How To Fight Emotional Exhaustion When Applying for Jobs

How To Fight Emotional Exhaustion When Applying for Jobs

Let’s be honest: Looking for a job is tiring. It can feel like a full-time job all to itself and it can be stressful, frustrating and isolating. It can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle all by yourself, with a blustery wind in your face, making every step harder. 

Feeling burned out and emotionally exhausted while looking for a job is understandable. But it won’t help you reach your goal any sooner.

Here’s how to do yourself a favor and fight that emotional exhaustion while looking for a job, for the sake of your health and sanity. 

  • Set boundaries and limits for yourself. Yes, looking for a job is a high priority. It should be. But it can also be an all-consuming source of stress if you don’t give yourself breaks. The best way to limit this is to set up a schedule of sorts, complete with taking time away from the application process, away from looking at open positions, away from tweaking and analyzing cover letters. Go for a walk. Listen to your favorite music, or listen to a podcast. Make yourself something delicious. Decide each morning how long you’ll spend working on your job search and, when that time is up, walk away. Do something else, something that makes you happy and exercises a different part of your brain — or allows you to relax. 
  • Be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a day. When you first start looking for a job, you’ll find a ton of open positions that all sound promising. The longer you look, the shorter the list appears to be. Whether that’s because you’ve already applied to everything (possible) or because things feel overwhelming (understandable), there’s only so much you can do. If you’re on day one of your job search process, maybe you can, and will, apply to five jobs a day, every day, for a week. If you’re a month into the search, maybe set a goal of applying to 10 jobs per week.
  • Pick some guaranteed wins throughout the week. It’s so easy to get dispirited and frustrated when you’re sending out resumes and feel like you’re getting nowhere. As you’re setting up your day, or your week, write a to-do list of what you need to do in that amount of time. Include on that list a handful of things you know you can and will do, successfully. It can be something as small as washing out your coffee cup three times, or going for a walk around the block. Anything you can successfully cross off your list will count! It’s even better if the win is something you enjoy personally, instead of something in service to your job hunting work.  
  • Feel how you feel. You’ll have lots of people cheering you on, wanting to be your support system and wanting to encourage you to keep your chin up. That’s lovely and it’s great to have people in your corner! But also let yourself feel down if that’s how your day is going. Not everything is positive and happy all the time, and it’s better to feel how you’re feeling, sit with it for a little while, and then do something to take your mind off the stress. Feeling stressed, frustrated, a little low, a little angry: all of that is valid. Give yourself a break. 
  • Keep some perspective. Take a deep breath and remember that none of this is personal. It’s business. Sometimes you’ll be a strong candidate for a job, sometimes you won’t. It’s not a reflection on your worth as a person or as an employee. It’s a numbers game. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or if those negative, down thoughts just aren’t shaking away, remember that this is a temporary situation. You WILL find a great job! You WILL land an interview, meet great people, secure a great opportunity. You’re worth it and you’ll do a wonderful job — good things take time. It’s all going to be ok. 


It’s important to get exercise, drink water and eat healthy foods when you’re looking for a job. Taking good care of yourself will help make the process a little easier and will remind yourself that you’re worthy of good things happening. Good luck out there! 

If you need a little help with your job search, don’t hesitate to call in some reinforcements — like LeadingEdge Personnel! We have a great team of recruiters ready to help review your resume and find open positions that align with your background and experience. It’s all just a call away! Contact LeadingEdge today and let’s get started. 

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