November Jobs Report Analysis
By Laurel Johnson | December 15, 2020
You may have scrolled past the phrase “Rest is not a reward” on social media—I saw it on LinkedIn recently, from the transformative Patrice M. Palmer. It’s usually invoked against the ever-present spectre of overwork and burnout, especially in industries like tech and finance, where overwork is often glorified as leveling up. But what if you’re out of work?
The holidays are an uncertain time on the job-search front in average years, and 2020 is anything but average. November’s jobs report is one of the bleakest all year. The U.S. is up only 245,000 jobs in November—224,000 fewer than economists had expected. This represents a significant slowdown from the 610,000 jobs added in October. At this pace, experts expect it could take 40 months for the economy to fully recover.
Survival is a marathon in times like these. To keep moving forward, you need a continuous approach—but you also need to keep your strength up. That means eating a nourishing diet, staying active, getting enough sleep, and allowing yourself leisure time.
A job-search often feels like more than a full-time job: It can feel like a cloud of uncertainty and unfinished business hanging over your head and consuming every waking hour. Just this week I spoke to a client who felt so burned out and defeated by the uncertainty that they performed poorly in a simple screening call. This constant fatigue is not just bad for your brain—it’ll throw you off your game in interviews and networking opportunities.
So if you’re feeling burned out? Rest. Really rest. Give yourself permission to stop thinking about getting a job for a set amount of time. Do anything you feel like, productive or not. These breaks can last a few hours or a few weeks, depending on the urgency of your situation.
If you struggle with guilt for resting when you haven’t “accomplished” anything, think of rest as an investment in your future self. You’ll be sharper, more motivated, more engaged and more engaging when you’ve had a chance to unplug. Plus, taking an intentional break can restore a sense of control over your life and your time.
Whether you take the holidays off or use them as an opportunity to turn up the heat, a clear sense of intention will help keep the chaos and uncertainty at bay.
Laurel Johnson has guided hundreds of professionals on their path to a better career as a Career Advisor with Discover Podium. In her free time, she can be found donating her time to the local animal shelter, listening to Tom Waits, or lending a supportive ear to friends and family.