Looking for a job can be daunting, especially for those who want to start or change their career as an older adult. Because job searching is both physically and mentally taxing, it can be easy to get frustrated, discouraged, and drained. If you are feeling burnt out from your job search, take steps to recharge and stay positive.
8 ways to avoid job search burnout
Job searching can take an emotional toll on job seekers of all ages and skill levels. Don’t let disappointment slow you down from reaching your employment goals. Follow these tips to avoid job search burnout.
1. Check your resume (but don’t obsess)
Your resume is an important part of your job search. It is often the first contact you have with an employer and a big factor in whether or not you get an interview. For this reason, it can be easy to obsess over your resume strategy.
Do you find yourself spending countless hours on perfecting your resume? While it is important to have a grammatically correct resume, devoting a lot of time to making minor edits may not be the best use of your time.
Instead, take a few hours to make sure that the information on your resume is updated. Once you have refreshed your resume, check for mistakes. Ask a friend to look it over or use an app like Grammarly to ensure your resume is error-free.
2. Practice interview questions
Often, you are asked the same questions during interviews. After interviewing several times and not getting a job offer, you might start to feel burnt out. If this leaves you discouraged, your negative thoughts could show at your next interview. To the employer, you might look bored or uninterested.
Avoid getting stuck in a rut during interviews by practicing with different answers than normal. You know the questions you will be asked. Now, vamp up your answers to stand out, exude confidence, and hopefully, be the right candidate in the eyes of the employer.
Remember to smile and stay positive during the interview. Answer tough interview questions with clear, concise, and honest responses.
3. Ask for feedback
Sometimes, we are blind to our own flaws. This can make it difficult to improve on areas of weakness that hold us back from employment. Asking for feedback can provide insight into what issues need to be addressed for your job search.
Have you gone on any interviews only to never hear from the employer? Sometimes, this happens. Hiring managers can get busy and might not have time to reach out to every candidate who was not offered a position.
As a job seeker, take the initiative to find out what improvements you could make. Reach out to the employer with a polite and positive message. Don’t ask, “Why didn’t you hire me?”. Instead, try something like, “Is there something I could improve on for the future?”.
4. Take a break
These days, a lot of job searching happens online. So much screen time can be mentally and physically draining. To avoid job search burn out, take regular breaks from the computer.
During your breaks, do something that you enjoy. You might want to go outside and take a walk, ride a bike, or work in your garden. Or, you might enjoy spending time with friends and family, shopping, or reading. Whatever it is, use your break time to relax and recharge.
5. Talk to an expert
Starting or changing careers can be overwhelming for older job seekers. The job search process has changed dramatically in recent years. If it has been a while since you have looked for a job, you might not know where to start.
The good news is that there are resources available to help you. Your local OhioMeansJobs office can provide you with job search and training resources. Libraries and community centers can also offer expertise.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program, or SCSEP, provides paid, on-the-job training to low-income job seekers age 55 and older. VANTAGE Workforce Solutions, a program of VANTAGE Aging, facilitates the SCSEP program in 38 Ohio counties.
SCSEP participants receive paid training at nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. The goal is to update their skills for today’s workforce and break through the barriers of ageism in the workplace. SCSEP connects older job seekers to unsubsidized work and helps meet the economic needs of communities.
While in the program, SCSEP participants receive an individual employment plan, assistance with their resume and interview skills, and access to tools and training. If you are interested in SCSEP, please call VANTAGE at 330-253-4597 for more information.
6. Look for similarities
Looking for a job is hard work. But if you spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel, you might be doing more work than necessary. Look for similarities in job openings and application processes.
Search the internet or LinkedIn to find employers you have applied for. Look for similar organizations to get more job leads. Because the positions are similar, chances are you will not have to make many changes to your resume, cover letter, or interview questions.
Repurposing work you have already done can save you time on your job search. Just be sure to periodically update and evaluate the information you send to employers.
7. Schedule your job search time
One of the best ways to avoid job search burnout is to schedule time to look for jobs. Do NOT spend all day job searching.
Rather, set aside a daily limit for job searching. Schedule a couple of uninterrupted hours on a specific day of the week to look for jobs and stick to it. Avoid distractions such as social media or texting. This will help you maximize productivity while avoiding exhaustion from job searching.
8. Find your inspiration
Looking for a job can be stressful and frustrating. Find your inspiration to stay on track and not feel burnt out. The little things that create a positive impact will help you get through the hurdles of job seeking.
You might Google inspirational quotes, watch a feel-good video, read an uplifting article, or talk to a friend. Fill your living spaces with things that make you feel happy and draw motivation, such as pictures of family or powerful quotes. When you shift your perspective to a positive one, it is amazing what you can accomplish.
Are you 55 and older, unemployed, and looking for a job? Find out if you are eligible for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to receive paid, on-the-job training! For more information, click here or call 330-253-4597.
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