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When Should You Pause the Job Hunt?

In my younger years, I had times when I was absolutely desperate to find a job. I had a job at the time, but I wanted something more relevant to my skillset (not to mention better-paying). So, every spare hour I had was dedicated to job hunting: filling out applications, tweaking and re-tweaking my resume, and even the occasional cold call, ill-advised as that approach is. As anyone who has had to suffer through a prolonged job hunt will tell you, looking for work is a job in itself, and when you’re doing that on top of another job, it can run you absolutely ragged.

After multiple months with no luck, I was in a really bad state, so I made the executive decision to back off for a little while to cool down. Obviously, as someone who had a job, my situation wasn’t all-encompassing; if you’re completely unemployed, then looking for work becomes a much more pressing concern. But if you’ve got a safety net such as some savings or someone willing to support you for a while, it might not hurt to take a break, if only for a little while. Spending every waking moment filling out applications only to get rejected or ghosted is murder on your motivation, and with low motivation comes sloppier work. If job hunting becomes a matter of going through motions, you may accidentally undersell yourself on an application you could’ve otherwise had a shot at.

If you are getting repeatedly rejected, a break is even more important, as it’ll give you some time to reflect on why you can’t seem to get ahead. With some time freed up, speak to some other people in your field and ask them to look over your resume and cover letters. An extra pair of eyes can make all the difference. More than anything, though, you need to prioritize your well-being. The world will wait for a few days while you get your bearings.

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