How to Stay Motivated While Job Hunting

Job hunting can be one of the most discouraging things a person can do. Most of your applications won’t be replied to, maybe because their algorithm didn’t find the right keyword in your resume. Even if you get an in-person interview, it’s never a guarantee that you’ll hear back from the employer.

Sometimes, it can seem like nothing you do is good enough. This can chip away at your mental and emotional well-being, leaving you drained and dispirited. But there are ways to remain hopeful so you can keep applying and have a better chance of finding the right job.

1. Remember, you’re not a failure. 

It’s not unusual to be jobless for six or more months in the current job market. Most companies use AI to scan resumes. They can’t see all the things you couldn’t fit on a sheet of paper.

Your skills go beyond just what you’ve learned at work, but unfortunately, that’s what resumes by design focus on. But remember that a resume doesn’t define who you are. Employer’s interests don’t make you more valued. Have confidence in yourself and keep on trying.

2. Focus on a hobby.

Dedicate a significant amount of time to something you enjoy. An ideal activity can be something with immediate results.

Video games are a great example. You could also spend time reading, cooking, or working on other creative projects.

3. Keep working if possible.

This is more applicable if you’re between jobs or recently graduated. There are websites that allow you to work remotely on freelance projects, or you can be self-employed in something like babysitting or pet-sitting. You can also do charity work.

Keep yourself busy. Working while searching for better employment can help you stay motivated.

4. Lean on your support system.

Sometimes, you need a reminder that you’re more than just a set of skills and work experiences. Be sure to spend time with your friends and family on a regular basis, whether it’s to share your frustrations or just to step outside and away from the computer for a while.

5. Minimize other stressors.

Job hunting is already stressful enough. If possible, try to keep other stresses to a minimum.

Avoid social media or limit it to a smaller circle of people. Clear out your inbox and organize your work space. Organize and rearrange your living space if it’s frustrating you. Try to avoid taking on more responsibility than necessary.

Your free time is valuable. Use it wisely and find balance.

6. Take a mental vacation.

Listen to your favorite music, go to a park and just sit for a while, or head over to the gym. Do something that gets you away from the computer and the desire to check your phone and emails constantly. Unplugging even for a short while will do wonders for your mental and emotional well-being, and a change of scenery will help you see things from a new angle.

7. Take the path lass traveled.

Maybe finding a job the traditional way isn’t working out.

Try doing temp work or seeing if your state or local government has resources to help people find jobs (for example, Pennsylvania has CareerLink). Or maybe you could start your own business. Maybe a freelance job will lead to something more stable.

You might find the right job in an unexpected place. You never know if you don’t look.

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