Job Search Burnout

We all get job search burnout.  Some get it more than once. Let’s take a look at some of the things that push us there:

  • “Not interested in older workers.”
  • Don’t even get a chance to interview.
  • Interviews don’t go well.
  • and many more

Yes, they are all valid for some situations. But what are we going to do? I’ll tell you what most normal people do.  They:

  • Practice the art of inaction,
  • Are not aggressive,
  • Act defeated in their presentation to a prospective employer,
  • Are not interested in suggestions from others (If this is you then stop reading now),
  • Keep doing what hasn’t worked yet, or they
  • Come to the point in a job search that they’ll take anything.

Do you see yourself in there? Can you add more to the list? Let’s relate all of these to the word “If” and test yourself to see if you have these of any other If”s.

Why did I use the term If? Many years ago I read a book by Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. In his book Napoleon describes one word that has denied success to more people than any other word. Yes, even more than the word “no”. The word is “If”. Related to the burnout characteristics mentioned above:

  • If I could overcome my inaction.
  • If I was more aggressive.
  • If I had a plan.
  • If – keep adding your own.

Your If’s are going to limit or downright destroy your opportunity to find that next job. Should you need more If’s, the book lists 55. (request the list and I’ll send it to you)

Why do I go on about these attitudes? Very simply, if you don’t do what is necessary, whatever is necessary, to get yourself into a positive attitude and functioning mode for your job search, you will be perpetually at the end of the employment line. Those job seekers who are positive and aggressive will be ahead of you. But that’s not even enough in today’s job market. You need to be Bold! Yes, I know that is not a characteristic of our generation. But to compete we must be as Bold or Bolder than the younger generations. Writing on the topic of this post could result in an entire book. But, for the sake of this post, allow me to touch on some of the high points and I think you’ll get the message.

There is no question that as we get older there are more obstacles facing us in our search for employment. So let’s not make it worse by adding our own obstacles. Those danged If’s.

Job search burnout is tough. But only you can initiate the turn-around. Why do I say initiate? Well there is so much to do and so little time that you need to reach out to others for assistance. These could be family members, close friends and people you meet in similar situations. Also read books and articles on job search, find local group meetings for those who are unemployed. And, if affordable , obtain the services of a career coach to assist. Don’t forget the various government agencies such as the One Stop Career Centers.

Wow, sounds like a lot of work. It is and you should be working as if your job search were a full time job WITH overtime. I’m not going through all of the defeating If’s but will focus on a couple. The first being inaction.When I use the term inaction I use it in the context that you may be doing some things to make you feel that you are doing something. The general result is that you are only proving the other If”s valid. Is this what you want?

The job seeker that get’s up in the morning and searches a few online career sites and sends out a few resumes is not aggressive or bold and will be at the back of the line. We call these job seekers “the pajama crowd”.

There is so much more that you can be doing to enhance your success factor. I can guarantee you that if you work a full day, every day, plus overtime, you will be successful in your search. If you work at this the way that I am suggesting, your positive nature, aggressive actions and Bold approach will become a part of you.

Taken alone, the positive/bold persona that you develop will be apparent to those you are asking for help and to potential employers. Oh, by-the-way, surround yourself with positive people.

So how do you spend your day and overtime finding that next job? Use some of the time taking a class career related or for personal enjoyment. Read articles related to your career objectives and those providing information on your job search ( has a panel of career experts that regularly write on topics for the 50 plus crowd) and possibly contracting with a career coach.

Recognize that there are many sources for finding job opportunities beyond online and print classifieds. You need to explore these. Research a company before you send your first resume and certainly do much more research before that first interview. Just imagine how positive you can be with a potential employer the more you know about their business and products/services. Today it’s not  so much about what you’ve done in the past but about demonstrating to the prospective employer that you know enough about their business that you can contribute to their future growth and success.

OK you might say that only applies to more senior positions. I remember when my children were in grammar school, the custodian (Charlie) was better known than the principle. His positive attitude and strong work ethic made for a better school. And likely had a positive effect on many of the children that passed through. This is what employers are looking for.

