Staying motivated when you’re looking for work is not an easy thing at the best of times. Especially not when you’re already unemployed. Job hunting sucks, plain and simple, and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who actually enjoys it.
The longer the unemployment goes on, the more you may start wondering what you’re doing wrong, the more the bills start piling up, and the more rejection letters/emails you’ll receive. You cannot predict how long it’ll be before you find a new job, but hopefully you’ll use your time wisely.
One of the main keys to staying motivated during this time is persistence. You can’t give up and you can’t allow yourself to become complacent or down about the whole thing.
Here are a few tips based on an article I found on Monster.co.uk (click the link at the bottom to read the original article).
Set and keep to a routine
They say when you’re looking for work that you should treat it like a full-time job – set an alarm, have a shower, and basically start your morning as if you’re getting ready for work.
Although I love sleeping in without an alarm clock, it may help me maintain motivation if I did set a schedule and stuck to it, as well as add in other activities to break up the monotony. Like a bit of writing, going to the gym, or taking a walk in the nearby park.
Set yourself daily goals
This is vitally important. Without daily goals you can sometimes feel like a hamster running on one of those wheels in a cage – you’re huffing and puffing, putting all your energy into job hunting, but it ultimately feels like you’re not getting anywhere.
By setting yourself some daily goals, it gives you something to celebrate once you’ve met them. And with how lonely and depressing job hunting can be, you need something to give yourself a boost in order to maintain your motivation and positivity.
Clear some space
Set yourself aside a specific space in the house that you’ll always do your job hunting from, be it at a desk, the dining room table, or wherever. Basically set yourself up a little office to run your new business called ‘job hunting’, and ensure it’s free of distractions.
However, you don’t want to be chained to your kitchen table all day either. Feel free to change it up once in awhile – I love to pack up the laptop and head to a coffee shop to work, be it job hunting or some writing. Sure, it will be noisier and there will be more distractions, but I sometimes find I can be more productive there than at home.
Probably because I can’t walk away from my laptop in the coffee shop. 😉
Watch your diet
It’s way too easy to pack on the pounds when you’re unemployed, especially if you’re doing your job hunting from home as you’ll end up snacking more throughout the day.. The kitchen is just a few steps away now, and you’re not restricted by any sort of break schedule like you would be at work.
It’s just a matter of being more conscious of what you’re eating throughout the day, as well as whether your alcohol consumption has risen. Being unemployed doesn’t give license for becoming a boozy drunk – it’ll make you lazier the next day thanks to the inevitable hangover.
Maintain your support network
Job hunting can be a very lonely place in the world, so ensure you keep your friends and loved ones around you.. don’t push them away in frustration, and don’t be afraid to talk to them about how things are going. Be willing to call them up when you’re feeling down.
As well, make sure those same people aren’t just waiting for you to come to them. Sometimes a quick call or a couple text messages from them to see how things are going can do a lot to brighten up your day.
Law of averages
Let’s be honest – the more applications or cv’s you send out there, the more likely some recruiter is going to contact you back and (hopefully) offer you that dream job you’ve always wanted. By increasing the chances of your cv being seen, you increase the chances of bagging that job.
Unfortunately, too many people (myself included) tend to panic and ‘blanket’ bomb as many recruiters or job ads they can find. It’s hard work, and sometimes feels totally unnecessary, but you should always tailor your cv for the specific role you’re applying for. It makes more of an impact than that generic cv you’ve been using.
It’s a transition period
Any time you move jobs, it gives you an opportunity to reassess where you are in life, what your goals are, and sometimes find out what you really want to be doing. It’s also a time to work on personal goals or self-development and make yourself stronger once you come out of it with that shiny new job. If you can afford it, take a class or learn something new.
Insist on getting feedback on your interviews and your job search activities. All too often recruiters will just send an impersonal email or give a quick phone to let you know you haven’t gotten the job.
But when you ask ‘why’, most of them won’t have the details to hand because their job is to place people in jobs, not give feedback. With proper feedback you’ll know what to work on for next time.
Have some fun!!!
I made this mistake last time I was unemployed – I didn’t allow myself to do things that weren’t related to finding a job. Instead I’d be glued to my laptop, reviewing job ads, feeling miserable and lonely.
Too often when people are suddenly unemployed and starting to worry how they’re going to pay their bills, they forget to still go out and enjoy life to the fullest. Ok, maybe not the fullest as your credit card isn’t going to pay itself off, but at least enjoy what life has to offer, even if it is on the cheap.
Invite a friend over for dinner, go for a few beers, play a video game, watch a movie, or even just go to the park to read for a bit. Whatever you do, it’ll help take your mind off things and recharge.