Staying motivated is half the battle in today’s career marketplace, especially for job seekers in competitive employment fields.
If you’re having trouble staying motivated in your job search, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Most job seekers feel like they are engaged in a long, uphill battle with little hope of landing an ideal position.
With the national unemployment continuing to hover around 9% and less than half of all current employees satisfied with their current positions, it’s clear that the number of people interested in finding a new job dwarves the number of available positions in the marketplace.
Consequently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that the length of the average job search is currently at 34 weeks – far longer than it takes for the average job seeker to lose enthusiasm for their job search.
But study after study has shown that motivation and enthusiasm are key factors in successful job searches. So even though it might seem like there is little light at the end of the tunnel, it’s important to stay positive, starting with a handful of strategies to maintain your motivation level for the duration of your job search.
Choose to Remain Upbeat
Job seekers who always expect the worst to happen are rarely disappointed. In fact, employers consistently report that when applicants are equally matched, the candidate who gets the job offer is the one who has the most upbeat and positive attitude. So by intentionally choosing to remain upbeat and optimistic, you can improve both your mental state and the likelihood of job search success.
Remember Your Personal Value
During a job search, it’s important to focus on the value your job skills and qualifications can offer potential employers. But it’s just as important to remember that your personal value isn’t limited to your career skills or your ability to land a job in a short period of time. You have plenty of personal traits and characteristics that are completely unrelated to your career – and by constantly reminding yourself about your personal worth, it’s easier to put your job search in proper perspective.
Set Achievable Goals
Many job seekers evaluate their job search according to factors that are completely beyond their control. Sure, your primary goal is to land a high paying job. But since you can’t control the timing of that goal, focus on smaller, achievable goals (e.g. sending out X number of resumes per week, connecting with a short list of targeted networking contacts, etc.) and evaluate your job search progress accordingly.
Believe it or not, exercise could be the secret weapon in job search success. Studies have shown that people who engage in aerobic exercise experience a multitude of psychological benefits including mood improvements, stress reduction and lower levels of anxiety. Exercise enthusiasts also tend to be more motivated in other areas of their life than couch potatoes, so maybe you need to hit the gym to supercharge your job search.
Interact with Other Job Seekers
Despite their best intentions, it can be difficult for family and friends to understand the rollercoaster of emotions you’re experiencing in your quest to find a new job. That’s why it’s important to connect with other job seekers to share tips and to encourage each other to stay motivated throughout the process.