Staying Motivated When You Can’t Find a Job Fast

job search motivation
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A job search can be an emotional roller coaster. One day you feel like you’re on top of the world, flourishing with opportunity. The next you are down on your luck with no prospects in sight.  You want to find a job fast, but the longer you look for a job, the tougher it becomes. Who can blame you for feeling discouraged, miserable, and negative?

Fortunately, because we all can’t find a job fast, there are a variety of ways to stay motivated even when the going gets tough.  Check out our tips below to help you stay motivated during your job search and prevent yourself from burning out.

Can’t Find a Job Fast? Here’s How to Stay Motivated

1. Develop a systematic approach for your job search.  Plan a calendar of activities as well as a target date to find a job.  Schedule things you will do each day to reach your goal. Sticking to your plan will keep you focused on the activities that will lead you to your next job.

2. Join a job search support group. If you are unemployed or need to find a new job, you need a support network to help you stay motivated.  Look for job search groups on MeetUp or other networking sites. Not only will you make new friends and professional contacts, but you may also get some great tips on your resume, cover letter, or interview strategy.

3. Surround yourself with positive people. Meet up with friends who make you feel good about yourself and will encourage you to keep up the job search effort.  Avoid spending time with “Debbie Downers” who will bring your spirits down with them.

4. Cultivate and expand your network. Take charge of cultivating the relationships you already have by reaching out to old acquaintances and colleagues.  Get involved in online discussions on LinkedIn and add the people with whom you interact. Make a commitment to go to 1 professional networking event a month to make new connections.

5. Find someone to report your progress to. This can be a friend, a trusted colleague, a job search coach, or someone in your network.  When you are accountable to someone, you’ll be more likely to stay on task and achieve your goal — whether it’s finding a job fast or staying the course until you find your dream job.

6. Learn something new. Keep your brain sharp and your motivation enduring by reading up on a new topic or taking an online course.  Learning new things stretches your brain and keeps your positive. And if you learn something work-related, you can add it to your resume.

7. Read biographies or memoirs of successful people. Get inspired by a successful person’s story.  You may very well discover that just about every successful person experienced failures and setbacks on their path to greatness.  You, too, will overcome your challenges – and you may be inspired to find ways to cope with the roadblocks you’re facing.

8. Take care of your body. You may not find a job fast, and as time goes on, neglecting your body will only create an unhealthy cycle of bad habits. On the other hand, exercise produces those wonderful little endorphins that make you feel great. Cooking good meals from scratch is better for your body and mind, as well as cheaper. When your body is in its best shape, you will have the energy and mental sharpness you need to power through your job search.

9. Do good for others. Volunteering is an amazing way to feel good about yourself while making new contacts and even learning new skills. Find an organization or cause that resonates with you at Idealist or VolunteerMatch.

10. Plan time to unplug from your job hunt. It’s OK to take a designated day or two each week to do something that is not job-related.  You need time to recharge and get away from the grind. Use that time to do something for yourself, do something fun, or do nothing at all!

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