Why You Should Not Treat 'Looking for a Job' as a Full-Time Job

You're familiar with the adage, "looking for a job is a full-time job," right?

You're advised to fill your days with job search activities, as you'd fill your days with employee tasks.

Interested in knowing something, though?

While this sounds like solid advice for someone in need of a job, it isn't.

Why? Because it affects your overall well-being. It also affects your effectiveness.

Looking for a job shouldn't be a full-time job for those going through unemployment.

(Unsplash Photo Courtesy of Yaoqi Lai.)

Here's why.

You'll Experience Burnout.

Burnout is one of the main reasons you should reconsider applying this advice.

Yes, there's an urgency to get a job. But, engaging in a full-time job search increases your chances of burning out.

In the beginning of my job search, for instance, I spent a lot of extra time looking for a job. I always watched out for job opportunities and postings. I always checked my e-mail because I didn't want to miss anything.

You know what happened, right? I burned out because job hunting consumed me.

I stretched myself too far because I wanted to quickly reenter the workforce. I didn't stop to care for my health and well-being like I should have. I overcommitted.

What I'm saying is: You must take care of yourself to take care of your job search. And, engaging in this type of search isn't healthy.

You'll Experience Frustration.

Here's something you've probably learned:

It's easy to become frustrated when you're looking for a job and seeing little, if any, results.

You research companies of interest. You customize your resumes and cover letters to reflect your qualifications and the requirements of targeted positions.

You put forth your best efforts in the job search. But, you haven't yet gotten the desired result.

Prolonged job hunting seems like a "never ending" challenge. It weighs you down. For this reason alone, it's better not to treat your job search as a full-time job.

You don't need frustration to overcome you. If it does, then it'll affect your positive attitude and outlook. Which in turn will prevent you from moving forward.

Please think about it.

You'll Experience an Effectiveness Decrease.

Above, I shared how, initially, the job search consumed me. I worked at it constantly - even when I needed a break because of exhaustion.

I listened to voices whispering:

You can't rest because you're a job seeker.

You can't be lazy.

You have a goal to achieve: getting a job now.

I hadn't yet learned: when engaged in something for a lengthy period, you need time off, or you'll lose effectiveness. But, when I learned, I learned the hard way.

You see: your will power and strength can only go so far as a human. If you push yourself past your limits, then your effectiveness diminishes.

So, I encourage you not to forgo your effectiveness for long hours of job searching. You can't overwork yourself, without a loss of efficiency at some point.

Looking for a Job Requires a Full-Time Effort Not Full-Time Hours

Here's what you should do instead: put in a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours. Consider the following to assist you:

Designate (and Stick to) a Time for Job Searching.

You shouldn't treat your job hunt as a job. But, this doesn't mean you should slack in your efforts.

Designate time for job search activities: identifying companies of interest, researching companies for insight, reaching out to professionals for advice, preparing targeted resumes and cover letters, and submitting your application materials.

Whatever time you designate to your job search (morning or evening, for example), stick to it but leave room for flexibility. Also, know when to stop.

Once you rid yourself of extra time dedicated to job hunting, you'll take care of yourself with ease, embrace your life where you are, and recognize your value outside of an employment title.

(Unsplash Photo Courtesy of Frank Park.)

Commit to a Project of Interest.

I'm advocating against a full-time job search. However, you should still use your time productively when your job search activities end for the day. And a great way to do this is by committing to a hobby or project of interest.

Consider projects you previously put off. You can also consider new hobbies or projects.

This type of commitment shows initiative, productivity, and time management. You'll strengthen old skills while learning new skills.

And, upon committing to a project of interest:

Your focus will not only be one of looking for work but creating work as well. And, you never know where this project will take you in your career journey.

Take a Break.

If you're like I was when I started my job search, then you consider breaks counterproductive. But, I learned differently through experience.

You stretch yourself too thin when you don't set aside time away from job search activities.

So, I encourage you to take a break when necessary. You'll know when you need one and for how long.

Enjoy something relaxing - a book, a walk, a blog post, a time out with family, or a moment of solitude.

Rest for a while.


Whatever is realistic for you!

Then, start again.

Please believe me when I say: running on empty isn't a good decision. Just remember to: stick to the time you've set aside for breaking, so you avoid procrastination.

Now You Know Why You Shouldn't Treat Your Job Search as a Full-Time Job . . .

You're serious about searching for your next position. And, you've taken "looking for a job is a full-time time" seriously as well.

But, here's some truth for you (based on personal experience): your job search requires a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours.

Added to the toll of unemployment is the challenge of job hunting. Without a healthy balance, there's no way to move forward, without burnout, frustration, and a lack of efficiency.

Priscilla Christopher, a Blog and Article Writer, founded Serenity Amidst Frustration while undergoing a prolonged job search. She uses her experience to educate and encourage others in similar situations. Friend Serenity Amidst Frustration on Facebook.