The Coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know in every way imaginable. From the small inconveniences in your daily experiences to the huge impact on our communities, there is no aspect of our existence that has gone untouched by this virus.
If you’re feeling irritable, stressed, unable to sleep, or just on edge in general, the problem might be the rapid change we’ve experienced overall–or it might have specific roots in your professional life.
In speaking with and supporting hundreds of job seekers, we’ve identified three key types of Coronavirus career fatigue and have created a list of suggestions to help support you during these strange and ever-changing times
#1 – Panic Fatigue
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs or had their work hours reduced in the past two months. We talk to professionals every day who, while still employed, carry incredible anxiety about the future of their professional lives.
What’s the best way to ease your panic?
Have the tough conversations about the viability of your company, and your role within the organization. Is your job on the line? What’s the timeline for potential layoffs? What are the company’s needs in the short term?
Possessing all the facts can help you to go from a place of aimless panic, to one of empowered planning. Better yet, if you launch the conversation from a place of what’s possible you may find yourself in a stronger position than if you had left things unsaid. You could go from completely laid off or furloughed, to simply reduced in hours or employed on a consultant basis.
#2 – Job Search Fatigue
Whether you’re determined to leave your current employer or dealing with unemployment, it’s easy to fall into job search fatigue when your emails and applications go unresponded to, the process fizzles after an interview you thought went great, or when you just don’t see positions out there that interest you.
While it’s true that the average job opening attracts 250 resumes and only 2% are considered for roles, it’s our experience that it’s not the “resume black hole” or bots that lead to fatigue (thought they contribute to it), but that a lack of strategy is actually the root cause.
If you find yourself exhausted with your job search, ask yourself these questions:
- Have I thoroughly researched the companies I’ve applied to?
- Have I aimed to make meaningful connections with decision makers?
- Is my resume and LinkedIn profile closely aligned with my job target?
- Am I going in through the company’s “side door?”
- I am 100% ready for the role I’m targeting?
- Am I clear on my USP (my unique Selling Proposition) as it relates to the job?
If you answer “no” to two or more of those questions, a lack of strategy is likely causing your job search fatigue. Using what you’ve learned retool your approach to landing your next role. Companies in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, software as a service, supply chain, and logistics spaces are ready to hire you—if you invest the time and intention it takes to stand out in this competitive market.
#3 – “Always On”
Without the boundaries created by working in an office, your work day might feel never-ending. In fact, the average working day has increased by three hours in the U.S. since mid-March ( that’s according to a NordVPN analysis of server activity). When you’re always on, replying to messages from the couch, dinner table, and during other moments you usually dedicate to unwinding, you’re bound to experience “always on” fatigue.
The remedy is all about routine and boundaries.
Mimic your former commute to establish a new workday routine. When did you arrive? Try not to sit down to work before you would’ve been in the office. When did you typically take lunch? If you didn’t take a lunch break before, consider taking one now, even if it’s just to take a quick lap around the block (your brain will thank you).
Set alarms on your calendar to take regular breaks and if possible, stay away from your desk area/office for the rest of the evening, or else it can feel like work is “staring at you” all night. Invite your colleagues to join you in creating this kind of schedule. Like anything that requires boundaries and discipline, it is often easiest to follow through when the others around you are doing so, too.
Remember, the fatigue you are feeling is real. Don’t try to talk yourself out of it, or beat yourself up if things feel exhausting all the time. Be strategic and proactive, create unique solutions, and stick to a schedule.
Create order from the chaos wherever you can, and remember that Sound Advice Careers is always here to help if you need us!