to do a mock interview or portfolio walkthrough and give you some pointers. Soak in their practical advice. 

Also, telling them you’re looking for a job keeps you top of mind should they hear of any openings that fit your skills and interests. 

4. Get Creative 

Searching for a job is not just about submitting applications. 

Networking can be a fantastic way to hear about new roles that may not even be posted yet. This is true in any sector, but it’s all the more important for creatives.

Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Going to relevant in-person meetups 
  • Joining Slack groups in your industry and browsing their jobs channel 
  • Doing informational interviews
  • Introducing yourself to hiring managers on LinkedIn 

5. Reach Out to a Recruiter 

Recruiters are a boon during the job search. They do a ton of the heavy lifting — resume and cover letter editing, giving feedback on your portfolio, sending in your application, and communicating with hiring teams. All you need to do is send them a solid resume and have a professional conversation about what you’re looking for and what you’re qualified to do. 

Recruiters can also help you weigh your options. The first offer that comes in may not be right for you. Recruiters serve as a neutral third party that can walk you through the pros and cons of each offer and ease you into a decision that makes the most sense for your skills and experience. 

You’ve Got This 

The hardest part about job hunting is that it’s not an overnight thing — it takes time. 

Submitting your application is just the first step. Recruiters have to process it, schedule your screening call, arrange interviews, and do background checks. Until you’ve completed all those steps, you’re kind of in limbo. 

Following these tips can help you manage that feeling, stay positive, and know that the best is yet to come. 

If you need help getting in touch with your ideal employers, or want feed back on your resume and portfolio, contact us at Planet Interactive.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

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