Job hunting can be a slog. There is no way to sugar-coat this message to the weary jobseeker. The job hunt is often a marathon. Even experienced workers with robust networks may find themselves looking for a new position in an employment dry spell.
In times like these, it is easy to become discouraged. You may find that applications you spend hours on do not get a response. You may even interview several times with a promising employer only to fall just short of their number one pick.
Throughout this process, you can get frustrated, discouraged and may even be considering checking out of the job hunt. Even if you have a stable job to hold you over, repeated attempts to find a new position can be hard to cope with.
If you find yourself struggling with application fatigue, consider the following tips to help you along your way.
1. Maintain a daily checklist
Each day draw up and follow a to-do list for your job search. This list can contain anything from résumé revisions to applications. It is far too easy to see job hunting as a single, giant activity, and not a progressive experience.
Even if you go a few weeks without employer responses, those weeks may still have been productive. Drawing up a daily checklist and ticking off your tasks gives you a chance to credit yourself for the work you have put in so far.
2. Work on other goals
If you have extra time around your job search, consider working on other goals. You may want to get into exercising, or maybe you want to learn how to cook.
Progress towards these goals can give you a morale boost when job hunting has got you down.
Ensure that whatever goals you set do not interfere with the time you dedicate to your job hunt. Also, be sure to set realistic goals for yourself. You do not have to become a bodybuilder or a musical virtuoso. Just make sure you are working on yourself in a healthy and positive way.
3. Learn new skills
If you keep running into unfamiliar skills in the job descriptions you read, look into how you may acquire these skills. There are many online courses available on LinkedIn Learning and Coursera, and volunteer initiatives can provide you with hands-on learning environments.
4. Network locally
If you do find yourself volunteering, use it as a chance to connect with others in your community. Networking can happen almost anywhere at any time. Even friendly acquaintances can provide valuable job referrals when you least expect it. On top of the networking opportunities, connecting with your community can help you feel much less isolated.
Your area may even have hobby groups or Young Professionals networks where you can make new connections.
5. Maintain a journal
While checklists are great tools for keeping you on task and recording your progress, supplementing them with a journal can give you much more peace of mind.
Keeping a journal will help you get your thoughts in order. It also provides you with a safe place to explore how you may be feeling during a difficult time in your job search. You may even find yourself working through some problems you may have as you describe them.
Above all else, make sure you are giving yourself enough credit for your efforts. With each application, you become a more experienced jobseeker. With every interview, you stand to learn more about what employers are looking for in a candidate.