Looking for a job can take its toll. Searching for suitable roles, cold calling, writing endless cover letters… and nothing is more disheartening than the silence that can follow an application. So how can you stay motivated?
It’s important to remember that with so many factors at play when you apply for a job, a rejection is not necessarily a reflection of your abilities (or lack thereof). Here are six ways to keep a positive outlook while looking for employment.
Keep a routine
If you’re unemployed and searching for work, it’s crucial to set a daily routine. Giving yourself goals and tasks each day will give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Make sure you get out of bed at a regular time each morning, have a shower and get dressed for the day. Sleeping in, spending the day in your pyjamas and wasting time should be avoided at all costs.
Your self-esteem can take a hit when the job hunt isn’t going the way you planned – so it’s important to be kind to yourself, even in small ways. Remember that an application rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t a worthy candidate. Instead of getting down on yourself and letting it dampen your enthusiasm, treat yourself to a bit of ‘you’ time. If you’re on a budget, you can still treat yourself to a walk in the sunshine or take time out to have coffee with a friend.
Make a budget
Financial uncertainty while searching for work can add a lot of stress and negatively impact your mindset. Creating a budget and sticking to it will give you a sense of control as well as realistic boundaries, and will help alleviate some of the stress. Don’t view your budget as a burden – rather, it will buy you time to find the right opportunity and ensure you don’t go through your funds prematurely.
Join job search groups
The online community is a great way to find out where the work is and how to get it. It’s also a chance to chat to like-minded people and realise you’re not the only person who may be struggling. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn will match your listed skills to available jobs and make related suggestions – and that will save you time. By joining specific groups, you’ll also be visible to recruiters looking for someone with your skill set.
Contact a recruiter
Tackling the job hunt solo can unnecessarily heighten your stress levels, and you may be missing out on opportunities. Recruiters can help you search for appropriate roles and also provide you with candid and constructive feedback, giving you the support you need to stay driven and focused.
Volunteer your time
Just because you’re not getting paid doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer your time for the greater good. There are many philanthropic causes that could benefit from your enthusiasm and expertise, and the additional experience will also strengthen your CV. Internships can be another way to get experience and add to your skill set and will provide valuable networking opportunities. Any work experience you can get will give you the opportunity to keep exercising your skills, and being part of a team can help keep your spirits up.