Did I mention Bold. In this economic/employment environment all job seekers need an edge. The research, planning and long days can be small elements of Bold but you can also make really bold moves. Several that I am familiar with are of individuals who performed in depth research of a company’s product and operational practices.  They analyzed them and created a proposal for improvements, then obtained a 20 minute  interview with the most senior executive they were able to get an audience with.  And just who do you think the presenter recommended to implement the plan? A little extreme (Bold),  but this can start you thinking about how you can orchestrate your own Bold moves.

Remember, these are tough times. There are many people applying for very few jobs. Who do you think will have the best opportunity to land the job? Certainly it will not be the burned out person with the long list of “If’s”.

Approach your search as a full time job (plus overtime), be positive and be bold. With this I guarantee your success will be improved multi-fold.

Comments to this article will be most welcome. We can use your stories of positive results to help others in their efforts to become #1 for that prized new position.



  1. Kimberly

    While I agree sitting at home and waiting for the door bell to ring is not an option. However, I am an executive assistant who held her job for 11 years before the new CEO came in and decided I wasn’t a good fit for this position.

    I am now out of work, searching for jobs daily, and if I’m lucky to get a response its either automated that I do not qualify (but they don’t say why) or the job pays $10-$20/hour (I was making $43). I realize I will have to take a pay cut but 1/2??

    I’ve searched, hunted, asked, gone back and searched again and am unable to find any employer willing to pay to have someone with experience, knowledge, excellent judgment, etc. etc.

    I’m not alone with this problem…any solutions of where to turn would be most appreciative.

  2. David

    “Not interested in older workers,” or don’t even get a chance to interview… these are the issues that are making me sick and tired of the hiring policies of employers.

    I recently was invited in for a face to face due to the enthusiasm of the hiring manager’s response to my phone interview for an outside sales rep job. I bowled him over!

    He told me when I arrive for my interview to have the receptionist call him out. I did so, (10 mins. early in order to fill out any paperwork of applications). The manager came flying out of the back hand outstretched to shake mine and warmly saying; “David”? “So pleased meet…”, (looking at me and the face he made looked like he bit into a lemon) with that, abruptly ended his statement and rudely withdrew his hand before grasping mine, turned to the receptionist and told her he had to make a few important calls, please take Mr. Wynn’s number and info. and we’ll have to reschedule. I gave the company manager the benefit of the doubt and tried calling him later that day… he never took my call nor returned a call to explain his actions.

    This is what I am running into as a 60 year old sales professional who, unfortunately is in a city that has openings for doctors, medical workers, state government and a major university but almost no industry. The jobs that are being listed, I apply for, however, under the recommendation of ALL job coaches, I leave off my resume all dates of my education, therefore, they cannot determine my age. Recruiters also know that if one doesn’t include dates…. they are older. WHAT DOES ONE DO IF THEY WANT TO FIND FULL TIME “WORTH WHILE” WORK EVER AGAIN?

    HELP! There ought to be a law … there is … but try to prove it!

  3. Jim

    What really burns me up is that most of us aren’t considered as unemployed. We are classified as “out of the job market voluntarily” or a “discouraged job seeker”. Out of the market? How do they know? We don’t even get a chance to interview. Discouraged? Oh-h-h-h yes!

    I’ll bet unemployment is more like 20% but the Washington crowd is too scared to admit it!

  4. Umkhonto Labour Broking

    Eliminating the word “if” from one’s language is definitely a huge step towards having the right mental attitude and in creating one’s own luck. The next thing I would like to highlight is to be unafraid of learning new tricks. The old saying of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks is definitely not something that should apply to one personally if one wants to be successful. Adapt or die is the saying that springs to mind here.

  5. Marcia


    i have been experimenting with home health care/non medical to see what i can bring to the table in this occupational field. Considered CNA or RN or Med Assistant or Phlebotomist training but not willing to go for it as of yet – i am having difficulty making my mind up. it gets worse as more time flies by. Also considered additional training in office management, computers, any administrative support (current computer knowledge limited / unmarketable today) As far as home healthcare, it is certainly rewarding to be helpful to seniors wanting to remain in their home, but the pay is rotten. Expected it. However, i am losing confidence in my otherwise positive personality little by little and need to make a decision as to what area/direction i should go! For me, too many choices and do not want to waste time or $.

