How to Stay Motivated in Your Job Search
You’ve researched prospective employers, crafted your best cover letter and polished up your resume, so why aren’t employers biting? Searching for a new job can be extremely frustrating, but there are a few things you can do to help mitigate that. While it takes more time on the front-end, you may just be surprised with the results. Here are a few ways to help you stay motivated in your job search…
Troubleshoot your process
If you’ve applied to a number of positions and are getting little to no response, take a step back and look at your approach. Are the jobs you are applying to in your scope of experience or are you reaching for something out of your skill set? It’s admirable to shoot for a role that is going to challenge you, and hiring managers may look past a few gaps in experience, but it has to be within reason. Aim for roles just outside your limit and see who replies, you never know what might come of it! But be mindful to submit your resume for more realistic opportunities too. It’s easy to get distracted with high base salaries and prestigious sounding titles, but it’s important to stay grounded in your search. Conversely, you may be applying for positions that you are overqualified for, and receiving the same result. Take an honest stake of where you are at, and ask a friend or trusted colleague if you are having trouble being objective with yourself. This will calibrate your search and set you on a more likely path to positive responses.
Ask for feedback
It helps to receive an actual response when job searching, even if it’s a polite “no”. If there isn’t a reason given for them taking a pass, ask for constructive feedback. Not everyone will be willing to do so, but perhaps they can point to why you didn’t make the cut. This is invaluable advice that can help you tweak your search, from which you can adjust your application game accordingly.
Take a Break
The burnout struggle is real. If you’re spending time job searching every day, your energy is going to stale. There may be a fear that your dream job will get posted as soon as you take a break, but even just two days away to clear your head and attack your search in a new perspective can work wonders. Take this time to reassess why you’re searching. Even if you’re not currently employed, what didn’t work out in the past? Are you trying to succeed at something that you know deep down isn’t the right fit? It’s easy to fall into that trap, and perhaps it’s time for a new direction…
Look for what speaks to you
If there’s a job, career path or industry that you’ve always held in the back of your mind but the pay or geography scared you off, see if it’s feasible to pursue. The chances of you ultimately being successful in something that inspires you are much higher than chasing work you simply think you should be doing. I don’t mean this in the Eat Pray Love respect, although that is a perfectly good novel/movie to enjoy. Most of us don’t have the ability to pick up and leave for a year to find our passion, but we can start small.
“Patience is a virtue”
The first known usage of this phrase dates back to the 1300’s, and it rings just as true today. The average job search takes about six weeks but varies greatly depending on the industry. Naturally, the higher the job level the longer the search will take – the time to fill a restaurant position is typically much quicker than that of an executive. Depending on where you fall in that spectrum, you can reasonably predict how long it might take.
Hopefully this offers some key takeaways if you’re struggling with your job search. It really comes down to taking an objective look at who you are as a candidate, deciding whether or not you want to continue on your current path or tap other talents, learning from your rejections and calibrating as necessary.