How to stay motivated in the job search

You have updated your resume, tailored your cover letter, refined your LinkedIn profile, reached out to your network, and submitted numerous job applications. Now you are applying, interviewing, and waiting. The job search process can sometimes be long, discouraging, or demotivating. Below are some tips to help you overcome such feelings as you continue your search:

Develop a routine for your search

Finding time to apply for jobs can be difficult in between your academic responsibilities, co-curricular commitments, work schedule, and personal activities. To help you stay on track, find a way to incorporate your job search into your regular routine. That is right, schedule it in. Just as you would find time to do your assignments or attend a student organization meeting, schedule time for your job search. Giving yourself dedicated time to work on your search will not only help you with the applications but lessen the consistent thoughts of “I really should job search”. If you know you have a designated time to search you can be more fully present in your other commitments.

Set goals for yourself

Whether it is a specific number of applications you are going to apply for each week or steps you will take to prepare your application materials, set small goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Having clear goals will direct your steps and make it more likely you will achieve what it is you desire from the search.

Focus on what you can control

There are many aspects of the job search that you cannot control. Did 150 other people apply for the same position? Did the organization hire internally? Did the funding get cut from the position? All of these situations are out of your control. Instead of focusing on everything you can’t control, concentrate on what you can control like tailoring your cover letter, reaching out to your network, researching an organization or preparing for an interview. Save your precious time and energy for things in your control.

Celebrate small victories

It is easy to fall into negative thoughts when the job search is long. Resist this tendency and focus on what has gone well. Are you scheduled for an interview? One step closer! Did you find a job you are really interested in applying for? Hooray! Did you connect with someone in your network who works where you applied for a job? Way to go! Are you starting to feel more comfortable answering the dreaded strengths and weaknesses question? You are becoming a pro! Each step in the job search process is a learning opportunity, chance to hone your skills, and a way to get one step closer to landing that job.

Do something other than job searching?

Sometimes the challenge is not that you don’t have time for job searching but that it is consuming all your time and energy. Doing nothing but job searching is the quickest way to burn out. Make sure you incorporate time to do something you enjoy. Meet a friend for coffee, go for a run, play your favorite video game. Whatever it is that brings you joy and helps you relieve stress, make sure you take time to refuel.

As mentioned above, the job search can be hard. Take a deep breath or long walk, set some goals, celebrate often, and stay focused! You got this. The Center for Career Development is here to support you in your job search journey. Be sure to stop by to make an appointment for a resume critique, same-day career coaching session, or practice interview.

By Emily Fiagbedzi
Emily Fiagbedzi Graduate Assistant Profile Picture