Tips for Startup Jobseekers

How To Handle Job Search Fatigue

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Chris Apostolou

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The job market is a bit odd at the moment. There’s a bit of a scramble: job vacancies are at an all time high, yet employers don’t seem to be employing (as much). To top it all off, we’re undergoing a ‘Great Resignation’. 

Yet, what we can extract from this is that many people will be on the hunt for a job. From those who want a more fulfilling job at part of the Great Resignation to those who need sustainable employment after the ending of the furlough scheme. But searching for a job, especially in this confusing climate, is stressful.

Stressful to the extent that there’s a term for it – job search fatigue. ‘Job search fatigue’ refers to both the physical and mental exhaustion one may face when looking for a job. It’s often a process that does not get discussed much, and can further exacerbate feelings of isolation. 

There are some methods to curbing potential job search fatigue, and the mental strain it can cause. In this article, we’ll share some of these said strategies.

However, it should be noted: long term unemployment is often to do with large socio-economic factors – structural unemployment. There is also cyclical unemployment which is the product of the economic downturn. Sometimes it’s better to seek professional help if your mental health is declining significantly.

People Need People

What often contributes to negative emotions is the sense of isolation the job search can bring. This is amplified by the fact that many choose to only share successful outcomes rather than their own failures when securing their own jobs.

In order to prevent the physical exhaustion caused by job search fatigue – it’s good to start with the mental aspect. One way in which you can achieve this is by remembering that others are in a similar situation. Starting this dialogue to someone you trust around you is also a good start. Exchanging and expressing experiences can allow you to feel that you are not alone, and the rejections/failures will eventually pass. This can contribute to a lesser sense of isolation and selflessness, learning to accept that initial rejections from the job search are not a reflection of you but a normal part of the process.

However, not everyone has the privileged to talk to people around them. Fortunately, there are alternatives. For instance, engaging with online communities/threads/posts. It allows anonymity, and doesn’t have the pressure of opening up on your side as with a one on one conversation.

You can find such communities on Reddit, which provide a bit more anonymity. There are also Facebook groups, and Twitter/Instagram pages that engage with this content. Some good links to check out are:


Setting Schedules and Boundaries

At work or school, you would most likely have a routine. This routine keeps you in check, and allows you to enjoy other activities whilst balancing commitments. The job search is the same. Letting it take over your life, or vice versa, remaining inconsistent in your search, disrupts other aspects of individuality. This does not necessarily have to mean you have to set up a 9-5 regiment. Overworking may become redundant if it leads to burn out and fatigue. Likewise, pacing out your job search actually opens up more opportunities for you. Every day, a new vacancy opens, and that could be the one for you! Of course, if you are already struggling, it might be hard to have an organised routine. However, boundaries can be vague. You might decide that you *only* fill out job applications in the morning. Therefore, you would not dedicate time during your afternoon and evening.

Make It… Fun?

A fun job search sounds like an oxymoron. But what if searching for a job was fun? Here’s where gamification can come into play. Gamification is the process of adding gaming strategy to non-game scenarios. It has been known to have many benefits in the realm of engagement. Searching for a job is stressful and boring, end of. Implementing some reward and structure systems, however, can hopefully make it more manageable. Why not get started on the fun by checking out 50 Ways to Get a Job? It’s free to use, and an excellent tool for helping you out on any stage of the job search.


Getting a Recruiter

If the job search is truly draining, it may be a good time to reach out to a recruiter or recruiting agency. These services should be free to you as a job seeker, as recruiters take fees from the employer not you. Working with a recruiting agency will decrease the effort in terms of searching for vacancies yourself, networking and so forth. Many offer additional career advise that can boost your prospects too. Nonetheless, it is important to research beforehand depending on the industry you wish to go in. Recruiting agencies might be more saturated in one industry compared to others.

Fighting Fatigue

Take a breather, remember it’s okay to take breaks and use all possible resources for you. Reaching out helps combat creeping low self-esteem, setting boundaries prevents potential burn out, gamification makes the process *slightly* more enjoyable and external agencies have lessen your work load. Finding a job is no easy feat, but you’re bound to find the perfect opportunity soon, making job search fatigue a low forgotten issue.

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