I was given 4.5 months notice this past June and was fortunate to find a new job. I blogged about my job search and the lessons I learned along the way (update 2, update 3, update 4) but unsurprisingly I still have more to say!
A few months in I was discussing my job search with some friends and commented that burnout is very possible with a job search. In fact, I’d say it’s very probable if your search drags on even a little bit. I’ve always said that finding a job is a job in and of itself and it’s one with some special extra stresses. In this case, I was not only spending time looking for a job but I was working at the job that had let me go. No matter how understanding they were (and they were very understanding) it’s still a lot. On top of that, there is the ongoing stress of am I going to find a job before I run out of savings, Everyone I’ve talked to say’s I’ll be perfect for this job or that but none of them want to interview me, what am I doing wrong?!?, I’ve had several interviews but no one is interested, what am I doing wrong?!? and so on. It’s very easy to start questioning yourself and your skills.
So what can you do? Well, there are lots of articles about burnout in general and I recommend reading them. Personally, I was fortunate that I still had time, so I started by taking a few days off (a weekend as it happens), then I took some time to regroup. What had I been doing? What did I feel was missing? What was/wasn’t working? You might ask a friend to help with this. It can be hard to judge for yourself sometimes. Then I made a new plan and started working toward it. Sadly, because of that pesky needing to pay bills thing, I didn’t feel comfortable taking more than that couple of days off and you may not either, but it did help. And just that act of refocusing and building a new plan seemed to help me quite a bit.