Staying motivated during your job search is probably one of the most difficult things to do. Sending out countless resumes without any response (or very little response) can really take a toll on you and make you start to doubt yourself and your abilities.
1. Daily affirmation – It may sound a little corny but I used to start my day off with a reminder of an accomplishment I achieved or an area where I excelled. Sometimes I needed that reminder so as not to fall in the slump of self-doubt. Sometimes you may need a quote to get you going. Either look for your own inspirational saying or go to a site like this that does it for you http://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/.
2. Keep a work schedule. Initially when you’re out of work you can easily fall into the slump of staying up late and sleeping in. At first it kind of feels like a vacation but after a few weeks the days start to blend together and you just start feeling down. Don’t fall into this trap. Keep a work schedule. Wake up before 9am and go to bed at a decent hour.
3. Pick up a hobby (an inexpensive one) and a library card. Remember when you were slaving away working 60 hours a week and didn’t have time to knit or where too tired to read that book? Do it now! If you don’t have a library card, get one (it’s free).
4. Work your networks. If you graduated from college or grad school there are probably free listserves and alumni groups in your area. Talk to your friends! Do not be afraid to tell them what you’re looking for. You never know who they might now or what positions may be available.
5. Check out free (or low cost) webinars, workshops, and events in your field of interest. These events are a great opportunity to remain aware of new developments in your field and can also serve as gap fillers if it’s been a while since you’ve been employed. Employers understand that sometimes it takes a while to find something but they want to know what you’ve done during that off time that relates to what you’re interested in.
6. Volunteer! Preferably in your field of interest but if that’s not possible try and find something that can create the opportunity to acquire transferable skills. Is there a church or community group looking for better organization? Help them create an online filing structure or database. Something that won’t take up a lot of your time but can still add value to resume. You never know, you might be able to spin your work into a paid short-term position.
7. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from employers. Many positions that are posted are already filled by internal candidates so the posting you see is basically just protocol. It sucks but it doesn’t mean that you should stop applying. Increase your minimum number of applications per week to make up for the duds.
8. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t let your job search define you. If you’re taking the time to research tips and job search strategies, you’re definitely doing something right. Things will turn around eventually. Stay positive and keep up the great work!