10 ways to stay motivated during the job search

man outside on mobile phone looking for ways to keep motivated during the job search

Whether you’re re-entering the jobs market, or you’re job hunting for the very first time, the process of looking for your dream job, applying for jobs and interviewing virtually for jobs can be daunting for anyone, especially if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

Have you found yourself back on the job hunt? As employers make cutbacks on promotions, training opportunities and unfortunately, in some cases, their headcount, you may feel overwhelmed and directionless when job hunting in a post-pandemic market. However, while you may feel like your career has taken a backwards step, it’s important not to allow this ‘bump in the road’ to impact on your morale.

In the Robert Walters Keeping Your Career on Track series, our recruitment specialists have outlined their top ten tips to stay motivated during the job search and stop your career from stalling during this challenging time.

1.     Research before hitting apply

Start with the basics. Ask yourself questions such as ‘What companies are top of my priority list?’. Outlining even your top five preferred companies can help you to devise a smart and targeted plan for your job search. Next steps include researching your chosen top five and learning about the companies, competitors in their industry, skills requirements, employment offers and career growth opportunities to figure out what it is you’re looking for and how your skill set matches up. Setting a clear plan in place can help you tick the boxes along the way and stay on track.

2.     Visualise where you want to be

It’s wasted time applying for roles that you can’t see yourself in. Where do you see yourself thriving? Visualise your dream job - your desired job role, industry, salary, location. Picturing yourself in your ideal situation, while also visualising the end-result, can help you remind yourself why you’re dedicating time to the job search and identify actionable goals to get to your ideal position. Creating a ‘vision board’ can help with this.

3.     Set yourself realistic targets

Set realistic goals for yourself i.e. instead of setting out to apply to 20 jobs in one day, go for quality rather than quantity. Starting with small but effective actions such as cleaning up your LinkedIn profile, following target businesses and connecting with the right people in your industry will help expose you to your opportunities of interest. Setting unrealistic targets will only leave you dissatisfied when you cannot reach them.

4.     Collect testimonials

Creating a collection of any testimonials you might have, can help remind yourself of your skills and talents that you perhaps have not highlighted on your CV. This can be anything from a LinkedIn endorsement, to a client review, or a manager’s feedback. While you can reference these testimonials to potential employers during the interview process, they also benefit your personal motivation. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and be proud of how far you’ve come.  

Picturing yourself in your ideal situation, while also visualising the end-result, can help you remind yourself why you’re dedicating time to the job search and identify actionable goals to get to your ideal position. 

5.     Follow inspiring leaders in your field

Research motivational speakers and subscribe to watch or read their content. You might be surprised at how watching one ‘Ted Talk’ for example, can spark an idea or give you that extra push you were looking for. Once you’ve found professionals in your industry that you identify with, set up alerts so you’re notified of their new content, that way you’ll never miss an opportunity to learn!  

6.     Read or listen to industry-specific content

Use this time to surround yourself with the latest developments in your industry. Keeping up to date with key trends can allow you to become familiar means you can engage in a higher standard of discussion at interview stage, and bring new ideas to employers that set you apart.

7.     Surround yourself with a supportive network

Some people lift you up, motivate you and bring out the best in you. Surround yourself with these kinds of people, who want what’s best for you. The positive energy of a strong support network will encourage you to push on and strive for the right role for you.

8.     Make a social impact

The best way to feel valued, is to support and show appreciation for others. Give back to those around you who may help you along your job hunt journey by sending a thank you note. On a broader level, from volunteering for a local cause, raising money for charity or helping out with a project you believe in sets you in good stead to build positive relationships and realise that your actions make an impact.

9.     Reflect on what you’re grateful for

It’s important to remind yourself of all of the things you are grateful for, both personally and professionally. A great way to stay motivated is to write down three things at the end of each day that you are thankful for. Reading back on these points at the end of the week can help highlight all of the positives and push through uncertainties or insecurities that have been holding back your job search.

10.  Be your biggest supporter

When things don’t go as planned, the first person we are hard on is often ourselves. It is important to be kind to yourself during this process. Encourage yourself the way you would like someone else to support you during a job search, and remember your value doesn’t decrease just because someone else hasn’t noticed it yet. Keep on going until your potential is seen and heard by the right employer.

Take a look at our top tips to successfully job hunt from home.

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