Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How To Stay Motivated When Job Searching

Looking for a new job is tough; staying motivated is even tougher.

The truth is, everything that has happened in my life…that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has always turned out for the better. ~ Warren Buffett (1930 – ) American businessman and philanthropist

resilient: (adj.): capable of bouncing back from or adjusting to challenges and change.


In order to resilient, it is important to do the following:

Focus on results. Results are what we're all really after. Effort and attempts are great first steps, but acting with a commitment to deliver will always bring success.

Learn from your personal history. Mistakes are lessons on how not to do something. Learn from your experiences and accept them as the price you have paid for your future success.

Reinforce. Support each other (and ourselves) by continually reminding and encouraging one another to deliver on the first two points.
Anyone who has been in the job market for any length of time knows how frustrating the process can be. In today's competitive environment, it's not uncommon to send out numerous resumes yet generate only limited response for your effort. This can have even the most confident professional questioning his or her marketability and job-hunting abilities.


While resilience is important, those who have been search for a new job for an extended period of time will attribute their lack of success to a lack of luck.

"Diligence is the mother of good luck."
- Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) American statesman, scientist, and printer

luck: (noun): a force that makes things happen

You want more luck? Be the force that makes it happen...
1. Prepare. Work hard to be ready for the opportunities that are important to you. Research. Practice. Perfect.

2. Be awake. Pay attention to the people, events, and things around you. Evaluate logically and trust your gut instinct.

3. Take action. Put yourself out there. Explore. Be vulnerable. Make contact with people. Take risks.

4. Expect positive results. Optimism improves your chances. If (when) you fail, embrace the lesson and continue on, smarter.

5. Take a class. While your job search is no doubt your top priority, using some of your time to gain new skills can be a wise distraction-and a valuable investment

6. Volunteer. There is no more effective way to lift your spirits than to help others. As an added bonus, you will expand your network, which is particularly valuable during a job search.

7. Set an alarm clock and keep a job search schedule. Treat your job search just like a job, and you’re less likely to feel lost.

8. Go for a walk each morning. You finally have the opportunity to get out, get your blood flow going, see some daylight, and get some fresh air. Fresh air and sunlight does WONDERS for your frame of mind.

9. Get out of the house. Make networking coffee/lunch appointments. If you don’t have lunch meetings, go out for lunch where you can see other people.

10. Take a break. Designate a day when you won't talk or think about employment issues. By allowing yourself some time off, you can recharge and remain productive.

11. Be around positive people. Surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive and maintain an optimistic outlook on life. This will help you keep your spirits high and provide the motivation you need when you hit a career roadblock.

12. Get exercise. Studies have shown that physical activity can minimize the psychological impact of stress. Getting into a regular exercise routine will keep you energized. Hiring managers look for enthusiasm when interviewing job applicants.

13. Attend association meetings. Participating in activities offered by professional associations can help you increase your visibility in the industry’s community. Play an active role in the group, and volunteer for projects. You will make new contacts while providing much-needed assistance to a volunteer-driven organization.

14. Keep a record of your search. Spend about 10 to 15 minutes a day writing down your thoughts about the process. What progress did you make? What setbacks did you encounter? What new avenues can you pursue? The simplest ideas often can be the catalysts for new approaches to your search.

15. Talk to a professional. A career counsellor or professional recruiter can assess your résumé and cover letter, offer an overview of the employment market in your area, and recommend steps you might take to better target your search.

16. Re-evaluate your priorities. Failing to accomplish your job-- search objectives can be discouraging, so it's worth taking a second look at your goals. Have you inadvertently been setting yourself up for failure? For instance, if you are only willing to work for companies in a specific industry or geographic area, you may need to expand your search. Would you be willing to drive an extra 30 minutes each way for the right opportunity? Would you consider a position that has a lower base salary yet room for advancement? Decide your absolute must-haves, and be prepared to compromise on those aspects of the job that are like-to-haves, particularly in a competitive job market.

17. Read books about successful people. Almost everyone has encountered a setback on the way to the top. Learning about the experiences of others can help you keep your own situation in perspective.

18. Join a support group. Talking with others who are going through the same experience is important so you can feel connected and develop new ideas that can help your search. Most major cities have career resource centres that host networking meetings for job seekers. You'll be surprised how willing people are to assist you, whether they offer leads on companies that are hiring or simply listen to your concerns.

19. Don't take job rejection personally. Both Recruiters and employers have a very specific picture in their head about the person they want to hire As much as we'd like to disagree, there is always someone out there who can do a better job than you can. While this may sound negative, it is in fact a drive that motivates us all. Healthy competition is what forces us to get back up, dust ourselves off and try again

20. Follow up. It is important to follow up on both your job applications, to demonstrate your keen interest in the job, and with recruiters, to keep your name and face on their top of mind. with Recruiters for Further Encouragement.

21. Celebrate Success. Celebrate every success, no matter how small. Soon you’ll find a reason to celebrate each day. Your celebration can be as small as a piece of chocolate, or as big as a special evening out. It's Tuesday ...WHO HOO!!!


Career Matters is an on-line community blog hosted by Mary Salvino. It is designed for those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. Alternatively, you can e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca