We’ve all felt it – that sinking feeling as we hear another “no” or another application doesn’t get a response at all. It can be difficult to stay motivated when it feels like you’re not really getting anywhere, but there are ways to keep your spirits up despite this. Here are 7 things you can do to keep positive while facing a tough job search.
1. Do something else for a while
It may seem counterintuitive but doing the same thing over and over again not only becomes dull and boring, but also may lead to slips in concentration and a lack of motivation. Step away from your job search for a few hours to give your eyes and your mind a break. Do something that builds you up like a hobby or a workout. It means a few less hours spent on looking for work, but it also means that when you do carry on with your job search you’ll be much more refreshed and ready to take on the challenges.
2. Change up your routine
While it’s advisable to keep to a routine close to what you had while you were working so that you don’t get into bad habits, change it up if it’s becoming dull. If you spend the morning going through the latest positions on job portals, push it to the afternoon instead. Do you scour social media for vacancies to apply for after lunch? Try doing this first thing instead. Making small changes to what you do in the day will trick your brain into thinking that you’re doing something different and will help with concentration and motivation.
3. Focus on as many job seeking approaches as possible
Not getting anywhere with job portals? Run a search for local recruitment agencies and see what roles they have available on their websites. If they have somewhere where you can register as their candidate (such as ours which is completely free). While looking in the newspaper for advertised roles may seem outdated, don’t rule it out – there’s always a chance you could find something there. Join job-seeking groups on social media to network and get tips from other job seekers. There are so many ways to find new roles and apply for jobs nowadays, so exploring as many as possible will give you your best chance of finding something while also keeping you excited and motivated in your search.
4. Don’t do it alone
Make sure you have someone you can talk to about your victories and frustrations, whether it’s a significant other, parent, friend, therapist, or fellow job seeker. It’s easy to become discouraged when you feel that you’re tackling the challenges on your own. Having someone alongside you who can motivate you and bring an external perspective will help keep your eyes on the goal.
5. Remind yourself of why you’re awesome
If you’re feeling a little beaten-down and demotivated about yourself after hearing “no” a few too many times, it’s helpful to remind yourself of your positive qualities. Make a physical document (either on the computer or on paper) and list 5 things that you know you are good at. These don’t have to be CV-ready – just the first things that pop into your head (although this is a helpful first step if you aren’t sure how to go about marketing yourself on your CV). Once you’ve listed these five, list five more and then five more until you feel ready to tackle the job market again. You have so much to offer and reminding yourself of that is an important part of staying positive on your job search.
6. Celebrate the small victories
Did you make it to the second round of interviews even though you didn’t get the job? That’s not nothing. Take the time to congratulate yourself on getting as far as you did. It shows that your CV and interviewing skills are getting you noticed. Focusing on the things that are going right rather than your setbacks makes it easier to keep going and try again.
7. Read motivational biographies
Julia Child didn’t write her first cookbook until she was 50. Vera Wang only entered the fashion industry in her forties. Samuel L. Jackson didn’t land a breakout role until he was 43. All of these people became wildly successful in their various fields despite the many setbacks in their careers along the way. When you’re stuck feeling flat and demotivated, it helps to read about others’ paths to success because it reminds you that setbacks aren’t permanent. There are still opportunities on your horizon that you might not see yet and giving in to your discouragement now may mean that you miss them.
By taking time to rest your brain, changing up your routine and application methods, and reminding yourself that opportunities are around the corner, you can keep positive in the toughest of circumstances.
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