    I joined to see my options there but have not had success yet. Am i expecting too much? have much to learn. There seems to be no one on the hiring list.

  6. Mark Minogue

    I am 54 and lost my job of 16 years in a warehouse when corportae decided to close our branch and combine it with another branch in Ohio. I live in Kentucky.

    I came to this job site to do a job search. I entered in my state, type of job, job category and hit search. I entered in “ANY” for the type job. There were zero results. I have been on unemployment for a year. When it dries up, I’m screwed. I dont know what to do. I only have a high school diploma but I was employed for 25 straight years and now I feel like I am left out being 54. My last job was Warehouse material planner, order entry, receiving, shipping, forklift, general warehose…ect. I have a good letter of reccomendation from my last boss.


  7. Rob

    All of the suggestions from the article are positive: go the extra mile, come up with an innovative business plan for a company, smile etc. Great suggestions and such an upbeat article. But let’s get real for a minute. The reality of today’s economy is unlike any other in the history of this country. There ARE jobs out there, but there are many, many people pursuing these jobs. All HR departments check your age (by any means possible) prior to interviewing you. If you are 45+, you are most likely not going to be interviewed, period. I am in great shape, look far younger than my 53 years and have been hugely successfull in my career endeavors. I know I can easily outperform a 25 year old in my field. I can achieve results and surpass all expectations for a company. But nobody, and I mean nobody, is calling me for an interview. The population of this country is aging rapidly, a huge percentage of the workforce is in their 50’s and 60’s and will grow significantly over the next 10 years. So who is the author of this article kidding. Don’t make people feel like they are conducting a substandard job search. Today’s job search is almost entirely internet based, highly impersonal and an excellent way for shortsighted HR people to automatically disqualify great people.
    Age discrimination laws are really a joke and every company knows that.

  8. Denny Whiting

    To David-Being a very successful equipment salesman until the construction 62 I just went through that with a propane job-3 phone interviews,then was asked to meet all the corp people (314 miles)after I took 2 sets of assessments,the only reservations they claimed was that I had spent so many years selling equipment ,they were afraid if it came back I would leave. well they knew by my resume how long I had been in the business but when they saw my gray hair that was that. I didn’t get the job. The professional salesman at 62 can’t seem to find any kind of job, regardless of your qualifications

  9. Bill Hyatt

    Try being 54 with Moderate CP which means wheelchair and a bit of a speech impairment. Even though I have a Masters Degree in Organizational Management I might as well have a GED for all the good it will do me.

  10. April Villemaire

    I am a licensed tool and die maker. I bucked the social expectations for a women and busted my butt to prove my worth. In the eighties I lost my job to China. I worked construction until I started my own Company 11 years ago doing disability modifications to homes. Mostly fed and state funded but rewarding work till funding dried up. Last year I had to close shop from 3 full time crews to zip. At 54 I figured with my diverse background people would be begging me to work for them. If anything good comes from this its all us boomers thinking good times will never end really put reality in our faces. Probably why this economy flopped. So anyway, one interview in last month but no reply. I called them 2-3 times a week for 2 weeks. Now they are saying unemployed people don’t want to work. They are not looking at us older workers with actual work ethics, they are looking at our kids we spoiled too much. I worked the Census, I take whatever small temp jobs i can get and I am getting passed up for our kids generation and as an ex employer I can tell you thats a mistake. Employers are babysitters now to a generation of CEO wanna be’s

  11. Teresa

    I am 50 and just finished my Phlebotomy certification. I only have five more classes to finish my Medical Assistant Certification. I have worked as a C.N.A and Q.M.A. 20 plus years. Right now I am having trouble finding a job and not sure what to do. I have payed for my education myself and a lot of people are getting help. I hate to spend any more money on my education if I will not be able to find a job. I know for a fact that age does hurt you. I think schools are getting rich on trying to help older student. Medical Assisting is really encourage at most Ivy Tech Community Colleges for older students. People are still not finding work unless you are already working or know someone who can get you in. Any advise?

