5 Tips to Help Keep Yourself Motivated While Hunting for a Job

Trawl the job boards, click to ‘connect’ on LinkedIn, check the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ emails in your inbox; rinse and repeat.

For those who are familiar with it, job hunting can be as close to banging your head against a brick wall as you can get without actually banging your head against a brick wall. It’s a discouraging cycle, and one that can quickly drain even the most motivated individual.

But motivation is key in the job hunting process. It not only gets you firing off more applications and introductions, it also allows you to present your best self to potential employers; to offer up the most desirable version of you. Retaining this motivation will get you back into work far quicker than if you drearily phone your endeavours in.

Ready to give your job hunting efforts a shot in the arm? Here are 5 tricks that’ll allow you to do just that.

1. Start with Realistic Expectations

Sure, any organisation would be lucky to have you, but expecting to land the perfect gig within the first week or two of job hunting isn’t particularly realistic. In fact in the current job market landing a promising interview in the first fortnight might be unlikely.

Along with timeframes, you need to be realistic with your salary expectations. Salary checking tools are useful in identifying what the average pay rate is for different professions, but you’ll need to take into account the level of experience that you’ll bring to the role. Salaries and timeframes are often intertwined – one industry rule of thumb is to allow one month of searching for every $20,000 in salary. Looking for a $60k job? It may take 3+ months to find.

2. Treat Your Job Search as Your Interim Career

Full time work offers your life structure – you know when you need to get up in the morning, and that you need to complete these tasks in this timeframe.

When you’re answerable only to yourself, time management can be a far more difficult prospect. It’s important that you treat your job hunting efforts as some form of interim career, and get into a routine every day. Set an alarm (albeit a slightly later one). Give yourself goals, like sending X amount of applications in a week, or connecting with X amount of people on LinkedIn.

3. Reward Progress

Have you hit your job search goals for this week? Have you got a promising interview, or met with an industry mover and shaker? Reward yourself with a nice meal, a trip to the pub, or a day
at the beach. Sure, you may not have found employment yet, but if job hunting satisfaction is only linked to that moment that you’re offered a job, the intervening weeks and months are going to be incredibly disheartening.

4. Learn from Rejection

Handling rejection is one of the most difficult skills for a human to learn. It doesn’t come naturally to most, but it’s an unavoidable part of the job hunting process. The old sales motto of ‘every no gets you one step closer to a yes’ certainly applies.

The most important thing is not to simply take ‘no’ as an answer. You need something more actionable. If you’ve been looked over for a job, ask the organisation why that was. Search for constructive feedback that you can use to improve your performance into the future. Knowing exactly why you were passed over will also help to keep you in mental check – there won’t be sleepless nights wondering what more you could’ve done.

5. Ask the Professionals

Would you believe it, there are people whose job it is to find you a job! The professionals found at organisations like Jobfind Centre and RISE Ventures coach people 40 hours a week, every week of the year on finding work, and have the knowledge and expertise to get you excited about your job hunting journey, rather than demoralised. You can have an expert in your corner, metaphorically rubbing your shoulders and patting your face with a towel, at absolutely no cost to you.

Job hunting needn’t feel like banging your skull against bricks and mortar. By being measured, structured and open to assistance, you’ll both enjoy the job search journey far more, and likely find yourself at your destination far sooner.