Searching for a job can sometimes feel like treading through quicksand. It can take the energy out of you rather quickly, if you’re not careful.
I still remember an email of a long-term unemployed client of mine a couple years back:
I wax weary. I might as well quit fooling myself and give up. The strain is overwhelming me… Fatigue is the order of the day and my “go” tank is bone dry. I just can’t do it anymore…”It breaks my heart to hear such pain in the voices and words of my customers. I feel their fatigue. I’ve been there too.
Success is out there for the jobseekers who endure the countless rejections or the empty ether of nonresponse from employers and recruiters. It starts with re-energizing yourself to stay in the game.
Some ideas to consider:
1. Pace yourself. A determined but inexperienced jobseeker of mine was confident he’d be back to work following his layoff within a month. He threw all his energies into a frenzied job search, and burned himself out in 7 weeks, unable to sustain himself. We all know that finding a full-time job is a full-time job, so treat it accordingly: know when to take breaks and stop for the day. Keep a good work-life balance to keep you energized.
2. Take care of yourself. In the frenzied pace most jobseekers set for themselves, their own physical wellbeing sometimes gets thrown under the bus. While it might seem like an unaffordable luxury, taking some time for yourself is necessary to sustain your energy levels. Get regular exercise, preferrably outdoors. Studies have shown taking a few minutes to ‘get back to nature’ can reboot the mind and re-energize the soul.
3. Eat right. Limit the fatty foods and unnecessary calories, as they will weigh you down. A well-balanced diet throughout the day is an essential source of sustained energy, according to WebMD. Keep up your energy level by eating carbohydrates for energy and protein for endurance. Eat smaller portions more frequently through the day as opposed to fewer heavy meals. And make sure you don’t skip breakfast!
4. Give back. We all know the advantages of volunteering when looking for a job: you keep job skills current (not to mention develop new skills), expand your network, and use volunteer jobs as gap fillers on your resume. In volunteering you give of yourself without financial gain, producing a feeling of self worth and respect. The social interaction helps to minimize isolation, often a side effect of unemployment and a cause of depression.
5. Have a support network. It has been proven that two horses can pull not twice, but four times the weight of just one. Having someone to work with lightens the load. Join job clubs. Take job search workshops. Find a local career one-stop office and take advantage of their services. Don’t try to go it alone.
And what of my long-term unemployed client who burned out? He took a small break for a day or two, resumed his search more slowly and deliberately, and within three weeks landed a driving job at a targeted company, where he still works happily.