“How do you stay motivated during a job search?” Thas was the question posted on LinkedIn recently. My guess is it was posted by someone who was frustrated with their current search and was feeling very de-motivated. A job search can be very frustrating in “normal” times. In these COVID-19 global pandemic times, it can be downright depressing. We’ve been conditioned to send out dozens and dozens of resumes with the hope of getting a response. Many times we hear nothing. Occasionally, we may get a response that is a polite, “thanks, but no thanks” to our skillfully architected resume, receiving no actionable feedback.
As our search stretches from days to weeks, to months the pressure and the stress mounts. So, how do you stay motivated during a job search?
Go to work!
Approach your job search like, well, a job. Your job is to locate your next job. Create a routine. Get up at the same time you were getting up when you were employed. Get showered, dressed, eat breakfast, and go to work. If possible set aside space in your home where you can work, uninterrupted (I know this is challenging with work-from-home spouses and virtual learning school children).
Set measurable activities
Manage your daily activities. Your time should be focused on the activities most likely to create success. Statistics show that 87% of jobs filled are filled through professional networking. That means networking is your most valuable activity. Spend 80-90% of your time or about seven hours a day on building your network.
Review your accomplishments
Celebrate the victories. When your spouse asks, “how many jobs did you apply for today?” Tell them about the valuable connections you made, the deep conversations you had, and what you learned from those conversations. Every networking meeting is a step closer to your next job.
While thinking about your accomplishments, think about all your accomplishments in your career. You’ve done some great work! Acknowledge that to yourself!
Reflect on the journey
You knew journaling was going to find its way into my answer, didn’t you? Start a transition journal. Spend time writing in it each day. Write about your successes, write about the challenges. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? Take time periodically to read back through your journal. Take encouragement from the progress you have made.
Give yourself some slack
When you were employed, did you ever have one of those days? You know, the kind of day that is a grind just to get up and go to the office. The day drags by. Give yourself some slack. Those days are going to happen in your search. Acknowledge it. Try to make the next day better. Give yourself some grace, take a day off. Rest, recharge, and attack your search again tomorrow.
No, I don’t mean connected like the internet-connected, I mean, stay connected to yourself and others. One of the key elements of dealing with stress is connectedness. Stay in tune with yourself and your stress. As stress begins to mount, reach out to a family member, reach out to a friend. Talk to them. Share your frustrations, vent. They will understand. Reach out to me, I’m happy to jump on a Zoom call!
Have a question? Send it to me at [email protected] and I will be glad to share my thoughts.