Perhaps you’re nearing the end of your PhD, or are looking to challenge yourself and make your next career move. Motivated by thoughts of your dream position and keen to put your knowledge and strengths to use, your job search gets off to a positive start. But as the weeks go on, you can find yourself with no job offer, dipping morale and a daily struggle to maintain that early enthusiasm. To combat this I’ve put together my top tips to help ensure you remain motivated during your job search!
1) Have a job search strategy
Before you start job hunting, set out a strategy detailing your job search goals. For example, you might have certain organisations you want to target, specific places you want to search for jobs, or you may have knowledge gaps in a particular industry that you want to plug. These goals will guide your actions, helping you remain on task and ensuring your job search is effective.
2) Take action
You can spend all day searching through online job listings, scrolling through email job alerts and reading newspaper job pages. However, a successful job search involves much more than this. You need to actively pursue opportunities rather than waiting for the perfect job to fall into your inbox. Seek out networking opportunities to keep abreast of developments within your chosen industry and connect with relevant people. Keep your social media accounts up to date and use them to post about your career-related interests and grow your online network. I guarantee by taking action of things within your control rather than waiting for the next job alert email you’ll uncover more opportunities and feel far more motivated!
3) Have a support network
Every job search has its ups and downs, and just like a marathon, you need a support crew of positive people to help you through the low points. You might want to tell a couple of friends about your job search and check it’s ok with them to offload or seek advice when needed. Most will appreciate you asking and be more than happy to help. Conversely, try to avoid negative people during your job search; you don’t need people telling you how difficult the job market is or that there’s a lack of good jobs in your industry. Have confidence in your job search plans and stay positive!
4) Remind yourself of your achievements
It’s natural to have moments of self-doubt when you’re putting yourself in front of employers and potentially dealing with rejection. Nevertheless, it’s essential you have techniques to move past these moments to ensure they don’t derail you and impact on your confidence levels. One great idea comes from Aimee Bateman (founder of www.Careercake.com) who suggests you create a ‘brag file’ containing a collection of positive feedback you’ve received from colleagues, employers and/or clients and notes of other key achievements in your career. Keep this up-to-date and use it in those low moments to remind yourself of how brilliant you are!
5) Keep your motivation levels topped up
Remember that life is more than a job search. Although it can seem all-consuming, it’s not healthy to dedicate all your time to this one task. Take time to identify what motivates you and makes you happy – this will mean something different for everyone and could be listening to uplifting music, watching TED talks, exercising or socialising for example. Schedule time for these activities alongside your job searching tasks and I guarantee this will lead to a more productive and happier you!
It’s not easy searching for a job but hopefully by taking the above tips on board you’ll be better equipped for (and may even enjoy) the journey!