Job Search Motivation: How to Refocus It and Get Excited About Your Job Search Again

Calendar Icon
April 27, 2023
Edited by
Clock Icon
min read

Staying motivated during your job search is a necessary step in landing your dream role.

Even the most successful people struggle to stay focused, as looking for a job can be challenging, time-consuming, and often involves multiple rejections and setbacks.

Without the necessary motivation, however, it's easy to become discouraged and lose sight of your goals.

Feeling unmotivated? In this article, we'll help you identify the root of your challenges and introduce ways to stay motivated.

Read on to learn:

  1. The common obstacles that can hurt your motivation to find a job.
  2. Ways to stay motivated and feel good about your job search.
  3. How using tools like Teal can help you feel motivated and find a new job.

Why is motivation important during a job search?

Motivation refers to the drive and enthusiasm to pursue your goals and achieve success. Without adequate motivation during the job search, you may struggle to find suitable opportunities, lose confidence, and become disheartened, leaving you feeling like it's easier to just stay in the same job.

Motivation helps you remain focused, resilient, and proactive throughout the job search process, enabling you to overcome setbacks and persist in your efforts until you secure your desired position. Therefore, cultivating and maintaining high motivation levels is critical to achieving your career aspirations and attaining professional success.

Before you cultivate that motivation, though, it's important to recognize some things that can prevent you from keeping motivated and having a positive outlook.

Common obstacles to job search motivation

The job search process can be an emotional rollercoaster, with highs of hope and excitement and lows of disappointment and frustration. Rejections, waiting on a response, the state of the job market, and general uncertainty can affect your motivation to push forward.

It's crucial to recognize that searching for a job is emotionally taxing and that addressing common obstacles, taking care of oneself, and finding ways to stay motivated is imperative for your success.

Below are a few common obstacles that can slow you down and prevent you from reaching your career goals.

Imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern where you doubt your skills, talents, and accomplishments. These doubts lead to fears of being exposed as a fraud and can take control of your thoughts as you seek out new opportunities.

Have you experienced imposter syndrome? To battle these thoughts and feelings, here are some tips:

  • Recognize and acknowledge imposter syndrome: Understanding that imposter syndrome is a common experience that affects many people can help combat it.
  • Keep a record of your successes: Keeping a record of strong feedback, achievements, new skills, and accomplishment examples can help you visualize your progress, keep a positive attitude, and remind yourself of your capabilities.
  • Challenge negative self-talk and encourage positive thoughts: Whenever you hear negative self-talk, question the validity of those thoughts and remind yourself of your strengths, accomplishments, and what makes you unique.
  • Focus on learning and growth: Instead of focusing solely on achieving success, focus on the learning and growth that comes with each experience.

By implementing these new strategies, you can overcome imposter syndrome and develop a more confident mindset.

Fear of rejection

The fear of rejection can be a significant obstacle when hunting for a job. However, it is a standard part of the application process.

To control your fear of rejection during your job hunt, we've listed a few ideas below:

  • Reframe your mindset: Instead of seeing rejections as failures, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Try not to take things personally, and identify any main weaknesses to work on as you apply to other opportunities.
  • Seek feedback: Request feedback from employers on applications and interviews, even if it's negative, to gain insights on areas for improvement. A hiring manager has a lot of knowledge of interviewing and can offer tips that will help you improve as you search.
  • Set achievable goals: Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself as you search for a new opportunity, such as connecting with a certain number of people each week, reviewing your resume, or submitting a specific number of applications. Create a to-do list with a couple of small goals to hit daily so your daily routine is less overwhelming.
  • Learn from success stories: Seek out some of your career role models and learn about the challenges they've faced. Seeing other people face challenges and persevere can motivate you to do the same.

Most of all, remember that rejection is a natural part of the job search, and persistence and determination can eventually lead to success.

Getting overwhelmed by tasks

Searching for openings, submitting applications, networking, attending interviews, and following up can quickly become a full-time job. As a result, you can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks involved in the job search process, especially if you have other responsibilities like work or caregiving.

The pressure to meet application deadlines and the anxiety of not hearing back from employers can also add to the stress. Managing time effectively, breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, and seeking support from loved ones can help reduce overwhelm and enable you to navigate your job search more efficiently.

Feeling Anxious about Job interviews 

Interview anxiety is a common feeling that many people face when looking for a new opportunity. 

There are various reasons why people experience interview anxiety, including:

  • Not knowing what questions will be asked
  • Not knowing what to expect during the interview
  • The pressure to perform well and impress potential employers
  • A lack of confidence in skills qualifications
  • Fear of being judged or rejected
  • Past negative experiences in interviews

To overcome interview anxiety, it's essential to prepare adequately, practice relaxation techniques, and focus on a potential opportunity with the company.

Within Teal's Job Application Tracker are tips and resources to help you practice interviewing.

Use the Practice Interviewing tips within Teal’s Job Application Tracker to help you present your best self in an interview.
Use the Practice Interviewing tips within Teal’s Job Application Tracker to help you present your best self in an interview.

Tips for staying motivated during a job search

It's understandable to feel overwhelmed or discouraged during your job search. However, numerous strategies can help you stay positive and motivated throughout your journey. These include setting realistic goals, creating a routine, and prioritizing self-care.

By staying organized, focusing on your strengths and abilities, and learning from setbacks, you can overcome obstacles.

Incorporate these tips during your search to increase your motivation:

Create a routine for your search

Routines keep us grounded and help us to ease into healthy habits. If you're struggling during your search, building a routine around job hunting can help you get into the right mindset.