  12. Karen

    It is easy for someone that has a job right now to make comments about how older people have “chosen” to not work – it simply is a FALSE ASSUMPTION. I worked 36 of the past 38 years and now cannot find a job. I went to your job search and put in several different job titles and several different states and came up with “ZERO”. I made up stuff – just to see if I could find ONE job anywhere. Nothing came up. Is your website not working or AS I SUSPECT – are there just not any jobs out there? I have been looking for work for the past 2 years- ACTIVELY. I have pounded the sidewalks, walked door to door, applied online to dozens of businesses, I have driven around several cities in several states writing down the names of companies so that I could pull up their website and submit my application. I read today that the recession MIGHT be back in full swing. When did it ever stop? And where is there no recession? In what state can I find a job (I will move there)? I also read today that the gov’t. and other financial institutions (that want to paint a rosy picture of the economy) only count people that are presently drawing Unemployment Insurance in the current unemployment percentages – which most show as between 8-10%. I went to several different websites to determine from what the “great minds of the U.S.” were thinking (these are professors, Wall St. people, gov’t officials, etc.). If you add in the people that are unemployed and have “decided to go on permanent vacation” – our unemployment rate is around 20-23%. It makes me feel a little better about myself to hear that I’m not the only one looking for a job right now – especially since I’ve been told I must be doing something wrong, must not be looking chipper enough during the interviews I go on (which have amounted to about 6 over the past 2 1/2 years), need to go to college (although on the interviews most of the employers thought I was over-qualified). I’m sorry – but it all comes down to age – I don’t care what anyone says. All the employers do is look for your graduate date(s) and if you don’t show them on your resume they know you “must be old.” I am only 53 – I have another 17 years to work. God help us all!

  13. Ben

    I also experimented with the job seach tool making everything generic and the search returned zero results. I am 53 years old, and have been unemployed since Nov 2007, my unemployment benefits have been exhausted for months, I applied to over 400 jobs, jobs that only require a high school degree, jobs that require specialized training on mainframe computers, jobs where my skills could easily be tranferred to other areas of expertise. I have found nothing. I once had a temporary job in 2009 working as a technical intern, they hired the 25 year old sitting across from me and showed me the door. This was after I had created a process for the people I worked for that allowed them to bypass a bureacratic process of signatures and magically leverage their existing software to create jobs that provided them with updates to their test beds that included over 250 databases. Yes, it is true, age bias is real. We can fight and never surrender, but the truth is, we are still going to be discriminated against and our resumes thrown into the rubbish pile. We have talent, experience, grace and intelligence that is just not wanted in corporate America. Corporate America wants young bodies and fresh minds, we are not a cultural fit. I suppose this is just a reflection of a throw away society where nothing is valued.

  14. Kat

    I, too, have been out of work for over a year now, have used my my unemployment compensation and cashed in my retirement account. On top of that I felt compelled to take early retirment (Social Security) which means a 25% loss in yearly income by not waiting until I am 65…or is it 66 now, sigh. I live in an area that caters to vacationser, so most of the jobs are minimum wage or based on commission. My training in the dietary managment field really limits my options because there are very few hospitals or transitional care facilities in my area. I travelled back forth 50 miles every day for the last posiiton I had – and that was when the gas prices were so high! It was a challenge to keep my gas expenditure below $275 a month! Now, I am ready to take anything, but I can’t even get to first base – a one-on-one job interview! It has been suggested to me to further my education, but why? It doesn’t guarantee anyone will hire me. I just want a job, some extra income. It sucks when they look at you and think…too old…over-qualified…she won’t stay. Yes, I will! If anything, I have always been loyal – too loyal – to my employers, even when it did not serve me. But I am stubborn, and I will not give up!

  15. Jane Doer

    I think we all need to group together to start our own company…..Only hire 50+ age people and we will rule the world. 🙂

  16. Pigbitin Mad

    Yeah, whoever wrote this is completely out of touch. “IF” I ever get hired again I will not make the mistake of being loyal or working extra hours just to get fired again. And if the opportunity arises to throw one of my co-workers under the bus, I will not hesitate to do it. After all, the workplace really does appear to be a cut-throat place and it is better to actively remove all threats to yourself, before they get the chance to throw YOU under the bus. That is how I feel. I have always HATED corporate culture. If I would have rated it a 1 out of 10 back in the Eighties, I would now rate it a minus 50. I see all kinds of incompetent stupid people who have jobs and I wonder how they got THEIR jobs and why I will never work again when I know I am so much smarter than they are. JUST REALLY PISSES ME OFF.

