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Job search burnout? This is what you could do to deal with it or prevent it

For hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs as a result of COVID‐19, job search burnout is very real. Life can easily seem overwhelming and impossible when fear and uncertainty induced by the pandemic are accompanied by the trauma of losing a job or struggling to find one.

Stress and anxiety have become a constant emotional background for many people during the COVID-19 crisis. Amid growing concerns over the second wave and the economic and health risks it poses, it can be hard to remain enthusiastic about the very things that felt important and meaningful just a few months ago. Feeling exhausted, helpless, and unmotivated is a tell-tale sign of burnout.

And it is OK. We are all in this boat together. Adopting these habits, however, can help you keep your vital physical and emotional energy levels up.

Take care of your health

Quality sleep, regular exercise and doing what feels good to you are essential elements of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Allan Ting, mindfulness leadership advisor, has designed a simple but effective three-step method for preventing and overcoming burnout. It’s called A.I.R.:

- Aspiration: find your passion and let it direct your career path

- Integration: bring your work and life together and use them as mutually supportive systems, especially during difficult times

- Rejuvenation: take a break to recover from stress and replenish your physical and emotional resources

Have a Zen time

Meditation is the aspirin for the mind, says Andy Puddicombe, former monk and co-founder of Headspace. 10 mindful minutes a day is his recipe for overcoming stress and anxiety. James Kim, a physician assistant and user of Headspace, says that meditating for only ten minutes a day helped him and his patients to maintain focus and an attitude of openness and understanding during COVID-19. If you’re finding it difficult to keep working towards your career goals while staying kind to yourself, try going into Zen mode –ten minutes a day is enough to bring meaningful rewards.

Diversify

Applying for jobs with the same old-style text-based CV becomes less and less effective as the recruitment process becomes increasingly automated. It is hard to impress algorithms that are trained to pick up on specified keywords overlooking the person behind the text. According to Jason Shen, cofounder of performance hiring platform Headlight, the most successful job applicants are those who highlight their abilities as opposed to their experience. A great way to show off your unique blend of skills and abilities to prospective employers is tosubmit a video CV. QFinds makes video CV recording easy and fun – you’re only minutes away from creating your own!

Adopt a positive mindset

Developing a positive attitude to life is the best single thing you can do to ensure you continue to thrive amid stress and anxiety, says best-selling author and positive psychology advocate Shawn Achor. His advice has never been more relevant than during the COVID-19 crisis when health and financial threats aggravated by deep uncertainty make it easy to fall into a state of hopelessness and despair. Want to keep your head above water during your career search? Change your thinking patterns from negative to positive, says Achor, whose research suggests that as much as 75% of your successes at work is predicted by your optimism levels, the strength of your social support network, and your resilience in the face of stress. These effects are linked to dopamine, also known as a “feel-good hormone”, explains Achor. Keep your dopamine levels high by maintaining a gratitude journal and doing random acts of kindness, he recommends.

Give back

In their 2017 book “Peak Performance”, Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness reveal another secret to sustaining a high-performance in the most challenging times. If you feel drained and out of motivation, tap into the power of giving. From long-term projects such as coaching and mentoring to one-off acts of selfless giving, such as reviewing someone’ job application or contributing a piece of advice to an online discussion, the fulfilling experience of being helpful will enhance your sense of meaning and purpose in life – and what can be more energising than that? The secret to making giving back an effortless habit consists in finding a fit between what you enjoy doing and what those around you need.

Preventing burnout is always easier than overcoming its destructive effects on your physical and mental health. By paying close attention to your body, emotions, and thoughts you can spot early signs of burnout and address them through simple yet effective solutions: exercise, meditation, and feel-good activities. Learning how to practice self-care is an essential step on the way towards success in work and life.

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