Hearing nothing back from recruiters when you’re actively job searching is frustrating. First time you think “I will keep on going, it will work one day!” … but then it happens again and again. You hear nothing back after several days, weeks … it’s tough to stay motivated and optimistic.
Recently I read a post on LinkedIn that shared tips for boosting motivation:
- Taking small but concrete steps each day, whether reconnecting with an old colleague or starting a course;
- Avoiding scrolling through job ads for hours by setting a schedule;
- Making time for activities you enjoy and not feeling obliged to make job hunting your 9-5.
These tips sound great but I see one tiny problem here.
How will you motivate yourself to take small steps or avoid scrolling through jobs when you feel demotivated or as I did, guilty for wasting my time when I didn’t job-hunt?
I don’t know what your experience is right now, but mine was something like this:
- For days I didn’t feel motivated to do any job search at all, I reached that point when I felt hopeless, sceptical and resentful.
- Then I thought it cannot continue like this and so I created a plan of action with small achievable steps I wanted to take every day, but I felt demotivated to do anything and kept on procrastinating.
- After days and days of procrastination I started to feel guilty and so I spent hours and hours browsing jobsite making it pretty much my 9-5.
Vicious circle that was hard to break, right?
Here are 3 helpful and easy to implement tips that helped me to break that vicious circle and boost my motivation.
Affirmations are powerful when it comes to changing your focus and boosting your motivation. If you are sceptical about affirmations (and you may well be as I was initially), affirmations are based on well-established psychological theory.
I love using affirmations when I am facing a difficult task or loss of motivation. Why? Well, when I was job hunting and I didn’t hear anything back for days or weeks, I didn’t feel good about myself. I started to doubt my skills, value and worthiness for no reason really. I felt like I wasn’t good enough and all jobs that I found interesting were out of my league.
Affirmation, one simple sentence, helped me to affirm my worthiness and value, as a result boost my confidence and motivation to try again.
My most favourite affirmation was:
My dream job is out there, every day I am closer to finding it.
Before I started my job search or called recruitment agency to check on any new positions, I used to read this sentence out loud just for myself. I would repeat it a few times until it made me feel better. And it did! It gave me hope to carry on. It also clearly made a difference in how I spoke with my contact at Reed. I came across as more confident and was able to present myself better when speaking.
I am right now creating a Motivation Booster – 31 Daily Affirmations Booster (Printable so you can stick it in your favourite place) with an action planner. If you’d love to get it, join my Facebook group to get access when it’s ready. You will find a link to my group at the end of this article.
2. Gratitude journaling
Maybe this tip sounds to you like another “woo-woo” practise, but before you dismiss it completely consider this. Gratitude has been around for centuries. Practising gratitude shows appreciation for receiving. It is believed that grateful people have more positive ways of coping with the difficulties they experience in life, being more likely to seek support from other people, reinterpret and grow from experiences, and spend more time planning how to deal with the problem.
So why not give it go when journalling on gratitude could help you become more resiliant and motivated?
Start your gratitude journal and regularly write down 3 things you’re grateful for.
You can develop a routine that that works for you – journal either in the morning with your cup of coffee, in the evening before going to bed or journal when you feel the need. I for instance journal on days when I don’t feel that well or before starting a challenging or difficult tasks.
What helped me during my job search was focusing on my working life, so I used to write and acknowledge what I was grateful for:
- Support I got from my family,
- Friends I could talk to about my job situation,
- Skills that I acquired in my jobs,
- Ability to work,
- Job posting that I liked (even if I didn’t get the job it was a sign that there is actually a job I would enjoy),
- A day when I felt good and motivated,
- A day when I felt down – it may seem strange to thank for such a day, but it’s also ok to have these – when I felt down I used to ask myself what can I do to feel better and so over the time I developed a few routines like dancing to a favourite song, calling a friend or my family – it was my bad days that helped me to build resiliance actually.
- Reading positive inspiring stories of people who did it – which kept me going and inspired thinking if they made it, I can make it too. You can find inspiring dream job stories on my blog too.
3. Pick a job search strategy that fits your talents
Last but not least, in fact my most favourite tip. There are many different strategies how to find your job. How will you pick the strategy that works best for you? And why some people find it easier to find their dream job through networking and others through lining up a job search strategy in a mindmap?
Your talent DNA (your combination of talents) dictates your natural reactions and preference to strategies for success, including your job search.
Let me give you a few examples:
- If you are gifted and talented in relationship building themes, you will naturally prefer networking and finding your job through utilizing the power of relationship building, like recommendations or internal referrals.
- If you are gifted in strategic thinking themes, chances are you will love spending hours browsing jobs sites, articles and portals absorbing the best tips from experts and figuring out the best way how to find your dream job, it will be natural for you to want to spend long hours doing so.
- If you are stronger in execution themes but not so much in relationship building, you are more likely to feel happy at the end of your day when you made your job search a priority and ticked off all important things from your to-do list. It may be hard for you to relax or schedule some relaxing activities when your mind is focused on result – finding your dream job.
What worked best for me and my talents was to 1. Find a recruitment agency that was placing candidates in the industry I wanted to work in 2. Find a recruiter who I can speak to regularly 3. I picked job offers that appealed to me and then I discussed them with my recruiter.
These are just a few examples, so why did I share them?
There is no right or wrong strategy. Your strategy can be different. Tips and strategies will work for you better once you understand what is your combination of talents that will help you pick and execute the best-for-you job search strategy.
Want to find out how to discover your talents and use them for your job search or career development?
Join my Facebook group Zero to Dream Job Club
& check out my Online Coffee & Masterclasses
Author: AdriAna Kosovska
Certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY
Helping unfulfilled professionals and freelancers in 30s & 40s create a rewarding career
Dream job & Career Development | Stress reduction | Talents development