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Finding Motivation in Your Job Search

3rd Mar 2021

Job searches are filled with obstacles and challenges that can drain even the most resilient person’s motivation. Unfortunately, low motivation can start a vicious cycle that leads to a longer-than-necessary search due to a lack of focus and drive. And with the added pandemic, it can be tricky to find motivation especially when it comes to looking for new opportunities.

Here at Ansbury Guidance we have put together 8 tips to help you climb out of your motivational slump and stay focused during your job search:

  1. Plan Ahead - To ensure you make the best use of your time consider allocating set times for job searching each week to help you stay on track – perhaps two hours every evening or completing job search activities three mornings a week. It is important to remember you don’t have to look for work 24/7. People often say that looking for work is a 24/7 job, but many experts disagree with this. Any tiring work, which includes job seeking, will eventually catch up to a person regardless of their stamina. The result will be a tired worker who cannot put 100% into their tasks. Canva is a good website for templates which you can use to create a weekly plan. You can vary which days you allocate for job searching to fit around your plans but try to allocate the same amount of time each week to the activity to help you establish a routine. 
  2. Set Goals - Get specific with your to-do list. The best way to do this is to create a timeline of your goals. Start by noting down what you hope to achieve. Next, break down your goals into smaller steps and note down a schedule of when you hope to accomplish them. It is important that your goals are clear and realistic. So, instead of telling yourself - you aim to have a new job by next month, give yourself a weekly target of two or three job applications, and a networking target of two new LinkedIn/company connections each week. This are just two examples of realistic goals that can allow you to focus your attention on crafting the best job applications and networking introductions each week – without overwhelming yourself in the process.
  3. Type of Job - Strategically thinking about which roles you are going to target in your job search – are you searching by sector? Or is there a certain one or two job roles you are aiming for? Once you know which role(s) you are seeking out and applying for, you can tailor your CV to match this. Make sure you have one CV for each role - if you are open to more than one opportunity. It is critical your CV is targeted and really showcases your relevant skills and experience to the job you are going for. The National Careers Service website lists 100's of job profiles which list the skills employers look for in specific roles, to help you know which skills to include on your CV.
  4. Widen Your Job Search - Once you know what you're aiming for, use job sites such as Indeed and Reed Jobs which are great options when searching for employment or local vacancies. On these websites, you can sign up for email alerts based on the type of job you are interested in to keep you up to date with relevant upcoming opportunities. Career fairs are another fantastic way to get your foot in the door for a new job; with many currently being offered virtually, but in the near future may start to be run in-person again. Career fairs are a great way to build up contacts and they put you right in front of employers who are actively searching for new employees. Check out The National Careers Service on Facebook and LinkedIn for a list of their upcoming virtual career fairs. Networking online (specifically LinkedIn), with friends, family, and co-workers can also help open the door to new opportunities for you. Did you know that 75% of jobs are not advertised? A staggering number of people today find work through building up connections with local employers and through word of mouth!
  5. Stay Open to Opportunities - Today it’s quite common for people to have lots of different jobs within their lifetime. A range of careers can help you to learn new skills and explore which area interests you the most. To help you progress, it can be useful to remain open minded and see every job as a learning opportunity supporting you to get closer to achieving your dream role. 
  6. Up Skill - At the same time as job searching it can be beneficial to develop your employability skills. You might consider completing a short online course to help you learn new skills which you can add to your CV. The Open University and Future Learn offer lots of free educational resources and courses in a wide variety of industries. 
  7. Learn From Rejection - The job search process inevitably comes with a certain amount of rejection, so it’s important to learn how to let go of what is out of your control.  Whilst rejection can be disheartening, it can be helpful to reframe rejections into a positive - as stated by Mark Cuban (billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks) - “every no gets me closer to a yes.” If you are unsuccessful during the application process, consider asking for feedback. By identifying where you are struggling – whether it's your CV formatting or interview techniques – you can learn how to improve in the future, whilst also understand what went well. Your biggest fans can also be your most helpful critics if you ask them to be – check in with your supportive co-worker, a teacher who believed in you, or a close friend who can see your full potential. At Ansbury Guidance, we have a team of Careers Advisers who can support you to identify areas to improve and help you implement those changes.
  8. Keep a Record - It can be useful to keep a note of the jobs and companies that you make your application to, as receiving a rejection for one job does not necessarily mean that you cannot apply for other jobs within the same company. Establishing a record also allows you to see the progress you are making which can be a good motivation to encourage you on your job search. 


We hope that these tips have been useful and spur you on to continue with your job searching. If you would like more support with other aspects such as CV writing, applications and interview skills. Please feel free to contact us here at Ansbury Guidance and we would be happy to organise an appointment for you with one of our trained Careers Advisers. If you're a young person, we run lots of employability support through our range of projects. We also offer free 1:1 appointments and workshops for adults looking for employment, to support you on your individual journey.