  17. Mariann NewMexico

    Several points I’d like to make: Its a fallacious assumption that older workers need re-training. I was employed at a state workforce office on a temp basis and here’s what i saw: Telling someone to get training often takes them out of the work-search mode but more than 50% of the time does NOT get them re-employed after training. Many folks, myself included, are now told we are “over-qualified”. Second, it’s daunting to see younger people take jobs over and over, to get rejections (or no replies) over and over. I have followed all the advice I’ve been given – except to lie on my resume/application. At this point I have suffering from “temp-job burn out”. Each temp job I kill myself trying to do a good job & impress people with my skill and dedication. SO far I’ve been rewarded with several years of stressful, unappreciated work without any hint of a full-time opportunity.

  18. Norm

    Well, I read the little slick article above more out of curiosity than anything else. I fully expected to read in the comments section testimonials of how great an article it was and how it did the trick in landing a job. Instead I find 14 comments that deal strictly with reality… quite refreshing actually.

    58 and self employed for 40 years I now find myself 30 days from being homeless. Although my current business of 22 years is still just barely chuggin’ along I’m $2,000 bucks a month short of even being able to file bankruptcy and save the place. I thought I’d just grab a job doing almost anything to make up the difference. The 40 years of business experience is obviously far outweighed by the “58”. Amazing. Mind blowing really.

    Slick articles are fine to try and get you all pumped up, however, when you read you need to invent a product, get an interview with a CEO and then give him the invention so he can claim it as his own to get some ordinary job there is a big problem going on here.

  19. Sandi

    I am very discouraged after 5 1/2 months of searching. I see people here have been searching for years…this really scares me.
    I am 57 and lost my high paying job of 14 years…it took me a long time to make this money and as a single mom I thought I was doing well and would eventually retire with this company.

    You guessed it I have no college degree…I’ve had 7 interviews in person and by phone…the jobs are far and few inbetween on-line and none here in my state.

    What is left to do? I need to have medical benefits so a temp job would not do me any good…and I have unemployment but eventually that will run out.

    I am thinking of becoming a nail technician…and hopefully there will be no age discrimination…but what are we to do.

  20. vmeiers

    This website is a joke. “Training Opportunities” abound only to make money for the trainers, they want your money – with no prospects for a job afterwards. Ageism is rife in the US, with no recourse for the discrimination. Employers can do whatever they darn well want. I am like every one of the commenters above, totally interviewable until they get a good look at my grey hair, then no calls. I have a college degree and worked in the environmental field for almost 20 years. I have tried to keep a good attitude through the 6+ months of my unemployment but don’t see much light at the end of the tunnel. What a waste of time.

  21. Barbara

    I’ve spent an entire year applying for a job….without success. I’m healthy, computer literate, dependable, ethical, interested in learning new skills, trainable and enjoy being productive.

    Age discrimination is rampant.

  22. DHarri

    I just wanted to add a more updated comment in saying that the above comments still hold true with 2011 ending a week from now. I’ve been out of work for 2 years doing all the above with regards to conducting job searches. I even went back to school and completed an MBA hoping to separate myself somewhat from the pack. Age discrimination is still a major problem in this country, I’m 50 by the way with extensive business experience and still no luck. You get a certain look if your lucky enough to even get an interview from both younger managers as with many your age which you would think would have some level of compassion in focusing on the value you would bring to the company. Again after reading the various comments that reach back to the beginning of 2011 I’ve come to the conclusion that they are still relevant at the end of the year.

  23. joesphthrower

    Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!

