Stay motivated during job search

Stay motivated during job search

How To Stay Motivated During Job Search

Searching for a new job can feel a little like Groundhog Day. You refresh the job boards, update your LinkedIn. Send out applications, knowing that you’re unlikely to hear back. You put on your best shirt for your interview. And you hope for the best. To stay motivated during job search is not easy.

Your bills are piling up, and your savings are getting low. Meanwhile, you might be receiving a lot of unsolicited advice from family and friends. Your father will still insist that the best to do is to show up in person and demand an interview. Getting the same questions over and over again from aunts and uncles. Well-meaning friends send you job offers. Then, you go online and see that your friends and old classmates or coworkers are being promoted or complaining about having more clients than they can handle.

It’s not easy to avoid feeling depressed in such a situation. It’s scary and frustrating. Sinking into depression will keep you in a “freeze” state, unable to move ahead. It’s a well-known cycle, and it’s hard to get out of it. But it’s not impossible. To stay motivated during job search:-

  • Let go of the idea of “the one.” We buy into the concept of soulmates that we get from movies, but the idea isn’t limited to romantic partners. We seem to think that there’s one right life path for us and that if we make the wrong decision, we’ve screwed it all up for ourselves. Of course, real life isn’t like that. You see a job advertised that seems like the perfect fit for you. The interview seemed to go well, but they end up going with someone else. It may seem like you’ll never find another opportunity like that ever again. Remember how you felt when your first crush didn’t like you back? Now think about how many times you’ve been attracted to someone since. It’s also easy to romanticize the job that you didn’t get. Because you never find out whether the boss had reasonable expectations or your potential fellow employees’ annoying habits, you can keep imagining that workplace as idyllic.
  • Treat every job application like it is the only one. When you’re firing off ten applications per day, it’s easy to become jaded. Your cover letters blur together, and you end up writing the same sentence three times in an hour.
  • Consider changing your approach. Do you find that you’re sending out dozens of applications and still not hearing anything back? Perhaps you need to work smarter, instead of harder. Of course, it will be demoralizing to send out a large number of applications with no response. If that’s the situation you’re in, consider taking more time to research each jo offer, and pick out only the ones that truly resonate with you. You’ll put more effort int each application and increase your chances of hearing back. Customize your CV and cover letter to each job, and make sure to specify what value you will be able to add.
  • Make your to-do list manageable and specific. Does your to-do list read something like: “Optimize profile, network, send out applications”? Big, general tasks can be overwhelming. Break down your goals as much as possible. For example, instead of planning to “improve your profile” all at once, make a list of the things you want to do: create a better profile picture, add previous work employment, reach out to a past employer for a testimonial, create a sample for your portfolio. Then, mark each task as you complete it – and let yourself feel that sense of accomplishment.
  • Take care of your needs. When we’re struggling financially, our solution is often to tighten our belts and our wallets. Of course, it’s wise not to overspend when we don’t have an income. Yet we usually take this to the extreme and end up neglecting our physical and emotional needs. You’re a human being, even when you’re unemployed (and going through a hard time is when we need support most of all). You still need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, socializing, eating healthy, exercising, and making time for self-care. Make sure you treat yourself to acknowledge the fact that you’re going through a challenging period. Treating yourself doesn’t have to mean buying yourself expensive products or going to a spa. It can be as simple (and free) as setting aside an hour for yourself to take a walk with your favorite music.
  • Build yourself a schedule. Having so much free time can be challenging. We have all day to do our few tasks, yet we find it difficult to begin. Make it easier for yourself by sticking to a schedule. Wake up at the same time every day, and build a morning routine, so you won’t have to make any decisions in the morning.
  • Ask others for advice. It can be challenging to turn to others and ask for help. Push through that discomfort. Many other people have been where you are and can give you useful tips to help you on your journey. Whether you’re looking to change career paths or struggling to decide how much to charge for your services, you’ll find someone who can give you some pointers. Don’t hesitate to ask friends and families from different fields for help, as well. They can give you valuable feedback on everything from your resume to your interview techniques.
  • Remind yourself that your worth isn’t tied to your productivity. It can be hard to give ourselves approval if we’ve become used to getting external validation for our achievements (or felt that we don’t deserve it because we didn’t achieve “enough”). Ask yourself how you would feel if a close friend or relative was struggling to find a job. Would you be wondering if something was wrong with them, or would you be sensitive to their situation? What are the qualities that you admire in your loved ones? How many of those qualities are tied to their paycheck or work achievements?

Finding a job can take longer than we expect. It’s hard to stay motivated during job search, and it’s important to acknowledge that fact. There’s nothing wrong with you for struggling when it feels like nothing is going to change. Take care of yourself during this time. Be gentle with yourself, and try to talk to yourself as you would a beloved child, pet, or friend. Make time for things that make you feel good.

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