For very few people is the path towards a job completely straight and stress-free. Many of you will find the process time-consuming, frustrating and often disheartening; spending time polishing a CV and crafting an exemplary covering letter, only to be rejected or ignored, can be a very demoralising job hunting experience.
Levels of determination and drive vary from person to person, but one thing is certain: perseverance is key. There is lots of advice for job hunting and tricks that can help to keep motivation levels up, making the application period a little more bearable.
How to keep motivated when looking for a job
- Don’t overdo it. People have different ways of working effectively but, as a general rule, overexertion causes concentration to be lost. Taking regular breaks is vital, whether looking for jobs, revising for exams or working. Never underestimate the benefits of a bit of fresh air. That being said...
- Treat job hunting like a job in itself – not a chore, a full-time job. Getting up early, having breakfast and a shower, as if you were getting ready for a day at work, should improve motivation. That way, you can finish at five or six and enjoy the evening in the knowledge that you have done your bit for the day. If you're already in part-time work but looking for full-time positions, make the most of your free time.
- Quality over quantity. Would you believe it, there is such a thing as sending out too many CVs. After scrolling through endless recruitment pages, and churning out applications as quickly as possible, it is easy to make silly mistakes. It is far more productive to take more time and effort putting together fewer applications for the jobs you really want. An employer or recruiter can spot a generic, ‘one size fits all’ application from a mile off. Try to enjoy the challenge of carefully tailoring each individual application and this alone will keep your motivation up.
- Keep in good health. Eating well and taking regular exercise to let loose those all-important endorphins is a really good way to keep your mood and motivation levels comfortably above zero. Sitting at the computer all day long, applying for jobs while eating junk will have a damaging effect on both your mental and physical health and, consequently, on your focus.
- Speak to people who are in a similar situation to yours. It might be that your friends are in the same position as you. Chances are, there's always someone who's going through it, or has been through it. Hearing other people’s experiences will put all yours into perspective and this is a really good way to share ideas and get more information on where best to look.
- Persist and persevere. If you have applied for a job, either directly or through a recruiter, and have not heard back from them, it does no harm to give the right person a call. The worst they can say is that you haven’t been successful this time, in which case you move onto the next. They might have a more positive or encouraging answer for you. Aside from this, it shows the employer that you are keen and puts a voice to your CV.