Establish a daily or weekly schedule that includes dedicated time for job searching, networking, and professional development. Consider the days and times you feel most motivated and energetic and build your job search into those times.

A good routine to start with is Teal’s 5-Day Resume Challenge

In it, each day for five days, you'll receive a daily email with tasks and tips to boost your resume and take your career to the next level. By the end, you'll have an organized and optimized resume, a toolkit to easily tailor your resume to a specific job description, and be on your way to landing more job interviews!

Signing up for a Teal account is absolutely free. Join now to create a routine and reignite your excitement for your job search!

Break down your search into manageable tasks

Breaking down the search process into manageable tasks can help you stay organized and determined.

Here are some suggestions for how to break down your search:

  • Create a list of companies and industries you're interested in: Research companies and industries that align with your career goals and list of interests to put on resume. Make a list of potential employers and prioritize them based on your level of interest. If they have openings that fit, prioritize those job applications.
  • Update your resume and cover letter: Tailor your resume to a job and personalize your cover letter to each position you apply for. Carefully read the listing and highlight any relevant skills and experiences that align with the job responsibilities.
  • Build your professional network: Reach out to people in your industry and build connections through events, social media, and professional organizations. LinkedIn is a great place to start, as it's a way to publicly list your skills and experience, reach out to recruiters, and apply to jobs.
  • Join a Slack Community: Many opportunities are never listed publicly, so it's important to know places to find more discreet job opportunities. Members-only Slack Communities are a great example. Members share opportunities, as well as offer advice and support. Search on Google for the best Slack groups in your field, and you’ll likely find something that aligns with your experience. 
  • Prepare for interviews: Research the company and practice answering common interview questions. Get comfortable talking about yourself out loud and with confidence. Prepare your outfit and any materials you need to bring with you, such as a portfolio or a copy of your resume. If it's a virtual interview, run a health check on your computer and try logging on five minutes early to avoid tardiness. If the interview is in person, plan out your commute to consider traffic and construction.
  • Keep learning and improving: Take online courses, attend workshops, or join professional organizations to improve your skills and stay up-to-date on trends. Subscribe to the Teal YouTube channel for free video classes. 

You can stay organized and motivated by breaking down your search into these manageable tasks. Remember to set realistic goals and celebrate small victories along the way.

Step away when the search gets frustrating

When you're constantly searching and applying for opportunity after opportunity, it's easy to become overwhelmed and burnt out. Taking a break can help you recharge, gain perspective, and return to the search with renewed energy.

When you step away, you must engage in activities and behaviors that can alleviate that frustration.

The next time you get frustrated, try one of the following:

  • Reading for pleasure
  • Going for a walk or exercising
  • Listening to your favorite songs or podcast
  • Calling or messaging someone who makes you laugh
  • Watching an episode of your favorite show
  • Writing out your frustrations in a notebook

Take 15 minutes to an hour to release some steam and see how you feel after.

Find support from your loved ones and professional network

Finding support through loved ones and professional networks can significantly impact your motivation, as it can provide encouragement, positive reinforcement, and a sense of accountability.

Your professional relationships can also provide valuable guidance and support. They can offer leads, referrals, and advice on how to improve your resume or career path search strategy. Additionally, engaging with others in your industry can help you stay informed about trends and opportunities, which can give you a step up.

The next time you're feeling unmotivated, try one of the following:

  • Ask a friend or mentor to review your resume
  • Browse online communities (Slack, LinkedIn, job boards) for digital networking opportunities
  • Search Meetup for hybrid networking opportunities 
  • Reach out to a former coworker to connect over coffee
  • Visit Teal’s Career Hub for articles with tips and advice 

Manage your job search with Teal

Being organized is one of the best ways to navigate your job search and help keep you from becoming unmotivated. 

With the help of Teal, you can easily manage and amplify your job search from start to finish. With Teal’s Job Application Tracker, you can easily keep track of all your job applications and manage your job search all in one place. You’ll also get tips and templates to help you with every job search phase. 

Use Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.
Use Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.

And with the help of Teal’s AI Resume Builder, you can make your job search even more impactful by matching your resume to the jobs you're applying for. Teal’s AI Resume Builder also has built-in AI technology to help you craft customized short professional bios, , cover letters, and resume achievements in seconds. 

Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate work achievements.
Use the AI integration feature within Teal's AI Resume Builder to generate work achievements.

Start getting organized and strategic with your job search by signing up for a free Teal account today.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Maintaining a positive mindset during a prolonged job search involves setting realistic goals, celebrating small victories, and practicing self-care. Break down your job search into manageable tasks, and reward yourself for completing each one. Stay connected with supportive peers or mentors, and make time for activities that boost your mood and energy levels. Remember, perseverance is key, and each step brings you closer to your goal.

What strategies can I use to avoid job search burnout?

To avoid job search burnout, create a balanced routine that includes breaks and leisure activities. Set specific times for job search activities and stick to them, avoiding the temptation to overwork. Diversify your job search methods to keep the process engaging, and don't hesitate to seek support from career counselors or job search groups. Prioritize your well-being by getting enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition.

How can I effectively refocus my job search after facing multiple rejections?

After facing rejections, take time to reflect on what you can learn from each experience. Seek feedback if possible, and use it to improve your approach. Reassess your job search strategy and consider whether you need to broaden your search or target a different industry. Stay informed about new opportunities and network actively. Most importantly, keep a resilient mindset, understanding that rejection is a normal part of the process and not a reflection of your worth.

Lindsay Patton

Lindsay Patton is a journalist, adjunct professor, podcast host and digital communicator who specializes in business and career growth.

We help you find
the career dream.