Searching for your next job opportunity can be filled with excitement, disappointment and frustration. As the emotional roller coaster wears on, how do you stay motivated when there is no end in sight in your job hunt? Here are some favorite motivators that can keep you going, when the going gets tough.
Although it’s tempting to stay inside and focused on finding a job, your productivity drops after 90 minutes. Take a break and get out! A favorite respite from the trenches of job hunting is to step outside and exercise. A power walk in the neighborhood, a jog along the harbor-side, or a bike ride through a nearby forest can be a dynamite re-energizer.
The ironic part about exercising is that the best time to do it is when you have the least amount of energy. You may find that your best job hunting ideas and decisions come when you’ve created distance from your desk.
Watch the Tube
Sometimes you need a short burst of motivation to get your resume finished, polish a cover letter or make a call to a hiring manager which you’ve been putting off. YouTube has a great assortment of motivational boosters. The catch is not to get sucked in watching endless Fail Compilations because they were ‘Recommended For You’.
There are two channel types to check out. The first are videos of ordinary people who surprise you with an extraordinary talent. Shows like the ‘X Factor’, can remind us all that there is the extraordinary in all of us.
The other channel to consider is pure, unfiltered motivation. Type in ‘motivational video’ on YouTube and you’ll be greeted with awesome compilations combining famous speeches, legendary movie clips, and music to pump you up and get you energized again. Play this in the background while you finalize the details of an important email, letter or resume and you’ll feel like you’ve already landed the job.
Hang-out, don’t hang-up
There are two categories of job searchers, those who have a job and want something better and those who are unemployed and looking for a job. When you’re the latter, it can be hard to meet with friends because they frequently ask, “How’s the job search going?”
If you’ve been unemployed for several months, you may find yourself dodging friends so you can avoid that question. Although they ask because they care, answering surfaces a feeling of defeat. It’s natural to start declining the invites more than accepted them.
However friends can be the very people, who introduce you to the next opportunity, reshape your perspective and provide the reassurance that you’re not alone.
Have a Plan B
Richard Bolles, author of the best selling job-hunting bible, What Color Is Your Parachute, advises his followers to always have a Plan B. A strategy of hope isn’t a good job-hunting strategy and can often lead to a dead-end. He offered this valuable advice on a recent blog post.
“People who are not good at job-hunting tend to fixate on just one way of doing things.”
Bolles recommends staying motivated by following the approach of good job-hunters who create alternatives using this advice.
- Instead of just focusing on job-titles, they can name their individual skills.
- Instead of just field-titles, they can describe their favorite interests.
- Instead of just large organizations, they target small organizations also.
- Instead of just going after vacancies, they go after any place that interests them.
The proactive job hunt
Most job hunters spend weeks searching for jobs, applying online and hoping for an interview. What if you flipped the job hunt and started with interviews? Only if you liked the job and the company, you would subsequently apply for a role. This is the approach I teach my students to use.
Discovering how to consistently land meetings with hiring managers is the secret to creating breakthroughs in a career change. The feeling that comes with filling your calendar with interviews will boost your confidence and increases your chances of find a job by 21 times.
Thank you for reading.
– Ian Jenkins