How To Keep Yourself Motivated While Looking For Work
Another day, another attempt to ‘connect’ on LinkedIn. Your email sits empty, as empty as your motivation to keep looking for work after another round of ‘no’s’ from prospective employers. “Unfortunately, in this instance, your application has been unsuccessful.” A classic response. Whether it be a graduate position, casual work, or even putting a bid on Airtasker. Looking for work can be bloody hard. However, someone has to bring home the bacon so soldier on we must!
Looking for work does come easily to some. Especially those who already have a foot in whatever door it is they want to go through. After all, most of the time it’s not what you know it’s who you know. However, if you are one of the thousands of poor souls out there, checking their phone hourly in case they missed the call they’ve been waiting for, the key is not to lose momentum. If each failed application wounds your motivation that little bit more, stay tuned. We may have the solution for you!
Maintaining a positive attitude can be challenging when looking for work. Sometimes it’s hard not to take a rejection personally. A piece of classic advice is just not to let it get to you, but we know that’s like telling a tired person not to be tired. So, we’re going to offer you some more advice that is just as easily done as it is said.
How to stay motivated while looking for work
Dealing with radio silence in the job market is enough to turn even the happiest of Larries into the most down of Debbies. However, there are many ways in which you can revive your motivation by making simple changes to your job-search approach.
Treat your search like a job
When you lack motivation, every day job-searching tasks can sometimes be hard to wrap your head around. However, looking for work is a full-time job in itself. Therefore, it is best to treat it like one. The main difference is that you don’t get paid cash. However, you do get paid in persistence and reward that will eventually lead to a job that pays you cash.
Wake up every morning and treat each day as if you’re going to work. This means that you should have a full 8 hours (including breaks, of course) to be hard at work looking for employment that will help your cash flow. Whether it be working on your resume, writing a cover letter, following up with prospective employers or combing through Seek to find the perfect position, make sure that whatever you’re doing throughout your ‘workday’ is getting you closer and closer to getting yourself hired. Plus, sticking to a routine is good for your mentality as well as your overall health. We’re not saying you need to do the same thing every day. It’s more about ensuring that you’re in and out of bed at normal times and you’re not spending your days playing video games or snacking in bed.
Set goals and daily tasks
Just like you would for a typical workday, set yourself tasks each day and work through them one by one. Set yourself mini targets daily and reward yourself with a stroll, a sweet treat, or a coffee date with friends once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do. There’s no need to make your day so full that it stresses you out just at the thought of it. Just plan out some simple, yet effective tasks that will help you in your job search as well as keep you busy enough throughout the day.
It’s also good to set goals for each day so that you always have something to work towards. For example, you could say that you want to have applied for 30 jobs by the end of the day. Or you want to have your cover letter written and edited by lunchtime.
Keep fit and healthy
Although this one is something that you should be making an effort to do all the time, it’s even more important when you’re going through something that is high stress. And given how stressful looking for work can be, it’s a good idea to keep your energy levels high, so you soak up some of those sweet endorphins.
It’s important for people looking for work to make an effort daily to get out and about. Whether it’s going to the gym, taking the dog for a walk, going to Yoga, playing tennis or even just walking to the cafe down the road for your morning coffee. Firstly, getting out of the house is always good for the mind, body and soul. Secondly, the exercise will give you a bit of an energy boost and help keep you in a positive headspace for the day.
Look for support
Whenever you’re going through a sucky time – like looking for work, for example – it’s always nice to know that you’re not alone in your struggle. If you have some friends that are in the same position as you are, it could be a good idea to get together and help each other out in your searches. Even if you meet for lunch and help with resume writing or just some standard moral support.
Another great way to seek support as well as potentially boost your job search is to network with other people looking for work in your field. Keep active on LinkedIn and join networking groups on social media to keep up with other job seekers. Networking like this is an excellent habit for people looking for work as it can help you tap into opportunities and jobs that you wouldn’t otherwise come across.
