If you’ve been looking for a new job in 2023, you can probably agree with one thing – you’re tired. The job application process is primarily online. Hundreds of applicants are able to apply to one job with just a few clicks. Now, there are ghost job postings, and new AI tools candidates must contend with. The market is full of people who were recently laid off. And, companies are considering putting hiring on hold in this uncertain economy.
To cope with job search burnout, some young people are taking a break from looking for a new job. They’re finding other ways to fill their time. And, with many living at home for longer, who can blame them?
If you’re unemployed and considering a break from your job search, you should keep a few things in mind. First, don’t forget that laws require you to be actively looking for a job to qualify for unemployment.
And, if you have been unemployed for a long period of time, you should keep in mind how it may shape outside perception. For example, if you quit a job to take a six month break, employers may begin to suspect you were fired from your last job. And, they may assume you didn’t find another job for six months because you were not a good candidate. This is something many job seekers do not consider until it’s too late.
Another pitfall is this. While unemployed, if you take a break from job searching, you may expect your time off to be relaxing. What most people never consider is that unemployment tends to be a very stressful time. You are likely to be worried about money, housing, and other basic needs.
If you decide to take a break, make it meaningful. In other words, do something that will add to your resume, and that you’ll feel proud to share. You might want to go back to graduate school to further your education. You might want to start a business. You might want to learn a new skill. You might want to do a little consulting. Or, you might donate your time to a local nonprofit.
After quitting my job years ago, I took an around the world, solo backpacking trip. I visited Europe, Asia, and Australia over the course of a few months. It was a great way to disconnect, reset, and refocus. As you can imagine, it’s been a great story to share during job interviews. It helps to explain the transition, and to create an engaging conversation.
It’s best to take time off after you receive a job offer. In other words, ask for a start date that is a few weeks out. That will give you a period of stress free time to unwind after your long search. But, if you do take time off, make it meaningful. What you do with this time will forever be part of your career story.