Whatever your circumstances, whether you are looking to leave a difficult employer or make the next step in your career, searching for a new job is never fun.
You need to know how to stay motivated.
Trawling through jobs sites, customising your resume / CV and cover letter and researching every different prospect can get tiring fast.
It can also be demoralising to receive rejections (or even no acknowledgement at all).
Of course if you are searching because you are out of work there is an added element of urgency that can lead you to put pressure on yourself.
Many people say that you need to treat searching for a job like a job in and of itself and you can use that to your advantage, employing a lot of the same strategies you would use in work to cope with dull and routine yet necessary tasks.
Timetable Your Search
Work out how urgently you need a job as this will inform the amount of time you spend on the search.
If you are looking for a next step in a promising career you might devote a few hours a week to the search whereas if you are currently unemployed you should be looking to spend your working day on finding a new position.
Although this may seem like a lot it has the added benefit that it keeps you in a ‘work’ frame of mind making it easier to go back when you do get a job.
Carving out specific hours where you know you must spend time searching for a job means that you can leave the search behind out of those hours and use your free time to relax and recharge your batteries.
Form Job Search Habits
Habits are notoriously hard to break and surprisingly easy to form (it takes, on average, 21 days of repeated action to form a new habit).
Within your timetabled job search hours, dedicate a set amount of time to searches, resume / CV improvement, nurturing contacts, submitting applications, research and interview practice.
You can schedule breaks in between slots but if you manage to get into a habit of doing things in a certain way you may not like it but the habit will motivate you to continue.
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Join a Job Club
Some areas have local job clubs set up by the local politicians, a Chamber Of Commerce, the Council or other organisation.
They will often have access to resources to help you in your search and to help improve your resume / CV and interview skills.
They also provide an opportunity to meet with people who can advise and motivate you.
A job search can be demoralising and draining but the right fit is out there for you.
Negative thinking can become a way of life and will make it more difficult for you to find the motivation to continue to apply to the next opening, and the next and the next. Look on each application as an opportunity to improve on the last one.
If you find it difficult to stay positive enlist the help of friends and family, who will help you to stay motivated.
Keep Improving Your Resume / CV
Whenever one of your applications is rejected try to get feedback as to why.
Of course it is not always possible to do this (particularly when applications are rejected without notice).
But if the opportunity presents itself, some formal feedback from those who are responsible for searching for new employees can help you to iron out any problems with your resume / CV or covering letter that might be putting off prospective employers.
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The longer you are out of the job market, the greater the likelihood that you might end up out of touch with developments in your professional field.
During your search keep reading relevant literature, attend conferences or lectures (if you can afford it) or sign up for webinars or even an open access course.
Doing this not only helps you to feel good about yourself and keeps your ‘work muscles’ exercised but it will also go a long way to proving to prospective employers that you are a self-starter and knowledgeable in your field.
Take A Break
While you have to take your job search seriously this does not mean that you should never take a break.
Make sure that you have at least one day a week when you do not think about the search and try to do something just for you on your job search days.
It could be taking the dog for a walk, cooking a lovely meal or going to the gym – whatever works for you.
How to stay motivated: Summary
It can be extremely hard to maintain motivation but these tips can help keep you motivated until you get that breakthrough. Before you know it you will be inspired to continue your job search and, eventually, your hard work will bear fruit.