When your phone rings, do you jump to answer it, hoping it’s your latest job prospect? Is your resume constantly open on your computer? If this sounds like you, you’re probably going through a job search.
It’s easy to get bogged down in applications and interviews, and sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When the job search starts to feel a little dark, here are 12 ways to stay motivated and excited through your entire job hunt.
1. Write Down Your Goals
On a piece of paper, write down your long-term goal for a career, and also your short-term goals for the day or week. Hang this piece of paper where you can see it often, and update it regularly. Studies show that you have a 95% higher chance of achieving your goals when you commit them to paper. Writing down your goals on paper and looking at it on a regular basis will give you a clear vision of what you want, and will continue to push you to reach those goals.
2. Create a Vision Board
Vision boards are a great way to build on the idea of writing down your goals. Whether you cut pictures out of a magazine or make a virtual vision board on Pinterest, having a place to store motivational quotes, pictures of your role models and, of course, your list of goals, will help you envision your future and inspire you to work hard to get there.
3. Solicit Constructive Criticism
Find somebody close to you who can give you feedback on everything you use during a job search. This includes your resume, interview answers, cover letter and even your wardrobe. Encourage this person (or persons) to be completely honest with you so that you can be the best version of yourself while looking for your dream job.
Once you know where you’re struggling, you can turn to professionals in that area and ask for help. They can give hands-on advice that you can put into practice.
4. Organize Your Work Space
A cluttered workspace is distracting and inefficient. Having a clean and organized area to work in boosts productivity, concentration and creativity. While job searching, take some time to organize the area you use most often for work.
Plus, once your area is cleaned, you can’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate and can focus on the hunt.
5. Make it a Game
Do you enjoy winning games? Who doesn’t! Turn your job search into a game to get motivated. Winning means successfully landing a job. Create milestones such as “apply for 10 jobs” or “follow-up call to three jobs,” and aim to reach every milestone. You can even reward yourself for each accomplishment.
Gamification is something that’s being incorporated into all types of companies and jobs, and that’s because it works! The industry of gamification is set to grow to $5,500 billion by 2018, with the goal of implementing game theory principles into everyday tasks. When your job hunt becomes a game, you’ll be driven to win.
6. Get Inspired
If you need a little extra push, try watching a TED Talk or listening to a podcast relating to the job hunt, or to your specific field.
Listening to other people’s success stories will give you the energy you need to make your own story a success. Plus, these people have all been where you are, and they probably have some great tips for you.
7. Schedule a Day Off
Job hunting all day, every day might seem like the best way to reach your goal, but it might actually hurt you. Give yourself a day to rest and not worry about applications and resumes. This gives you time to let out frustrations so you can get back to work with a fresh mindset.
You might even come up with some new ideas when you take a step back!
8. Prepare for the Next Step
When filling out applications and writing cover letters gets to be too tedious, you can turn your attention to practicing for interviews. This way, you’re still actively working on getting a job without the monotonous task of writing – or typing – your name and social security number 50 times in a row. Injecting some variety into your daily routine will help you stay fresh and focused.
9. Take Breaks
Everybody needs breaks. Don’t sit down and stare at your computer screen for 12 hours without getting up or eating. Take regular breaks to walk around the block or get a snack. Try motivating yourself by promising a break after every few applications or phone calls you make.
10. Get a Group Together
The job hunt can only get better when you’re going through it with someone else. If you have a friend or a group of friends who are also looking for a job, organize a time to meet with them at a café to work on applications together. This is a great time to bounce ideas off each other and get feedback. It’s also a good reminder that you aren’t alone in this.
11. Treat Yourself
At the end of a long day of job searching, treat yourself with a bar of chocolate and a bubble bath – or whatever it is that makes you happy and helps you relax. You earned it!
For even more of a reward, try coming up with an item you’ve had your eye on for a while and promise yourself that you’ll buy it when you finally land a job. Maybe a cute handbag or a new watch for the job!
12. Keep the End Goal in Mind
Remember those goals you wrote down in step one? Remember those goals whenever you get tired or stressed out. This will all be worth it when you can proudly say you achieved your goals. Your dream job is out there!