Have you ever felt like job searching is a full-time job on its own? I know, I’ve been there, and a lot of my clients actually share the same sentiment about how defeating and discouraging it can be. So today I want to share four tips and strategies that will help you gain clarity on how to stay motivated while you’re searching for a job.
I want you to feel excited, confident, and motivated again until you can hand in that resignation letter knowing that you have a job lined up! You can watch this YouTube video or read the transcript below. Let’s dive in!
How To Stay Motivated While You’re Searching For A Job: Start By Reframing Your Mind
Overall, whenever you feel like you are lacking motivation or excitement in your job search, it typically requires a re-frame of the mind. I know this is easier said than done. Sometimes we just want to throw in the towel, especially after receiving a rejection letter. You might feel defeated, but I want you to just know that a dream job exists for you. There’s no way you’re put on this Earth to be unemployed or under-employed, right? But sometimes good things come with patience. So, I’m going to break down the four tips and strategies on how to stay motivated while you’re searching for a job.
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Tip #1: Let Your Pain Serve As Your North Compass
Tip number one is to let your pain serve as your north compass. Studies have shown time and time again that people are more likely to make a change when they’re holding their pain above their pleasure. Meaning, if things are just a little bit better on the other end, we’re not necessarily going to be as motivated or have a great sense of urgency to make a drastic change. Whereas if something is really painful for us, there’s no way we’re going to want to stay where we are any minute longer than we actually need to.
So, let me draw upon a personal example. I remember when I was in my corporate career, I had a job that I actually really enjoyed. The people were great, the environment was awesome, I loved what I was doing day-to-day. The only downfall was that I had a terrible commute. Every single day I was spending two hours in the car! I just remember always being so drained by the time I got home that I turned into a vegetable almost every single weekday. I didn’t want to do anything but sit on the couch, watch Netflix, and binge on whatever was leftover in my fridge.
Stay Motivated In Your Job Search By Focusing On Your Pain
So instead of focusing on all of the positives, I kept focusing on that pain. I wasn’t able to see my friends or meet up for Happy Hour since I was sitting in traffic every day. I had to wake up an hour earlier just so that I could make it to work on time during rush hour traffic. When I had those pain points so clear in my mind, I remembered why I needed to get out of there ASAP. That’s what allowed me to move past all of the pleasurable things that kept me complacent in my position.
By focusing on that pain, I was forced to take action and set up the steps to get where I wanted to be as quickly as possible. It was just too painful to imagine this happening to me day in and day out like Groundhog’s Day for the next year.
Tip #2: Be Grateful For Your Current Situation
As much as I focused on my pain, it’s time to also talk about tip number two, which I realize sounds a little bit contradictory! But there are paradoxes in life, and this one was to be grateful for everything that I did have in that moment. Since job searching takes time, my advice for you is to be grateful and understand what your current situation is providing for you. Even though you want to leave, you can also find things to be grateful for, right?
This could be a number of things. To give a personal example, I was grateful for a steady paycheck and benefits. I was also grateful for gaining experience and for my supportive team at work. I focused on all of those positives so that I felt excited and motivated for my day to day, while in the back of my mind I still knew I was looking for a better opportunity.
Having your pain at the forefront of your mind is really powerful to get you into action. But at the same time, don’t discount all of the things that you can be expressing gratitude for! Gratitude is what allows you to be appreciative and welcome even better opportunities to come your way.
Tip #3: Make A Plan And Commit
All right, now it’s time for tip number three, which is to really make a plan and commit. Committing means that you are being strict with yourself, because we are all fully responsible for ourselves as adults. If this is something that’s really important to you, I would ask that you create a plan and hold yourself accountable to it. It’s easy to fall off track especially when you’re job searching, since the job hunt can feel like a daunting task in itself.
When Are You At Your Best?
I want to think about when you’re functioning at your best. When do you feel like you’re uplifted and clear-minded? What does that environment or mood look like? Where do you need to be that allows you to feel energized and excited? If you’re still struggling on how to stay motivated while you’re searching for a job, try to figure out what setting will best prepare you for productivity.
I know back in the day when I came home from work, I knew that I was just going to be on the couch. So instead of going home and being distracted, I drove to a local coffee shop right after work every Tuesday and Thursday. It gave me the chance to just have uninterrupted time and really focus on planning out my next week ahead. I was able to do my research and seek out those connections to get informational interviews that would get me out of my workplace as quickly as possible.
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I have a client who shared that she loved getting work done at the Ritz Carlton because she wanted to feel inspired and lifted. For her, the beautiful decor and ambiance made her feel super energized and motivated. It also allowed her to bump into people at the Ritz Carlton who were doing business. She was able to introduce herself to complete strangers just as she was sitting there on her own with a laptop in hand and a journal!
Finding this optimal environment will look different for everyone, so I just want you to think about what it might look like for you. What would it look like if you were to really devote and dedicate yourself to 50 minutes of incremental work in your optimal environment throughout your work week? Carving out this time will aid you to really commit and stick to it until you start to see improvements.
Tip #4: Have Your Celebration Plan In Mind
The final tip I have for you is to always have your celebration plan in mind. I have so many people, especially ambitious professionals, come to me and say, “The job in itself is a celebration”. While that’s true, I also want you to think about all the hard work you’re putting into this next upcoming career transition. You should really have some sort of celebration in mind that you can get excited about. Life is all about celebration!
I used to actually never celebrate! But now, for every single goal that I achieve, I’m like, “Yep, I’m gonna celebrate that”. Pre-planning your celebration will give you even more motivation and excitement, especially on the days where you feel like throwing in the towel. Intentionally planning rewards is one of the best ways to stay motivated while you’re searching for a job.
So, I want to ask, how are you going to celebrate your successful career transition? Leave a comment down below! Let me know, and make sure that you truly take time to treat yourself. Plan out how you’ll acknowledge yourself for the hard work you’ve put it! It has to be something that you normally wouldn’t do for yourself. For example, if your plan is to cook yourself a nice meal, I want you to get specific. Which special ingredient will you buy? How will it look to set the mood and the tone for that dinner? Really visualize this. Hold it in your mind, get excited for it, think about it every single day. “What is this celebration? What does it look like? How do I get excited and feel this?” Let that also serve as your north compass.
Information Without Action Is Useless
I hope you found these tips helpful, and encourage you to start implementing all four of these strategies today. I believe that information is useless without action. So, I want you to really implement these four steps on how to stay motivated while you’re searching for a job so you can continue towards success. My hope is also that you’ll start to appreciate everything that’s serving its purpose right now for you, even if you feel that it’s lesser than ideal. So, trust that a dream job is right around the corner!