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How to find motivation while job hunting?

Author: Eightfold Institute

Published on 07 October, 2020

Job hunting is a tedious and tiring task, draining even the most self-motivated persons. Loss in motivation creates a vicious loop where you lose focus and end up spending excessive amounts of time hunting and applying for positions. This, in turn, eats away your motivation.

It’s October already and mass unemployment caused by the coronavirus lockdown has created a lot of uncertainty and fear as we inch towards the end of the year. While the unemployment rate in Australia has fallen from 7.5% in July 2020 to 6.8% in August, job hunting has not gotten any easier.  

In a recent poll on LinkedIn, 45% of people said they have been looking for a job from one to six months. 19% people said they have been job hunting for a little over a year.

With countless rejections, motivation loss is natural. In another poll on LinkedIn, 43% of respondents said they find it very difficult to stay motivated when hunting for opportunities.

Finding or regaining lost motivation might be the key to success. Here are a couple of tips to keep yourself motivated when search for job opportunities:  

You are important

It’s not about your glass being half full or half empty, it’s about ensuring there’s at least something in the glass. Make yourself a priority! It’s needless to say that your physical and mental well-being is important, regardless of whether you’re looking for work. But it’s extremely important to pay attention to yourself as a job-seeker.

One cannot become a deserving candidate for a job if they are not in the right frame of mind to execute the responsibilities of that role. Taking care of your mental health means ‘having a healthy diet, sufficient rest and activity,’ says the Black Dog Institute.  In addition, having a good sleeping pattern and spending time with friends and family can help shift your mood and energy in a positive direction.

Spend time for physical activity – in accordance with state or government restrictions during the pandemic. As for your mental health, practice meditation, yoga or any thought-based activity that rejuvenates your mind.  

Things to do during a lockdown

Don’t look for work 24/7

Job hunting is not something you need to do 24 hours a day. It’s tiring and bound to drain stamina from even the fittest of persons. The result is a tired job seeker who cannot put in his or her 100% in their application. It is important to take breaks to recharge yourself physically and mentally to succeed in your search.  

Take the time off for however long it takes to get yourself in the right frame of mind to start applying again. Use this time wisely to do the things that make you happy, get mental clarity to formulate your next plan of action. Career coach expert Dana Manciagli says “even with a week off, you can do amazing effort.”  

The pandemic means that we’re restricted in the things we can do to rejuvenate ourselves. But a simple walk in the park, smiling and greeting fellow walkers can sometimes clear your mind off the stress and negative thoughts.

Have a plan-of-action

Being strategic in your job hunt can yield fruitful results and provide the motivation you need to apply at the right places. A good starting point for your strategy is to look at your profile to assess your strengths, experience and skills to compare them with the job market and what employers are asking for in advertisements. This ensures you apply mindfully instead of aimlessly clicking ‘Apply Now’.  

Mental well-being specialist Ashleigh Frankel says being mindful and strategic can help you stay focused, reduces stress and burnout. Being mindful means conducting a background check of the organisation you’re applying for and writing to the hiring manager to build meaningful relationships.

Virtual networking sessions should also be part of your strategy as it helps build interpersonal ties with potential employers or professionals who can refer you to jobs.

Celebrate every little win

Job hunting has one primary goal: to land your next job. But it is important to have secondary smart goals which you set for yourself. When you achieve these, celebrate the small wins.

Instead of just focusing your attention on your primary goal, focus on things that you can control – the amount of time and effort you spend when applying, spending a certain amount of time networking with people, adding new skills to your kitty by completing an online course, getting some call backs or acknowledgment of your application etc. These are goals that you can control and measure. When you achieve them, celebrate! Celebrating every little win gives you the motivation to keep pushing harder.  

Besides these, there are several other ways to regain lost MOJO. How have you managed to maintain or regain motivation during your job hunt? Write to us and join the conversation.