How to Stay Motivated While Job Hunting

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February 2, 2021
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min read

There are few things more trialing, stressful, and sometimes demotivating than a job hunt. The job market can be tricky to navigate at the best of times and hunting for new job leads can seem like a thankless task with no end in sight.

Nevertheless, to be successful in your job search, you will need to maintain your levels of motivation throughout the process. Giving up is not an option, so we'll be running through some of the most important tips and ways to stay motivated while job hunting.

Do Your Research

Before starting any task, it's a good idea to do your research, and it is no different with a job hunt. Make sure you're as prepared as can be before diving headfirst into job searching. Get your resume in order, brush up on your interview skills and prepare your cover letter.

Find the best places to look for new jobs by asking friends, family, and former colleagues. Half the battle of a job search is knowing where to look. Get in touch with the right people for job hunting and career advice and your next job might be closer than you think.

Break Down Tasks Into Smaller, More Manageable Ones

Part of the difficulty of staying motivated during a job search is feeling overwhelmed. It can seem like there are a million and one things to do, and as a result, you can end up doing none of them.

Instead, write down all the things you have to do and tick them off one by one. A job search plan is a great way to organize your thoughts and get you started on the right track. It is much easier to stay motivated when you feel like you are accomplishing something and getting closer to your goal of acquiring a new job.

Keep the End Goal in Mind

Part of the reason for losing motivation is forgetting why you are doing this. Obviously you want a new job, but why exactly do you want that job? Whether it be financial reasons, climbing the career ladder, or something else, keep that end goal in mind.

Remind yourself of why the job search is so important, because it can be easy to forget why you are putting yourself through countless job applications. Always think about your end goal and the career that can lie ahead if you stay motivated. This is one of the best ways to stay motivated.

Learn to Accept Rejection

Rejection is an almost inevitable part of a job search. Whether you reached the interview stage, received an automated email, or never got any response at all, rejection can be hard to take.

Invariably, many people take it personally, and it is difficult to separate that rejection from yourself, but each rejection needs to be viewed objectively. Maybe there were more experienced candidates. Maybe someone else was more qualified. Maybe another applicant answered their job interview questions better.

Whatever the reason, it is not necessarily what you did wrong, rather than what somebody else did right. Remember that and turn the negative into a potential positive. This is one of the most effective ways to stay positive if you get turned away.

Use Rejection as a Catalyst for Improvement

Building on the last point, rejection should not mean the end of the road. Rejection isn't pleasant but it is an opportunity to reassess and make sure your next application is better than your last.

You won't always have the luxury of receiving feedback, but take time to objectively assess your application and decide on areas for improvement. This could be your resume, your cover letter, your interview, even your emails.

Ask people for advice if possible. Your friends and family may spot something you don't and might give you a nudge in the right direction for your cover letters or anything else.

If your job search still isn't going according to plan, consider improving your resume by becoming more qualified or gaining additional experience. As long as you are doing something proactive, you will be taking steps in the right direction and will keep yourself motivated in the process.

Consider a Different Job Role

Let's say that the job hunting process has gone on for some time now and you're not making any headway. You are losing your motivation and are questioning if anything will come of it.

Now may be the time to head in a slightly different direction. If you are continually being knocked back for a certain position no matter what you change, that role may not be the right one for you at this time.

It might be worth looking around for similar roles that require less experience or fewer qualifications and working your way up. Maybe a career change is in order and you need to properly weigh the possibility of venturing out into something different.

Whatever direction you choose to head in, remember to keep the tips above at the forefront of your plans in order to stay as motivated as possible during your job search.

In Summary

The path to a new job is rarely straight and narrow, which makes remaining highly motivated difficult for most of us. The tips above will help you to keep your eyes on the prize and moving forward no matter how fruitless it may seem.

People can often write things off too easily, but that will not help your job search or your career prospects. Always look to keep improving your applications and do not give up. Your hard work and motivation will eventually pay off.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maintain a positive mindset during a prolonged job search?

Maintaining a positive mindset during a job hunt involves setting realistic goals, celebrating small victories, and staying connected with supportive peers or mentors. It's important to acknowledge the effort you're putting in, take breaks when needed, and keep a routine that includes activities you enjoy outside of job searching. Remember, perseverance is key, and each step you take is progress.

What strategies can I use to avoid burnout while looking for a new job?

To avoid burnout, create a balanced schedule that includes job search activities and personal time. Limit your job hunting to specific hours of the day, diversify your search methods, and ensure you're eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Also, consider setting aside time for hobbies or volunteering to keep your spirits up and maintain a sense of purpose.

How can I effectively track my job application progress to stay motivated?

Create a simple tracking system using a spreadsheet or a job search app to monitor applications sent, interviews scheduled, and follow-ups needed. This allows you to see your progress at a glance and adjust your strategy as needed. Celebrate milestones, such as completing a certain number of applications, to create a sense of achievement and maintain motivation.

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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