After sending out countless job applications, emails, and LinkedIn connection requests with no word back, it’s hard not to feel a little frustrated and defeated during the job-hunting process. But even when all you’re getting back from employers is dead silence, it’s so important to keep your motivation and positivity up as you search for your next job. So whether you’re in school and looking to snag that internship or are out in the real world and are looking for your dream job, here are a few tips to help you stay motivated while job-hunting.
Make a vision board
Rather than just applying for a bunch of jobs, take a step back and figure out exactly what you want. A great way to start figuring that out is by making a vision board. Vision boards are awesome because they can help you get really specific about your goals and dreams for the future. Start by printing off and cutting out images and words that inspire you. For example, if you wanted to go into law, find photos of lawyers and courtrooms to inspire you. Then, get a large poster board and put all your images together to create a collage. Once you’re done, put your board somewhere where you will see it every day.
Pick specifc times for job hunting
While you may want to spend all day job-hunting, this is not the best way to go about it. It might seem like a good idea at first, but you will run out of steam in the long run. So instead, schedule a specific time of day dedicated to job hunting. Maybe this might be in the morning when you first wake up or in the evening after dinner. Then, give yourself the rest of the day to reset and recharge and do other activities you enjoy. By dedicating a specific time of day for job hunting rather than 24/7 job searching, you can stay motivated in your job hunt even when things get tough.
Look into career services & resources
After sending out a bunch of job applications with no response, it’s hard not to get discouraged. Just remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. If you’re still in school, there’s a pretty good chance that your college or university has career services and resources you can look into, like resume building and interview prep. If you aren’t in school anymore, though, there are plenty of great resources online you can look into like LinkedIn Learning and The Muse that can help you out.
Develop a daily routine
As you’re job hunting, it’s easy to feel a little lost and out of sorts. So another great way to keep your motivation up is to develop a daily morning and night routine. Try to get up at the same time every day and start your morning off on a good note by doing a bunch of little things that make you feel better, whether that be meditating, saying some positive affirmations, or enjoying a healthy breakfast. Then, end the day with some relaxing activities like journaling, having some warm tea or reading a book. Creating some structure in your day will help you both stay motivated during your job search and make it easier to adjust once you get back into the working world.
Make an accomplishment list
When you send out application after application with no response, it’s hard not to get a little discouraged. When this happens, you may start to doubt the strengths and skills you bring to the table. So another way to stay motivated while job hunting is to make an accomplishment list. This is when you write a list of everything you have accomplished to this date. Make sure you include the big things (i.e. earning your high school diploma/college degree) but also the little things too (i.e. making a recipe you’ve always wanted to learn). While this may seem silly at first, doing this can boost your confidence as it’s a friendly reminder of all the amazing things you’ve done with your life so far.
They say that 80% of jobs are never advertised but rather use word of mouth. That means that you’ve only been applying for 20% of the jobs that are out there. So if you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall with all this job-hunting stuff, switch gears and network. If the thought of getting on the phone and cold calling people is nerve-wracking for you, start small. Pick a handful of people to reach out to, like acquaintances you’ve met before or even alumni from your college or university. Chances are, these types of people will be more likely to help you out. Simply reach out and ask them if they would be interested in sitting down for a video coffee chat with you. This way, you can learn more about the career you want and make connections that may help you out in the future. Win-win.
Another great way to stay motivated while job hunting is giving back. Like writing an accomplishment list, helping other people when you feel a little stuck can give you a fresh perspective. Whether you have a passion for the environment or women’s rights, supporting a cause you love is a great way to help your community. Plus, it lets you meet new people, build your skills and help you figure out what you want in your career. Plus, in a very roundabout way, volunteering often looks great on a resume.
Take time for you
Whether you’re looking for your first job or are transitioning between jobs, make sure you’re taking time for yourself during the job-hunting process. While tweaking your cover letter and editing your LinkedIn profile, and reaching out are all important things, give yourself permission to practice some self-care. From taking up a new hobby to watching a movie you love, another great way to stay motivated as you apply for jobs is to relax and do things that make you happy.
Job hunting is a stressful and tiring experience, and it’s totally okay if you find that you’re struggling to stay motivated after sending lots of job applications out with no word back. So if this is how you’re feeling, hopefully, these tips can help you stay motivated even when things get hard during the job hunting process. Don’t give up. You’ve got this.