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How to stay motivated while looking for a new job

10 May 11:00 By Vanessa Dolan

How to stay motivated while looking for a new job

Let’s face it, the job search can be tough, you have your highs when you start to apply and are super excited and optimistic and you have your lows after sending your 10th application with no feedback.

Job searching takes time and effort. It is easy to lose your way, get discouraged and want to quit. But the key to any job search is to do the work, be consistent and be open.

Here are my 5 top tips for staying motivated.

1. Realize that this situation is only temporary.

Looking for a job is a means to an end. And while this time might be frustrating, it is only a temporary situation. The frustration and worry will end when you find your dream job.

Even though the job search may feel endless at times, if you persevere, you will find that job.

2. Learn to accept rejection. No-one wins at everything.

One of the hardest things to accept when you start a job search is getting rejected for a position you felt you were great for. Not only does it hurt, but it's hard to understand why you were rejected.

Don’t dwell on the negative. If you have the opportunity to ask for constructive feedback, do so. Learn from the feedback realize that it wasn’t meant to be and move on to the next opportunity. There are many reasons why you might not have been chosen for example - they went with an internal candidate, or someone else had the exact qualifications and necessary experience … and the list goes on. But YOU should never take it personally.

3. Know you are not alone.

Searching for a job can make you feel lonely and isolated. It's easy to forget that others are out there experiencing the same highs and lows that you are. 

Reach out and ask others if they are also job seeking. Besides offering moral support, your fellow job seekers could also be a valuable resource in your search. If you find people in the same industry or current employees at companies you would like to work for, they can share what worked for them, give insight into the company culture and more. Who knows, you may even find someone who can provide job leads for you.

4. Search smarter, not harder.

Most people will spend all their time simply applying for jobs online. While you do need to spend some time applying online, candidates of mine who had had the most success spent most of their time networking to find those hidden jobs in the market. 

If you are just applying online and not networking, the job market turns into a numbers game - people will apply to literally hundreds of jobs and hear back from very few. This is hard work when there is a lot of competition and is not fruitful for you nor the recruiter.

By networking and reaching out to hiring managers at companies that you want to work for, you are inquiring about job positions that may not have been posted and you will be working much smarter. There will be a lot less competition for these openings, not to mention, you'll have a contact at the company and a much better shot at getting to the top of applications when you do apply for a role.

5. Don’t burn the candle at both ends.

While it is important to work hard, everyone deserves a break to rejuvenate, and the job search is no different.

Yes, you're unemployed, and money becomes tight, making it normal to want to keep at it night-and-day to try to find that perfect job. But doing this could hinder your results. When you are tired and burned-out, you never do well at anything. And hiring managers and recruiters will be able to detect your deflated spirit, which could hinder your job search.

Take time for yourself. Spend time with family and friends or just do something you really enjoy. Even if you are still employed and trying to find a job in your off-work hours, give yourself permission to take a break. When you do, you'll come back to the job search with a much more positive attitude and clear thinking.

Hopefully, these tips will rejuvenate your motivation and help give you the confidence to keep at it and before you know it, you will have found that dream job and wonder what all the stress was about. It’s amazing how that works, isn’t it?

If you have any feedback on these tips for me, I would love to hear from you.