How to Stay Motivated in Your Job Search


The job search process is no easy task. It takes time and effort, and it’s easy to get discouraged and lose your way. The continuous cycle of searching, applying, and getting radio silence or rejection in return can be draining to say the least. The key to a successful job search is to stay motivated and focused, and continuously put in the work. Here are a few ways to stay positive and motivated when you find yourself getting worn down in your job search:

Set Small, Measurable Goals

Setting small and measurable goals can help you stay motivated in your job search, even if you aren’t getting the leads you may like. Setting specific daily or weekly goals can help you track your progress. The goals can be simple tasks like reaching out to two direct contacts a day or applying to three jobs a week. It can help avoid job search frustration and keep you on track.

Stick to a Schedule/Routine

Research shows that setting routines and schedules can be very beneficial to one’s mental wellbeing. Daily rituals can even help with reducing anxiety and increasing confidence. Try setting a daily schedule or routine that you can follow, that helps you get up early each morning, and work towards the measurable goals you have set. Creating structure in your day-to-day life can help maintain motivation for your job search. For instance, you could start the day by having breakfast, going for a run, then spend the next couple of hours applying for jobs, updating your linked in, spending the afternoon researching companies of interest or networking events, and stopping at a reasonable time to prepare a healthy meal or meet up with friends. It will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or allowing job searching to consume all of your time.

Change things up

If your constant searching and trying has been bringing zero results, try adding in new job search methods. Try to search smarter, not harder. If you’ve solely been applying to jobs online, try networking. Reconnecting with your old network, reach out to friends that work at companies you are interested in, or connect with alumni. You never know what new leads it may bring.

Look for an Opportunity to Volunteer

If lack of action in your day-to-day or spending your entire day job searching is starting to get to you, or make you antsy, considering finding a temporary volunteer position. Look at ways you can become involved in your community, or see if there are opportunities for freelance work related to what you’re interested in. This will not only keep you busy until you land a job, but will also look great on your resume, and give you something new to talk about in future job interviews. Volunteering also opens up new opportunities for networking, especially if it is in an area that matches your career interests.

Learn to Accept Rejection

It is impossible to win at everything, and rejection is a common part of everyone’s job search process. One of the hardest things to accept when getting started in a job search is getting rejected from positions you felt you were perfect for, and it is easy to let it deter you. It is important to not dwell on the negative. As your interviewer for constructive feedback, learn from the mistakes you may have made, think of every interview experience as good practice, and move on to the next opportunity. It is also important to remember that there is a multitude of reasons why you may not have been chosen, and try to remember not to take it personally.

Take Days Off

Burning the candle at both ends is just going to make the search more difficult, and make you feel more defeated. While it is important to put in the work and stay focused, everyone needs a break to rejuvenate. Take time for yourself. Spend time with friends or family who will lift up your spirits. It will allow you to come back to the job search with a clear head and more positive thinking.

Ariana Salas