How to reduce stress and job search burnout

Whether you’re between jobs or employed, the job-finding process can be a long haul, leaving applicants feeling stressed and burnt out. When you add the worry of the pandemic and the effects of being stuck at home for a year, it’s no surprise that some jobseekers are feeling the strain.

One positive thing is that there are still plenty of roles being advertised across many sectors, despite the effects of Covid-19. But finding a new position can take time, effort and a series of knock backs before you get that call you’ve been waiting for.

In this post, we’re highlighting warning signs to look out for in your mental, emotional and physical health, and offering our tips on what you can do to avoid burnout when job hunting.

What are the signs of stress?

Stress manifests differently in different people, and the effects can be physical and mental. Keep an eye out for:

  • Regular stomach or headaches
  • Tense or painful muscles
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep at night
  • Constant tiredness, even after sleeping
  • Speaking very quickly
  • Unusual forgetfulness
  • Feeling worried, wired or overwhelmed
  • Difficulty staying motivated or making decisions
  • Problems concentrating
  • Feeling irritable
  • Finding it harder to connect with other people or find time for the things you usually enjoy
  • Overeating
  • Relying more on caffeine or alcohol

What are the signs of burnout?

The WHO describes burnout as a condition “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”, with three key elements. In short, if you’re feeling exhausted, detached from your work and feel like you’re performing badly, there’s a good chance you’re approaching the burnout stage. If you’re also juggling video interviews, long-winded applications and extra training on top of your day job, then job search burnout could be right around the corner, unless you take steps to relieve the pressure.

What can you do to reduce stress and avoid job search fatigue?

Spending every available minute scrolling through job ads and stressing over application forms will make you overtired and less productive. So stop everything, set yourself some clear boundaries and get some balance back into your day:

  • Allocate a timed window in your day or week for applications, interviews or online training – don’t exceed the time limit.
  • Shut down and pack away your computer when you’ve finished for the day. If you can, close a door on your work area.
  • Yes, it’s comfy, but avoid doing any searching or applying in your PJs! Getting dressed puts you in a better frame of mind for selling yourself to a potential employer.
  • Take breaks. Even if you’re between jobs and focusing solely on applications and interviews, you still deserve time off. Leave your desk to call a friend, eat a meal or get some fresh air.
  • Allocate a set time period each day that’s just for you and your wellbeing – hobbies, exercise, preparing meals that make you feel good, not just full. Just make sure you choose activities that help you unwind.
  • Breathe! It sounds obvious, but have you ever got to the end of the day and realised that you haven’t taken a single deep breath the whole time? Pause three times a day to fill your lungs properly – it’s an instant refresher.
  • Get yourself into a proper sleep routine. Avoid screens an hour before bed and aim to turn off the light at the same time each night.

When to get further help

Job rejections, money worries, demanding interviews…it all adds up. If you’re feeling consistently down and losing interest in things you normally love, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and get some support.

Your next steps

As usual, the Appoint team is here to help with your job search in Bath and beyond. Browse our vacancies and get in touch if you see something that’s just right for you.

Suffer from interview anxiety? Our post about calming interview nerves may help. And when you do land that new role, there’s a good chance you might be asked to start it from home. Check out our advice on starting a new job remotely


Sources:

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190610-how-to-tell-if-youve-got-pre-burnout