If you want to get the job of your dreams, don’t send another application until you’ve exercised, seen a movie and read a novel.
I remember starting my job search immediately after college. I wanted to start my career without wasting any time at home. I sent many job applications, and after a few months of no success, I started to get depressed. When I logged into Facebook and saw my friends talking about their jobs and going for their annual leave, it didn’t make me feel better at all. Everywhere on the internet, I kept seeing new ways of writing the perfect resume and I kept rewriting mine. Yet, I didn’t get any job, rather I got more frustrated. And this fatigue, annoyance, and burnout definitely told on my face when I eventually landed some interviews.
Needless to say, I didn’t get any job like this. The signs of burnout were all over me – snapping at anybody when asked a simple question, insomnia, worry, stress. It was when I relaxed, took my mind off the responses from the jobs I applied to, and actually started enjoying the search that I landed a good job. The pay wasn’t top of the world, but the benefits are amazing.
Whether you want to change your career or you are just fresh out of college and want a job, here are the steps you can take to kill the burnout and actually enjoy your job search.
1. Relax: Yes, take your mind off the job search. Constantly worrying about the last application you sent and if you’ve finally nailed it won’t help matters. You need to free your mind of worries, cut down the stress and relax. If you are finding it hard to relax, take some green tea, munch on some healthy snack or put a relaxing music on.
2. Exercise: Exercise helps reinvigorate your body, pump blood through your veins, so you look younger and fresher. It releases feel-good endorphins which help in reducing stress. Employers prefer to employ those with a vibrant, youthful and energetic face than those with dull, depressed face no matter your academic qualification.
3. Sleep: Ah yes, lack of sleep can cause many illnesses and exacerbate so many others. How would you feel when you receive a text to come for an interview at a place of your dream but you are in the hospital with drips running through your veins and doctors declaring you need at least one week of bed rest after treatment? That is why you need to take care of your health. A healthy person will be in a much better position to get a good job.
4. Unplug: This means removing yourself from all forms of technology. Yes, we are grateful for the internet and technology, it has made our lives easier. But it has also disconnected from our most cherished values. As it makes things faster, so it increases our stress level, especially if you are in a job search. With the myriad of information on the net, it seems as though you are far behind and you want to stay up to date with it all. This is not possible and will lead to burnout. So, put off your laptop and your phone data for at least 2 days in a week. Use these two days in a more productive way, like exercising or spending time with family.
5. Time with loved ones: This is an area that technology has affected in a really bad way. When was the last time you shared time your kids, spouse, parents or siblings? When did you take a picnic with your loved ones last? This is the time you can do that. Use the two days you unplug from technology to take the kids out. Take your spouse to your favorite restaurant or a cinema and really spend time with them. Remember don’t check the phone for messages or email. Just listen to them talk about their life, share jokes and laugh with them.
Here is a little timetable you can use or modify in your job search activities. Use the first day of the week to research all you can about the job you want. Write your resume to reflect your skills and abilities. But don’t spend the whole day on this, shoot for 10-12 hours. The next day is for sending applications. Send out as many application as you can. Visit the job sites you’ve penciled down from yesterday and apply to all that fit your aim and resume. Use 9-11 hours for this.
The next day is rest day. Today, unplug, disconnect from technology, don’t open your email, don’t even go to social media. Go to a spa or a gym, then come back and read a good novel. The fourth day is the day you check your email to see if you got a response. If you got an interview invitation, prepare well for it. If not, research more companies and send out more applications the next day. The seventh day is another day of rest. Take your spouse to a special dinner, take the kids to a picnic or just go watch a movie with your friends.
Believe me, when you use this method instead of worrying and getting depressed, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to get that job.