grayscale seco swirl

Beat Job Search Burnout

Job search burnout can occur during long or unproductive job searches. Understand the causes, learn the symptoms and take appropriate steps to avoid and overcome burnout as you search for a new position.

You may find your job search takes longer than anticipated when you transfer to a new duty station. A slow economy, limited job opportunities in your chosen field, not fully understanding the local job market or any number of possible factors can increase the length of your job search. To understand burnout, you first need to identify the causes and symptoms so that you can apply strategies to keep from giving up on finding employment.

Many factors contribute to job search burnout, but most stem from feeling a lack of control. Some burnout causes may include the following:

  • Applying for the perfect job and not getting a response
  • Losing a job to downsizing and having to start over
  • Leaving a job you loved when you relocated
  • Feeling isolated in your job search
  • Receiving little support from friends and family

Symptoms of burnout may include the following:

  • Hopelessness
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Numbness
  • Apathy
  • Frustration
  • Emotional exhaustion

Knowing the symptoms and understanding the steps to take to avoid and overcome burnout can keep you on track and motivated until you land a job.

Strategies for avoiding and overcoming burnout

  • Get and stay organized. Create a schedule and stick to it. Block off time for online searches, contacting human resources, networking and social media, attending events, volunteering and exercising. Check off completed tasks and be proud of your accomplishments.
  • Narrow your search. Avoid looking at too many open positions. Identify jobs that are the best fit for you and apply for those first. Target specific companies of interest and use your professional and personal networks as much as possible.
  • Consider temporary or contract work. Bring in income, get your foot in the door and investigate opportunities.
  • Volunteer. Volunteer your skills a few hours a week. Network, meet new people, help others and stay active and involved.
  • Reward yourself. Use incentives to stay motivated. Keep track of your progress and set rewards for accomplishments. Treat yourself to ice cream or lunch with friends.
  • Stay social. Say yes to invitations. Take a class or attend events, hiring fairs and industry seminars.
  • Take care of yourself. Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to improve your mood and keep up energy levels. Exercise to relieve stress and improve focus. Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
  • Seek support. Build your support system by talking to a mentor, finding a job search pal and using available resources to stay motivated and on track.

Resources to motivate you

If your job search is taking longer than planned, use these steps to keep you motivated:

  • Review your tools and processes. Speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO to discuss ways to improve your resume and cover letter and for tips on how to successfully search for a job.
  • Find more information on MySECO. Visit the Resume Toolkit and Job Search sections of the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage for more tips on your job search and to ensure your documents are as sharp as possible.
  • Find a mentor. Find a mentor to help keep you on track in your job search.
  • Use the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Search for positions with companies and organizations committed to hiring qualified military spouses to fill their open positions.

Be patient, take care of yourself, vary your routine, use available resources and build a support system to avoid job search burnout. Be confident in your abilities to find your next job.

Like this article? Share it!
User Ratings
Log in to rate.