How to Avoid Application Burnout

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How long have you been sending out your resume for job applications and struggling to hear back? You spend hours and hours hunched over your desk feeling unmotivated, contemplating whether all this effort you're putting in is even worth it or if it’s all going to waste.

Let’s face it, the job application process can be very draining physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s a process with many ups and downs as some of the applications you send out will turn into interviews, while many of those applications will go nowhere. 

It requires a lot of persistence, but truth be told we all have our limits. Besides the already heightened anxiety due to the interviews you need to be prepared for, with every rejection or non-response comes a mountain of frustration and disappointment, which eventually builds up over time. As a result you’ll be left feeling burnt out, ultimately affecting your drive and motivation to continue job hunting.  

If you’re at a point where even the thought of editing your resume any more gets you worked up, then this blog is perfect for you. Let’s explore how you can avoid application burnout by following a few handy tips.

1) Try and pace yourself

It’s one thing to be committed to a routine when it comes to your job search, but it’s another thing to spend every waking hour working on sending out one application after the other.

Perhaps you can try and find a 2-3 hour slot in your day where you feel you’re the most productive, and focus during those hours only on job applications. Once your time is up, just step away, call it a day and pick up where you left off the following day. 

Essentially, treat it like a job that has no overtime. You know just as well that overworking will only ruin your mood and affect your productivity and that’s when you’ll start making little mistakes, like poor punctuation or forgetting to attach your resume in an email application. So, sticking to your planned ‘working hours’ can help you remain productive without feeling exhausted. 

2) Make sure to take regular breaks 

Taking regular breaks is so important when applying for jobs in order to avoid burnout. Sitting around waiting for a response to an application, which may never come, is extremely damaging to your emotional and mental health. 

What you could do is schedule specific breaks in your calendar or set an alarm on your phone for every 1-2 hours to remind you to step away from your computer and just simply take a breather. 

It would also be a good idea to make some plans for your break which will have you excited and looking forward to. Whether that would be to take a walk in a nearby park, pick up a coffee from your favourite local café or watch an episode of your favourite sitcom, finding easy ways to unwind and refresh can help you avoid burnout. 

3) Try to control your negative self-talk 

We’ve all been victims, at some point in our lives, of so-called imposter syndrome, where that negative voice in our head keeps telling you that you’re not ready or worthy of landing the great job you want (and deserve). 

Negative self-talk is very common among job seekers who send out loads and loads of applications they never hear back from, so you’re not alone. However, this can sometimes hold you back from applying potentially to your dream job because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not good enough and you’ll never be hired.

Therefore, try and dial that pessimistic voice in your head down and tame your negative thoughts before they take over and talk you out of a great job opportunity. 

4) Make a record of your wins 

The ups and downs of job hunting can undoubtedly drain your confidence, so keeping a list of your day-to-day wins, which you can refer to, could help re-instil the confidence lost from  rejections and non-response applications.

Your wins don’t necessarily have to be job search-related. You could simply take note of any part of your day that made you feel like you had accomplished something, however big or small that was. 

It could be that you managed to clean your entire house or that you mastered the perfect banana bread recipe. If a win made you feel productive and a sense of accomplishment, regardless of how important of a win it was, then it’s definitely worth noting down. 

When you start feeling discouraged just refer to your list as a pick-me-up to instil some confidence in you to continue job hunting and applying.

5) Get yourself a cheerleader you can trust 

Like we’ve already mentioned, applying for a job can be a very stressful process, so having someone you feel comfortable to vent to can make a world of difference to whether you’ll experience burnout and how far.  

Cheerleaders are often close friends or family members whom you trust enough and can count on to give you some words of encouragement and support that’ll keep you going.

From being a second pair of eyes when reviewing your resume, to someone who can accompany you during your downtime, like going to the gym or the cinema together, cheerleaders can help you put your thoughts in order and re-instil the confidence you lost in your job searching journey.

Remember that job hunting is a marathon not a sprint, so prepare yourself for a long journey with lots of ups and downs before managing to secure yourself a job. 


So, pace yourself, be patient, be kinder to yourself, surround yourself with supportive individuals and you’ll land a great job sooner than you think. 


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