How to Stay Motivated During a Job Search

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October 15, 2021
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min read

Did you know that millions of Americans have left their job this year, in what is being called the Great Resignation?

Led primarily by mid-career employees, this trend of employees leaving their jobs means that many more people than usual are currently job-seeking.

If you're job-seeking right now, you're definitely not alone. However, it can be easy to get demoralized if your job search is taking longer than you had anticipated.

Read on for a few tips on how to keep yourself motivated while searching for your next dream job.

Define What You Want

It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the potential jobs out there. If you haven't yet defined what kind of job you're looking for, you may get overwhelmed simply because you're casting too wide of a net.

Take some time to decide what you want out of your next position. Are you looking to advance in your current career, or do you want to pivot to something new? Do you need a specific salary, certain benefits, or flexibility with your time?

Get as specific as you can with your goal, and apply only to jobs that will help you to reach that goal.

It can be helpful to draft a list of criteria and decide that any job you apply to has to meet a certain number of those criteria. This will keep you from feeling like you're wasting your time and will motivate you to only look for jobs that are going to serve you in the long run.

Narrow Down Your Search Engines

Again, it's incredibly easy to get overwhelmed just by the number of job search websites that exist. There are only so many endless Indeed job searches a person can take before you simply have to walk away.

Save yourself time and energy by narrowing your search to just a handful of the job search engines.

The best search engines are the ones that will help you find the job that you're looking for. Take a look at a job search site that is specific to your industry, a site that's specific to your geographic area, and a site that's more general. These different focuses will return enough unique search results to you while minimizing the amount of clutter you have to sift through. Once you feel like you’ve maxed out these sites, it will be less overwhelming to add new sites into the mix.

Stay Organized

There's nothing more demoralizing than putting a ton of energy into a job search, only to look back and realize that you don't remember what you've completed. Spending a little time on organizing your efforts upfront can save you a lot of time and headaches later on.

While a simple spreadsheet will help you to track which jobs you've applied for and their status, a more robust solution will also assist with customizing your application and managing your follow-up. A career organization tool like Teal's Job Application Tracker will save you time and help you land a job faster.

Schedule Your Time

Treat your job search like a job. Structure your time into a specific and repeatable daily routine. Plan your activities and prioritize based on their immediacy and potential impact on your goal.

Find a time prioritization method that works for you and stick with it. Some popular examples are the Pareto Analysis, the Pomodoro Technique, and the Eisenhower Matrix.

If you are currently working while job-seeking, these tools will also help you to make the most of your limited job-seeking time.

Lean on Your Loved Ones

Friends and family make excellent cheerleaders. They want to see you succeed in your job search, and they will be more than willing to provide you with any help you need. Ask them for referrals, see if they can provide any networking contacts, and go to them for support when you experience a setback or want to celebrate a win.

Connect With Other Job Seekers

While your loved ones may be great at offering emotional support, they may just not get everything that you're going through right now. Joining a community of fellow job seekers can help you to feel grounded and connected through your job search, and they may even have some suggestions and advice for you as well!

If you have the opportunity to meet up with other job seekers in your local community, it can be helpful to have an in-person meeting to get to know each other, offer support, and potentially provide new networking options to each other.

If you're looking to join a virtual community, there are many options via various social channels and professional networking sites, including Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and Slack. The best groups offer job seekers the opportunity to connect with others, attend networking events, and give and receive feedback on application and interview materials.

Teal has a job searching community on Slack where people post open jobs and offer support and advice to other job seekers. 

Remember That Your Job Search Is Not Your Life

If you've been putting a lot of energy into your job search recently and seen little return on that effort, it can feel like the whole world is conspiring against you.

If this is the case, and you are able to, take a break. Spend some time pursuing a hobby, relaxing, or taking care of your mind and body.

Remember that life is about moderation. You are worth taking the time to rest and recharge, and the job search will still be there waiting for you when you're ready to return. For some, this may not be possible because of financial pressures. If that is the case, try to make some time each day for yourself to disconnect from the job search and refresh.

Go Find Your Dream Job

Follow these tips, and you'll find the job of your dreams while maintaining your motivation!

Looking for support in your job search? Join Teal's Slack Community to connect with like-minded job seekers today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maintain a positive mindset when facing constant job rejections?

It's natural to feel disheartened by job rejections, but maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. Reflect on any feedback received, use it to improve your approach, and remember that each rejection is a step closer to the right opportunity. Set small, achievable goals to build confidence and celebrate each milestone in your job search journey to keep spirits high.

What are some effective daily routines to keep my job search on track?

Establishing a daily routine can provide structure and improve focus during your job search. Start by setting a specific time each day dedicated to job searching activities. Include breaks to avoid burnout, and allocate time for networking, skill development, and self-care. End each day by reviewing accomplishments and setting goals for the next day to maintain momentum.

How can I use networking to stay motivated in my job search?

Networking can be a powerful source of motivation. Engage with industry professionals through online platforms, attend virtual events, and participate in community groups related to your field. These connections can provide support, advice, and potentially lead to job opportunities. Sharing experiences with others can also remind you that you're not alone in the job search process.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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