The dreaded job hunt: how to stay motivated

There’s no two ways about it: job hunting is stressful. Whether you’re fresh out of uni and looking for a graduate role or you’ve taken the plunge and are changing career, the job search is never pleasant.

So how can you keep going through all the CV writing, the online application forms, the rejection letters? The end is in sight, trust us; you just need to stay motivated and stay positive. But how?

Structure your day

When you’re not working it’s all too easy to fall into a routine of getting up late, watching daytime TV and applying for jobs in your dressing gown. We’re not knocking pyjamas, but does this sound like the start to a productive day?

Instead of this rather student-esque morning, treat your weekdays as if you were working. That means getting up early, showering and getting dressed before hitting the applications. It’s also a good idea to go for a morning walk to properly wake up and clear your head before sitting down at your desk.

Give yourself a proper lunch hour and when 5:30pm rolls around, clock off for the day. The rest of the application can wait until tomorrow, and by giving yourself a structure and routine you’ll find yourself far more motivated and efficient.

Don’t get overwhelmed!

Questions, worries and worst-case scenarios rush through everyone’s head when they’re not working. But it’s important not to let these thoughts overwhelm you and cause you to simply sit there in a panic rather than doing something productive.

Stay calm, try to keep things in perspective and take one job application at a time. Once you’ve found a job you want to apply for, focus all your thoughts and energy on submitting the best possible application you can. This will stop you from panicking and ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of success. What more motivation could you need?

Don’t take rejection to heart

We hate to say it, but the harsh reality of job hunting is that you’re likely to face rejection along the way. This is never nice, but to keep motivated you need to be able to deal with the disappointment and frustration of an unsuccessful application.

Take any feedback from employers on board (if they give any!) and look back over your application to identify areas where you could have improved. As long as you learn something from each rejection, your application wasn’t a waste of time.

Learn and improve

Unsuccessful job applications aren’t the only opportunity for learning and improving as your job hunt goes on. There are always areas to improve, so try and identify what’s stopping you from getting a job offer.

Do you find you’re not getting past the application stage? It could be that your CV needs looking at. Are you falling at the first interview hurdle each time? You might need to work on your interview technique.

Once you’ve identified a potentially problematic area, speak to a careers advisor or someone in the industry to see if they can help. It could also be beneficial to speak to a friend or family member – they might spot something that you hadn’t even noticed.

Set goals and reward yourself

There’s no better way to motivate yourself and improve your productivity than by setting targets for yourself. Grappling with a particularly tricky application form? Aim to finish it by the end of the day, then reward yourself when you do!

Set daily goals to keep your focus on a day-to-day basis, as well as establishing some longer-term targets so you can keep tabs on your progress. And when it comes to rewards, the choice is yours!