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How to stay motivated whilst looking for employment

Discover our top ten tips for keeping motivated whilst finding a job


Finding employment can take a long time, so it’s extremely important that you stay motivated whilst you’re looking for a job. There are numerous ways you can boost your spirits and stick with your job search, here are our top ten:

  1. Stick to a routine

Introduce or stick to a routine as though you are working; this will help you feel motivated whilst you are looking for work. Consider the job search your current work; ensuring you distribute your time evenly, for example during the working day you would plan which tasks you’ll do and when, you should do the same when you’re looking for work (e.g. allocate the morning to improving your CV and the afternoon applying for a job).

  1. Set daily and/or weekly goals

Setting daily or weekly goals will allow you to assess how much progress you’re making with your job search. Ticking off each achievement (when you have completed them) will help boost your motivation because you’ll realise that you’re making progress with your job search and in turn you’re one step closer to your dream job.

  1. Stay tidy and organised

Having an allocated desk or worktop which you keep tidy can help you focus and stay motivated. If you’re applying for jobs from your bed or a messy table then you might be less productive and might even feel more stressed. Organisation can help to ensure that you stay motivated and that you’re working at your maximum capacity, e.g. keep a checklist of the jobs you have applied to and the ones that you want to apply to, that way you don’t apply for the same job twice.

  1. Balanced diet and exercise

Ensuring you’re eating a balanced diet and exercising can do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing, including increasing your motivation. Make sure you get plenty of sleep and take time during the day to get some exercise, such as a walk in the morning before you start searching for jobs.

  1. Job-life balance

Just as workplaces promote a healthy work-life balance, you should embrace a healthy job searching-life balance. Use the day time to apply for jobs, allowing yourself to take appropriate breaks during the day, and then have the evenings and weekends away from the job search. Looking for employment in every waking second will quickly leave you feeling unmotivated and exhausted.  

  1. Apply, apply, apply!

The more jobs you apply to, the more likely you’ll hear back from some of them and get an interview. Even if you don’t think that you’re quite right for the role but are interested in it or want to know more about it, then apply for the job and let the company decide whether you are the right candidate. Remember not to get application crazy though; only apply to the jobs that you actually want.

  1. Support system

Having a strong and reliable support system can help to keep you motivated because having encouragement from others will motivate you to try, and then succeed. Your support system could be: your career advisor, network connections you might have (i.e. your previous manager or a school teacher) or your friends and family. As well as keeping you on track with your job search, these people can also check over your CV, cover letter and/or applications for grammatical errors.

  1. Having a personalised plan

Writing down your career goals helps keep you motivated because you’re able to see where you want to be in 5 or 10 years’ time and devise a personalised plan of how you can get to where you want to be. Similar to setting yourself daily and weekly goals, your personalised plan and career goals can help you measure your progress.

  1. Believe in yourself

Believing in yourself can help keep you motivated when you’re looking for employment, because you are essentially selling yourself to businesses, and in order to do this successfully you must believe that you are worth it. Companies aren’t looking for someone to fill the role, they are looking for the best candidate to fill the role and by believing in yourself you’ll give your potential employer reason to believe in you too; it’s a domino effect of success!

  1. Don’t take the rejection too hard

Rejection is a part of life, especially in the world of employment. If you take each rejection in your stride then you won’t lose motivation, but if you take it to heart then you won’t feel like applying for any more jobs. Nobody likes feeling like they aren’t good enough, but just remember that there’s something bigger and better waiting for you. Consider rejection a two way street; not every job will want you and you won’t want every job.