  24. chyannemy

    I have been unemployed since 2/2011, I am also 56 and female, and I have applied for over 400 jobs since Sept. 2011, with very few responses. I have applied at the local McDonalds down the street, they of course said that I was over qualified, when the person looked at my resume, told them I just wanted a job, needless to say I was not even considered for it. Applied for a PC/Network tech (which I have done for the last 20 yrs or so), actually got a face to face interview, I thought it went really good, or I thought, Was told they would be in touch with me the end of the week for another interview with the IT mgr., well the phone call never happened, so I called the 1st person I spoke to which was HR, I was told that they hired some person right out of college with a degree in finance, no experience with IT, but this person had the degree, and that is all that they were looking for, it did not matter that I had all the qualifications plus more they were looking for.
    I have had to take assessment test on line, and then they say you don’t meet their requirements, what are they, and how do answer questions like “how often do you lose your temper, or are you a team player, or do you like working by yourself,” yes I am a team player, but yes I also like working by myself once in a while.
    Or on phone interviews they have mentioned how many jobs I have had in the last 5 yrs, which have been 3, but they were through agencies, and to boot 2 of them were for the same Company, just one of the agencies had lost the contract and the winning agency picked me up after I had to reapply for the same job., I have had these positions because no one will hire me full time because of my age. I have applied for phone jobs; they now want a degree for that. Applied for another position, they required MCSE, CCNA, Network +, Network Security, A+, and a BA in Computer Science, for 10 bucks an hour. I had all except for 1, and was told they were not interested. My favorite one was for PC tech, able to lift up to 70 pounds, which I can do, not all day long, but I can lift it, did the interview answered all the questions, even had one of the other tech guys ask me to show him what I was talking about, the IT mgr said that the other people in the department were concerned , #1 I was female and my age and they did not think that I would be able to do my job because of the weight of the machines, I asked the IT mgr if they lift the 70 pound machines for the 8 hrs a day, and of course he said no, he said about 2 or 3 a week. The rest of the people in the departments were all in their mid 20’s and male. So you tell me.
    I also in a really bad situation like a lot of people are, I have had to use my 401k to survive, and my 204 dollar a week unemployment (after taxes and which is the max that AZ gives) ends the end of Feb. And trust me; I buy nothing that I do not need, even shut off cable, and my cell phone. Just do the basic stuff. And I have nobody I can fall back on as I am single.
    I have even written to my senator, but surprise, not a response from him. They have nothing to worry about they all have it made.
    Sorry that I have went on and on.
    Good luck to everyone and hopefully 2012 will be a better yr.

  25. wmayer

    Dealing with job search burnout

    Recently, I presented to a group of job seekers on the topic of job search burnout.

    Things started out well enough, with participants providing their symptoms: hitting the wall, feeling hopeless, doing the same things without success, losing energy … each person’s answer was descriptive enough to elicit nods from the others.

    The conversation turned dicey, however, when one fellow declared that current job search strategies are all “bull.” This isn’t a new situation for me as a presenter, and I’ve written about similar experiences before. But I had to admit, this job seeker was very articulate in making his point.

    Unlike some participants in past workshops whose frustration seems focused on the world at large, this man (I’ll call him Bill) took issue with people in my profession. “Everyone says the same thing,” he said heatedly. “Contact the company directly. Network. Don’t wait for a job to be posted. But it’s all bull. It doesn’t work.”

    Of course I’m paraphrasing, since I wasn’t writing down his comments. But I was certainly paying attention. Because what Bill was parroting back to me from other job search professionals was essentially the same advice I was about to give the group. And many were nodding in agreement with his comments. Uh-oh. Tough crowd.

    It’s probably lucky I was giving this talk in Minnesota, where the cultural reluctance to make a scene overrides almost any impulse for revolt. Eventually I was able to win back most of those in the room — I think. Still, the level of frustration Bill and others were expressing reminds me that those feelings are likely shared by job seekers elsewhere. With that in mind, I’ll provide here some of my thoughts and remedies for job search burnout.

    As a first step, if you think you’re burned out, it’s worth noting your symptoms. Whether you’re dealing with a job search, a bad work situation, or any other seemingly endless situation, you might be experiencing a common pattern of feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, lethargic and generally unenthusiastic about your circumstances. Expressing these feelings in writing or conversation will help you see that they’re valid and need to be dealt with so you can move forward.

