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Staying Motivated During Your Job Search

Ashling McWilliam for local2 sault ste. marie
September 30th, 2011 at 9:55am



This article is a column or editorial.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LOCAL2.

help wanted bigExasperated with your job search? Are you constantly thinking, ‘‘IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?’’ Job searching itself can be full time work. However, since it is not the most lucrative of positions, it can be a very trying period in life.

* Unpaid bills, mounting interest charges
* Resumes and e-mails that fail to get a response
* Family pressures (kids heading back to school)
* News about lay-offs and a plummeting economy
* The feeling of isolation when at home, rather than being surrounded by co-workers.

I know from experience, as do many others, that the fight to remain motivated can be a very difficult one. Here are some motivational tips I found helpful while searching desperately for full-time work.

Set achievable goals - While your main objective is of course to obtain a job, give yourself some smaller, more attainable daily goals. Rather than setting one challenging goal such as "I want full time work by the end of this week" set yourself smaller, more realistic goals. For example, "by the end of today I will make one contact in my field of interest" or "by this afternoon I will hand out at least 3 resumes."

Reward yourself- After reaching each of these attainable goals, reward yourself with that Tim Horton’s snack you were planning on having. I always find the coffee and donut taste that much better after having accomplished my task set out for the day.

Take a BREAK! – You need to take breaks from your employment quest. Include recreation in your schedule; play your favourite sport, read novels, take walks, go camping or skating. Job search creates tension and financial worry, if you don’t take some well needed breaks from job applications you may burn yourself out, which won’t help you or your family in the long run.

Remember Your Peak Moments- Remember those times that you triumphed. This could be when you perfected a recipe, excelled in a course or taught yourself how to use a computer program. Times of unemployment can damage your self-esteem, which is why it is absolutely imperative that you focus on your accomplishments and realize your self worth.

Maintain a sensible outlook about rejection – Try not to take rejection personally. Everyone is rejected at some point or another in life. How many people do you know who simply handed out one resume in their field of interest, got an interview, and then went on to be the selected candidate? Very few, if any. Rejection is unfortunately a reality in life, and should not be viewed as a failure but rather an opportunity to gain some feedback.

Surround yourself with sources of inspiration – Encouragement is different for everyone. Some people enjoy watching motivational films; others prefer to gain inspiration from nature. Whether you are attending seminars or reading biographies, try to surround yourself with a positive environment. Draw strength from your friends and family. If this isn’t possible try locating community or educational programs and organizations.

Change – Switch things up. Your resume and cover letter style aren’t getting any bites? Try switching up the formatting. If you’re feeling a little dodgy, change your hairstyle! Go to Value Village and find a groovy new shirt, pair it with something already in your wardrobe and voilà! You’ve changed your outfit and feel more enthused about handing out some resumes.

Whatever the case, remember you are not alone in your job search and although frustrations are normal try to remember, “When one door closes, another window opens.” Now get out there and find your window!

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