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How to Keep Motivated During the Job Search

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Looking for a job is never an easy task, particularly when it’s not by choice.  The longer you find yourself out of work the more frustrating it is and the harder it can be to keep motivated. This can so often lead to negativity which will more than likely only serve to make the job search longer.

Not only will negativity undermine your confidence but prospective employers will pick up on how you’re feeling and potentially be put off.  It’s so important to manage this and stay positive.  Easier said than done I know but here are some ideas on how to stay motivated during your search.

 

Have a plan

Don’t leave your job search to chance.  So many job seekers adopt a scattergun approach and have no clear strategy as to how they are going to achieve the end result. 

Treat your job search like a project and spend some time creating a plan.  Devoting time to thinking about the following questions is a good place to start:

• What is your ideal job?

• How does your current experience and skills fit with the ideal role?

• Who would you most like to work for and why? 

• How will you determine who the key influencers are at your preferred organisations?

• How will you start to build relationships with them?

• What contacts do you already have that could be useful?

Once you know what it is you are ideally wanting to achieve, you can start to plan your job search activity by setting yourself specific daily or weekly targets to keep you focused e.g. this week I am going to research my top 10 organisations.  Plan how you will spend your day and allocate time slots to different activities.

It can also be really helpful to have a support person to review progress with.  Ideally someone who can give you a sense of perspective when things don’t go so well and who will keep you accountable if you start slacking off!  That could be a good friend, a former colleague, a family member or perhaps a career coach.

Track your Success along the way

Keep track of your progress as you go.  Getting an interview is a positive step, even if you don’t get the job.  Celebrate the win - it means your CV was good enough to grab a prospective employer’s attention and they wanted to find out more.  Any interview you do is also great practice and can potentially provide you with some good learnings as to what you are doing well, which interview questions you are having difficulty with and where you might need to improve. 

It can be easy to let the self-doubt take over so it is important to reflect on your progress and not to take the rejections to heart.  Remember to get feedback.

Take a break

As much as job searching is your main focus and should be treated like a job, it’s also important to take care of yourself.  Job searching can be stressful and it is a good idea to take some time out from the routine to recharge.   One idea is to give yourself a reward for meeting your daily targets.  It could be anything from taking a walk along the beach to meeting a friend for a coffee.   Whatever works for you! If your stress levels are high consider incorporating some exercise into your day.  It can do a lot for your energy levels and can help to improve your self-esteem.  There are a number of other things you might consider to help manage stress levels and you can read more about those here.

Learn some new skills

Using this time to learn will help keep you motivated.  It doesn’t need to be expensive – it could be as simple as reading blogs from industry experts, watching a TED talk for some inspiration, or joining relevant groups in LinkedIn to gain a different perspective.  Perhaps you could even consider trying one of the many free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) available to update your skills.

If you’ve been through the ‘job search blues’ what did you do to keep yourself motivated while you looked for work? Let us know in the comments below.

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Guest Friday, 24 January 2020

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