Even when unemployment is low and it is a job hunters’ market, some job searches are more challenging than others. You don’t want to just take any job. You want to find the right job. And sometimes it can take time to find the job that is right for you. More time than you’d like. And lots of effort. Setbacks and rejection and difficulties are common when job searching.
So, how do you stay motivated during a tough job search and persevere until you achieve success? Here are some tips and inspirational quotes to help.
1. Don’t Sweat What You Can’t Control
When the tough job searching challenges hit, it is very likely that you will feel overwhelmed, and the overwhelming feelings can be paralyzing and halt your progress if you let them. Don’t let them.
It can be useful to sit down and work out exactly what you can and can’t change or influence in your circumstances. Make a list of the things you have immediate control over. For example, the number of networking contacts you will make today or the amount of time you will devote to following up on past job applications. Focus on those. Make peace with the things you can’t influence such as the number of opportunities in your industry and profession and cut yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can, and that’s enough.
“Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Our focus and energy needs to be on the things we can control. Attitude, effort, focus- these are the things we can control…”
“Today, I will go out with the flow of life and trust the process. I will not stress over things I can’t control.”
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.”
2. Build a Support Network
When the going gets tough, you need your friends and loved ones. Not only can your friends help cheer you on, but talking with them about your job search goals can provide accountability. Ask them to check in with you periodically. Knowing you must report to them will help maintain your motivation even when your job search gets really tough. But your support network can help in other ways too. Others will often be able to view your search objectively and provide a new perspective, perhaps even identifying and recommending job search techniques you have overlooked.
“I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”
“Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.”
“A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”
While a supportive network of friends and family can help maintain your motivation even during the toughest of job searches, doomsayers will kill your motivation. We all have them. These are the people that tell you why you can’t do it, and why something is impossible. These are the people that encourage you to quit, or worse, give you all the reasons not to try in the first place. The problem is, you don’t have the energy to deal with them and do anything else. They’re like vampires, draining the last of your enthusiasm. Don’t waste your time, or your life, with people who will drag you down.
“Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.”
“Sometimes you have to move on without certain people. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.”
“Make sure everybody in your “boat” is rowing and not drilling holes when you’re not looking. Know your circle.”
You will make mistakes in your job search and it is easy to berate yourself when you do. But doing so is counterproductive and harmful to your motivation. Mistakes are normal. No one is perfect all the time. Self-compassion is one of the most underrated qualities. Mistakes are only a problem if you can’t learn from them. Accept the past, learn from your experiences, and adjust your actions as you move forward in your job search.
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”
“You can be discouraged by failure, or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes, make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you’ll find success – on the far side of failure.”
5. Focus on the Bright Side
If your job search is overwhelming and success is tougher to achieve than you’d hoped, it can be easy to get mired in negativity. But negativity and pessimism will drain motivation and enthusiasm. On the other hand positivity and optimism can create energy and enthusiasm. It’s not always easy finding the bright side, and when the job search gets really tough it can seem like there isn’t bright side at all. But if you always make a conscious effort to look for the opportunities in the challenges and seek to learn from the roadblocks you encounter, it becomes a bit easier to find the bright side. It might sound a little contrived but keeping an eye on the bright side will go a long way to keeping your job search motivation humming along.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.”
“Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive, good things happen.”
“Say something positive, and you’ll see something positive.”
6. Give Yourself a Gold Star
As you plan your job search, break your job search plan and goals down into smaller milestones. Then, cross them off and reward yourself as you complete them. It will help keep you motivated and on task, and you’ll be able to feel as if you are making progress in your job search, even if the search has been exceedingly tough and the progress is small. Celebrate your successes. Let yourself know that you have accomplished something. Rewarding yourself is a way to motivate yourself to continue to even greater things.
“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”
7. Take Breaks When You Need Them
Pushing yourself to continue relentlessly when you are overwhelmed or frustrated will only make you more overwhelmed and frustrated. Take breaks from your job search activities when you start to feel your motivation flagging. Get up, walk around, do something different for a bit, and when you return to your job search, you’ll have a fresh perspective. When you need to stay motivated during a tough job search, play the long game. While the saying “treat your job search like a job itself” is a smart philosophy to adopt, people take breaks from their jobs. You deserve a break from your tough job search too. Just commit yourself to returning and persevering. Success comes to those who persevere.
“The opportunity to step away from everything and take a break is something that shouldn’t be squandered.”
“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”
“In this game, everyone needs a break to refuel, recharge, and jump back in full throttle.”