It’s 7am on Monday and another dreaded day in the office. You’ve been applying for work, up-dated your CV, filled in application after application, but seemingly getting no where. We tell ourselves that every employer will be clawing their way to interview us and gain our expertise, when in reality most job hunting involves a continued stream of rejection letters and radio silence.
The knock on your confidence in rejection after rejection may make you want to crawl back into bed and sleep forever, but how can you keep the motivation goin? Here are a few tips:
Create a plan
Set yourself realistic, weekly goals of, say, applying for three jobs a week. Having a plan of action will give you something to work towards and when you’ve completed a task you will have felt at least a little sense of achievement. If you are not currently in work, you may want to apply for more, but don’t just send off your CV for the sake of it. Once you start applying for jobs you don’t want to actually do or are over/under qualified for you are just wasting your time. A plan will also make you feel in control and focused when everything else around you feels so undecided.
If you do manage to nab an interview, or even if you just complete your weekly applications, celebrate those little achievements and re-enforce the fact that you’re on your way to completing your long-term goals. Go for dinner or drinks with friends, take a quiet afternoon by yourself, or arrange a date night with your partner.
Take time off
It’s easy to lose sight of your overall objectives if you keep doing the same thing over and over again with little reward. Take the weekends off to spend with family and friends, and if you’ve been going a long time take a week off to relax and recuperate. Catch up on your favourite tv shows or get through those books you’ve yet to read. You’ll find that when you come back to your job search you’ll be able to refocus your energy and feel revitalised ready to find your perfect job.
Identify your career goals
Write down what you want from your career in the next few months and the next few years and pin it up where you normally look for jobs and fill in all those application forms. Putting your career goals on paper will force you to think about when and what you want to achieve and motivate you to see at least your earlier goals through.
If you’re getting stuck, google some of your career models. It’s likely that you’ll find that their path to success was not linear and straightforward and you can remember that the struggle is part of the process of getting to where you want to be.
Identify where you are going wrong
You may well think your CV is perfect, but get an outsider, such as a friend, to read through it. They’ll be able to tell you what might be missing and how you can improve it to make you stand out.
Research your industry
Subscribe to industry-specific blogs or websites where you can surround yourself in the most pertinent discussion and even comment on them. Look up the companies that you would love to work for and find out what makes them tick. Knowing your industry in more detail will put you in front of the competition and you can tailor your CV and talk about specific aspects in your interview accordingly.
Invest in yourself
Once you’ve researched your industry you’ll be more qualified to know what skills and experience you need to achieve your goal. If there’s a blog, book, training programme or online course that will be able to develop your skills invest your time and money as it will pay off in the long run. If you’ve other skills that need up-dating, you could look at volunteering for an organisation which will help you gain this experience and make you more qualified, as well as showing your commitment to the cause.
Make sure your job search is realistic. Don’t expect to gain an interview from the first job you applied to, and understand that applying is a long-term process full of ups and downs. Finding a new job may take a few months, or indeed longer, and you may apply to numerous jobs and attend numerous interviews before you gain new employment. So don’t be hard on yourself.
Make sure you eat well, exercise and get enough sleep while job hunting, as all these things can affect your motivation and productivity in finding work. You might also like to try meditation, yoga or tai chi to reduce your stress and help you foster a positive mindset.