    When it comes to job search, I have learned that easing burnout involves attention to three areas: isolation, process and timeline.

    In terms of isolation, the primary remedy is to connect with others on a frequent schedule. In some cases, a job search buddy or support group will help. Others will find better relief by using a therapist to deal with the emotions they’re experiencing, particularly if there’s a question of depression or anxiety to be managed.

    Process refers to the actual steps or strategies for job search, and timeline means the dates one chooses in advance for completing those steps. Surprisingly, an awful lot of job seekers have little or no strategy when it comes to job search. They launch themselves at the market full of hope and energy, but with no plan for success. In their defense, this technique often works in a better market, and it may well have worked for them in the past. But a tight market requires an airtight plan.

    The value of process when fighting job search burnout is twofold. First, one could have a reasonable expectation of earlier success, which might keep burnout at bay altogether. But if not, another value of having a process is the sense of control it elicits. And it’s not a false sense, mind you, but actual control based on predetermined decisions about how a job search will be conducted.

    As an example, Bill was relating the outline of a very useful strategy, where one decides what job to seek, then identifies the companies that might use those workers, then contacts the department managers directly or through networking to see if they need a employee. This is how you find unadvertised openings, and it’s been working for decades.

    But this isn’t the entire formula. One needs predetermined quotas for their daily contacts and the determination to make them, no matter what. Then one needs a predetermined date on the calendar at which to evaluate the results of the search — and to move on to Plan B if needed. To do otherwise would be to repeat the same steps without success for months on end — a sure way to invite burnout while also relinquishing control.

    I can’t promise that this will eliminate burnout, but I do know that attention to the issues of isolation, process and timeline is never wasted, whether the job seeker is burned out or not.

    the author who i shall not name………… also a kind of career makeover specialist…………….not that it helps but may add 2 the discussion.

  26. Troy Breiland

    Wow – Lots of discouraged people here. With all the experience I see from the commentators above, I would recommend joining an expert network like Gerson Lehrman Group, Maven Research or any one of a number of networks that cover virtually every industry. While they’re not substitutes for full-time jobs, Expert network consulting engagements pay pretty well, give you an opportunity to network, and sometimes lead to longer term engagements like extended due diligence, round table discussions or full-time work. Better than submitting resumes online, at any rate.

  27. Cliff Iglodan

    I am very frustrated after being unemployed for almost 2 1/2 years. I will be 56 this February. I worked for a company for 22 years, and was let go due to a reduction in the workforce. Our company had lost some business that I was a part of. I have been applying everywhere, and now am looking for any type of job. I know that I need to return to school since I only have an associate degree in Business Administration. However, I need to find employment to support my family. My Unemployment has run out, and I am on food stamps. The only reason I am barely getting by is that my wife and I are Foster Parents. We have been doing that for about 6 years. We have adopted to children through the foster system. I was hoping that this web site, would help my find a job, but no such luck. I won’t give up, because I need to keep the faith. However, it is getting tougher evryday to keep that attitude. I do hope that others in my situation will soon obtain jobs. This is America isn’t it. !!!

  28. Deborah

    I know this sounds harsh, but I truly believe that we over 50s are expected to just go somewhere and die so we don’t take up the social security money the youngsters expect to collect. I have actually written a letter to President Obama telling him that he needs to make it an Executive Order for employers to hire those of us over the age of 50, but chances are, he may also be waiting for us to keel over before being qualified for Social Security to take some of the stress off the system. I told him that if the owner of a company will not obey his executive order that he needs to have the government confiscate the company and hire ONLY those of us over the age of 50, and NOT hire people UNDER the age of 50 so the young whipersnappers get a dose of their own meanspirited bigotry against older people. I told him that this should not be happening because there is supposed to be a law against discriminating against older workers, and that we are the ones who can really help this country recover from recession. I let him know that WE are the ones with the experience and work ethic, NOT the young whippersnappers just out of college. I told him that if this discrimination has to continue, he can at least, make it easier to prove age discrimination, and easier for us to afford an attorney who will take our case on contingency. No response of course. What does that mean? Probably that allowing companies to discriminate against older people as an eugenics method.

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