Whether you’re looking for catering positions or account executive jobs, job hunting can be hard. And the hardest thing of all is staying motivated to keep job hunting when you haven’t heard back from the recruiter or, worse still, have just received a rejection letter.
For any job seeker the biggest battle you face is the internal battle you fight with yourself: whilst you’re telling yourself you’re not good enough and you’re never going to get a job you still have to put on a brave face and keep sending out those perfectly targeted CVs.
So how do you stay motivated when you’re job hunting? Well we have some tips:
1. Get into a routine
Many unmotivated job seekers find they apply for roles as and when they feel like it, sleep until late, and find any excuse to leave their computers and sit and watch daytime TV instead of visiting recruitment websites. If you’re this kind of jobseeker, you’re only setting yourself up for more failure.
Instead you need to treat job hunting like it’s a job, and your new 9-5 role is getting yourself employed! Set an alarm and get out of bed bright and early. Have a shower and get dressed: nothing was ever achieved by someone still sitting in their pyjamas at lunchtime! Write a motivational checklist of things you want to do each day, such as apply for five new roles or review your CV. Avoid checking Facebook constantly: nothing will have changed in the 30 minutes since you last checked it! Finally, pick up the phone. Proactively calling recruiters lets them know you’re keen and eager to find a new role.
2. Don’t let job hunting change your personality
Your friends, family, and everyone who loves you will understand that job hunting is a difficult time, and you’re not going to be the best version of you right now. But don’t use this as an excuse to take out your anger and frustrations on the people closest to you. Try to remember that your unemployment will be just as tough on those who love you as it is on you. It is painful for your parents to watch you struggle. Your partner might worry about how you’re going to pay the bills.
Don’t forget that just because you’re not working doesn’t mean you can’t still contribute something to your home. Spend your down time doing some chores around the house: this will be especially appreciated if you still live at home with your parents. Also remember to ask your partner or friends about their careers and working days. It might be painful to talk about the work place when you’re out of work, but your friends and family will appreciate you showing an interest in that area of their lives.
3. Don’t take it personally
When they see another rejection letter sitting on the door mat, or receive another email telling them they just weren’t right for the job, many job hunters find their motivation levels dip dramatically, and blame themselves for not getting the role. This is something every job hunter experiences at least once, and really shouldn’t get you down. Acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, and then try to move on.
Want to turn this rejection into something positive? Then ask for feedback from the interviewer. They might say something nice about your application, which will boost your self esteem. More helpfully, they’re also likely to give you feedback about what you can improve on that will help you get the next role!
Finally, remember how many successful people have had to accept failure on their path to achieving what they wanted. Notch these first few failures up to experience, and know that the perfect job is out there for you somewhere.
Tor Brierley is a freelance writer who has written for Yahoo, Brand Republic, and gurgle magazine.