Job searching’s hard. There’s no other way to put it. So, it’s completely reasonable that you’d want to take a breather for a bit. For many people, this break’s exactly what you need to recharge and start again.
But, once you finally settle into a little bit of a lull, it’s tempting to make it a long reprieve from your hunt. Maybe even an endless one. After all, you don’t need to find a new position that badly, right? Wrong. You started for a reason and you owe it to yourself to see it through.
And fortunately for you, there are some pretty obvious signs that you’re ready to halt your vacation from resume-sending and start searching for your dream job again.
1. Your Friends’ LinkedIn Profiles Are Making You Jealous
Even during some of my most impressive stretches of laziness, I’d somehow find my way over to LinkedIn. I’m not sure if I expected to see nothing but workplace memes and inspirational quotes, but of course, there was much more going on. Some of my friends were getting serious promotions. Others were taking jobs that sounded amazing—and a few of those people were starting gigs that made me wish I had applied.
And yet, there I was at night, sitting on my couch in pajamas, re-watching a documentary I had seen at least three times. While you shouldn’t always compare yourself to the people around you, it’s not a coincidence when you start getting antsy after seeing your friends’ careers growing. And I’m willing to bet that’s enough to motivate you to get off the couch and start applying again.
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2. Whatever You’re Doing During Your Break Will Remind You About the Job Search
You might have a lot of things you enjoy doing when you take a break from your job search. Maybe you like exercising, or maybe you like an incredibly popular detective show based in New York City. Whatever your thing is, the odds are that at some point, it will remind you that you want (and need) to find a new job.
For example, if you are watching a ton of television, you’ll keep coming across plots about people who hate their jobs. Or, if you’re going to tons of classes at the gym, you’ll find yourself eavesdropping on people who are talking about their awesome company perks. No matter what you’re doing, you’ll start to see careers everywhere. And when that happens, do your best not to ignore it.
3. You’ll Feel Refreshed
This is going to sound corny, but unless you started your search for the wrong reasons, you’ll feel rested at some point. You might not jump out of your chair and say, “I am going to conquer the world now! You there, what are you waiting for? It is time for my afternoon cheese!” But, you’ll probably start thinking about the incredible gigs that might’ve become available during your break.
And if this is the case for you, congratulations. You’ve gotten a good handle on how to take an appropriate amount of time off from looking for a job. Your reward? Some well-earned time pounding the pavement (a.k.a., on your computer) in search of your dream job. And this is a very, very encouraging thing.
Breaks are never easy to end. A breather during a long and difficult job search can be even more tempting to extend for days. And while there will be times when you (rightfully) say to yourself, “No more of this for right now. I need a nap,” you’ll start noticing certain signs that will tell you that you’ve had plenty of time to rest.
And even better, you’ll know that you’re fully prepared to face the biggest fears you have about searching for a new job and focus on how to show employers that you are awesome.
Photo of person job searching courtesy of Morsa Images/Getty Images.
Richard Moy is a Content Marketing Writer at Stack Overflow. He has spent the majority of his career in talent management, including a stint as a full-cycle recruiter and hiring manager. In addition to the career advice he contributes to The Muse, he also writes test prep and higher education marketing content for The Economist. Say hi on Twitter @rich_moy.More from this Author