3 Ways To Keep Motivated In Your Job Hunt
by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
1. Have A Good Written Plan and Work The Plan
There is a good reason for the old expression "He who fails to plan, plans to fail." Not only do you need written plans to keep organized and create a logical, systematic work flow, you also need to be able to track your progress. One of the most motivating circumstances you can develop is the ability to see continuous, positive progress. You can do that with a written and blueprinted plan. But remember that the plan should have built-in flexibility. My other favorite saying about plans is "The battle plan seldom survives the first skirmish."
Don't just have your plan on a computer. Make checklists, charts and timelines and put them on the wall so you can see your development. (That's all I'm going to say here about the over-all job hunt plan. This is an article about motivation, not planning per se.)
Furthermore, your plan should include the development of your career network. Of course your list should encompass your friends, colleagues, old employers and all the usual suspects, but remember, every contact you make has potential. Even if you don't get the job from an interviewer, he may help you later. Getting a job is like making a sale. A salesman may not make the sale, but may be referred to another prospect or may make a sale later to the prospect who initially declined. Make notes about the people you meet in the course of your job hunt. Keep their contact information. Write follow-up notes to them after your interviews thanking them for their consideration. It may not help you get that job, but it's the kind of thing they'll remember if you have occasion to get in touch with them again.
2. Keep Active
You may not be able to get an interview or make a contact every day, but you can do something productive every day. Take a class or webinar. Read a book or some articles. Do something. Purposeful action is the most motivating device known.
If you are currently employed while seeking a new job, work your job as if you wanted to stay forever and be promoted. Work your on-the-job social network as if you were staying and needed your colleagues' help and good will -- you do. In more ways than you may know. Countless people have ended up staying with employers simply because they followed that method and found it revolutionized their current worklife.
If you don't have current employment get dressed as you would for your job (looking motivated is feeling motivated) and go out to lunch -- preferably with a colleague who may have some ideas for you.
3. Have A Motivation Network
You need people around you whose ideas and encouragement keep you going when you get tired and discouraged. I hope your job hunt is easy and pleasant and you never get discouraged. But that's not the experience most people have. So be prepared for a job hunt sometimes to be tedious and disheartening.
Just as you have a written contact list for your career development network -- you do, don't you? -- you should compile a list of friends and family you can count on to cheer, inspire, invigorate, comfort, nurture or support you. Make note about who helps you and in what way. Call them. Visit them. Email them. Go out with them.
Even if you are in reasonably good spirits, keeping in close contact with your emotional support network is essential for staying that way. If you're feeling even a bit daunted by the hard work of job-seeking, it is even more essential to get a kick-start from friends to stay motivated.