Don’t forget about your social life
It’s easy to let looking for work take over your life. Especially if you have financial worries and are getting pretty desperate to start reeling in some cash dollars. However, it is essential not to let it get you down too much and continue to pay attention to your social life. Find a good balance between your job-hunting workload, friends, family, hobbies and whatever pastimes you have that are vital to keeping your stress levels down.
No one is going to give a job to someone who doesn’t believe they can do it. Be confident in the jobs that you are applying for and make sure that comes off through your resume and cover letter. Whether you’re on gumtree looking for work, on Centrelink looking for work or you’re handing out resumes in person, everything about your application should scream ‘I will nail this job’. If you portray enough confidence, soon enough you’ll start to feel it which will boost your positivity significantly.
While it is beneficial to be confident, it’s also important to be realistic about the jobs you are applying for. It’s so easy to get disappointed while looking for work because of unrealistic expectations. People looking for work may be expecting a higher salary than what suits their skills and experience. Or perhaps they may not fully understand the current level of competition in their chosen field, or they may have assumed they’ll get a job within a few weeks or applications.
It’s likely that there’s going to be some part of your job hunt is not going to go the way you expected it to. Be realistic about the type of positions you are applying for and don’t expect too much when it comes to salary as anything is probably going to be better than what you’re getting now. There will always be opportunities down the track to increase your salary. What’s important is that you land yourself a paying job in the first place.
If some part of your job hunt goes entirely off track, perhaps ask around amongst your friends or other job seekers, or do a bit more online research to see if you need to reset your expectations.
Keep on keeping on
Looking for work is not easy. It takes a certain amount of persistence, patience, motivation and ambition to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when things don’t go so well. However, the more applications you submit, the more annoying follow-up calls you make; the more leads you chase, the higher your chances are of finding a great job.
Just keep on doing things the way you like to do them. Set your routine to suit you instead of following what your friends have done when looking for work. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you talk to your friends or family, find a recruitment agent or even if you have a mentor that you look up to. It may do you some good offload some of your job-search stress onto someone who may be able to offer useful advice.
Keep a close eye on your finances
Money management is key when you’re looking for work! If you’re not currently employed and looking for work, chances are your finances are pretty tight. This can lay a massive burden on your mind while you’re looking for a job. If you’re travelling backpackers looking for work or you don’t currently have a source of income, things can start to seem pretty dire. However you can still travel on little to no budget. You’ll need to be sticking to a reasonably tight budget and keeping an open mind when it comes to the jobs you are applying for.
However, if you are on Centrelink looking for work, you may have a bit of financial support while you’re searching. Job Seeker payments provide people on Centrelink looking for work with an income while they search. Or some may be able to get Centrelink exemption from looking for work if they are sick or injured or have something else that is preventing them from being able to work. A Centrelink exemption from work would help those people with their finances until they’re ready to start their job search.
Whatever your situation is while you’re looking for work, it’s important to make sure you stay on top of your finances. Look for income wherever you can. Whether it’s from Centrelink, doing smaller cash jobs like babysitting, tutoring or any labour work, keeping a presence on Airtasker, or even asking family for help to help get you by.
Where to look
Lucky for you, there is an abundance of platforms that are solely dedicated to looking for work and networking. Platforms like Seek, Indeed, Gumtree, Smart Jobs, Pedestrian TV and the Department of Human Services are great places to go when you’re looking for work. It’s also vital that you have a LinkedIn account and keep as active on it as possible as this is a great way to network as well as find different opportunities.
Looking for work can be an arduous, stressful, time-consuming and drawn-out process. The most important thing is to keep a positive attitude the whole way through. There will likely be plenty of obstacles along the way that might you back both in your progress and your mentality. You need to pick yourself, dust yourself off, re-strategise and start again. The only way you’re going to get anywhere is if you keep moving forward.
If you have tips for keeping motivated while looking for work, or you would like to share something relating to this topic, please get in touch. Send us a message here!
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