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Avoiding Job Search Burnout

Recently, I was interview coaching an otherwise very qualified and hardworking jobseeker.

Her vibe was frustrated, closed and all around unpleasant.

Essentially, she was a perfect example of the burned out jobseeker.

When you’re burned out from your job search, your interview responses get defensive. You come across as an energy drain when you network. You dismiss leads prematurely because you assume the worst.

Here are some ways to combat burnout before it derails your job search:

Schedule weekly breaks from your search. Many jobseekers I see start their search with a flurry of work and then go cold. Then they restart, only to stop again. Regular, systematic action is the best pace for your search, so schedule regular, systematic breaks as well. Maybe a Wednesday afternoon at a museum, or an evening class unrelated to your search. An added bonus is that these extra-curriculars are great examples of being well-rounded and interesting outside your professional work.

Pick an optimistic job search buddy. Working with someone is a great way to stay motivated and have built-in accountability. But beware that get-togethers don’t devolve into pity parties. It’s okay to be candid if you’re feeling down but you have to move on, so pick a partner who will help you do that.

Celebrate wins big and small. Keep a tab of the things that are going well with your search – the new people you’ve met, the old friends you’ve reconnected with, those meetings where both parties hit it off. You should be constantly reviewing your search anyway to find the things that work for you that you can repeat and also to troubleshoot areas to fix. But don’t forget to celebrate the things that are working also to remind yourself that, yes, you can do this, and it’s just a matter of time.

We all have been to parties with the guest that just sucks the fun out of anyone they meet.

You don’t want to be that person.

Refresh as needed.

Hang out with positive people. Encourage yourself with real evidence from past wins. Avoid job search burnout at all costs.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and Vault.com.

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