Another day, another click to “connect” on LinkedIn. Your motivation bottoms out after searching for the latest variation of the same job with a different name. After checking—yet again—your stagnant inbox, you close your laptop in defeat.
It’s easy to get stuck in this draining cycle. My experience in the job search taught me that one of the biggest challenges is just maintaining the motivation to continue, especially when you're dealing with rejection and radio silence. But I also know that you can revive your motivation by making simple changes to your job-search approach, focusing less on all those resumes and cover letters, and more on you and what you want.
Climb out of your motivational slump with these five tips.
1. Make a 'To-Do' List
When your motivation is low, general job-searching tasks like “network” and “redo CV” can be overwhelming. A great way to instantly make your search seem more manageable? Rework your to-do list to include smaller, more specific tasks. Only apply for jobs that are relevant to you and make sure your CV fits the job description. Don't try to apply for everything as this will lead to disappointment and exhaustion.
2. Look up career models on Linked In
When you’re job searching, reading description after description requiring “five to seven years of experience” in a certain field, it’s hard to remember the truth about career paths: They’re rarely linear. In fact, most successful people made loops, jumps, and a few skids to get to where they are today.
So, step away from the job boards and sign into Linked In. Search for people who have your dream jobs or who work at companies you are interested in. Looking at the various ways people have got to where they are now will likely remind you that there is no straight path to success.
3. Ask for constructive criticism
Your biggest fans can also be your most helpful critics—if you ask them to be. That supportive former colleague, teacher who believed in you or friends and family all know your full potential and how you could improve. So, if you’re feeling like you’re trying everything but still getting nowhere, try asking for constructive criticism. They will be the best people for the job as they truly care about you making a success of things.
4. Put your career goals on paper
“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” is a question we all try to avoid. But right now, when you’re in a slump, is exactly the right time to answer it.
Take some time to make a list of all of your dreams, big and small. Actually putting them on paper will force you to think about what you want to achieve and—better yet—motivate you to see at least one goal (if not all of them) through.
5. Take days off
Looking for a job can be like having a full-time job in itself, combined with doing your day job too can be all too much. If you've made up your mind to leave your current role then take the odd day off here and there over the course of your search to attend interviews and to give your brain a rest. It will be worth it in the long run and will give your more motivation to achieve your goals if you're kind to yourself.