As the weeks turn into months, it's likely you may feel DEMOTIVATED in your job search. Finding your perfect job while facing personal and financial pressure is no easy feat. Staying motivated requires a strong foundation in your attitude towards how you face your job search.
KEEPING A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
Firstly, you must maintain the perspective that there are always jobs. If your job search method isn't finding them, change it. Be creative, be persistent, be organized! Secondly, remember that REJECTION does not make you an unworthy worker or a bad person. It just didn't work out for that particular job. Don't give up! There is a good job out there for you -- in fact, there are many. Keep your head up, and you'll find them!
LOOKING BEYOND THE JOB
Finally, understand that this period of unemployment likely has a deeper MEANING in your life, which you cannot yet see. Most of the unemployed people with whom I have worked later say that being unemployed was a positive thing for them. In many cases, it gave them a chance to REASSESS what they really wanted and needed out of life, to make positive changes, and made them much more resilient in the face of other crises. With this foundation then, here are some tips to help you stay motivated through your job search:
STAY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY HEALTHY
Don't let being out of work affect your health. Eat well and exercise regularly. Practice relaxation and STRESS MANAGEMENT techniques. If you have a spiritual life, put energy into that. When you feel down, use a simply acronym to check in on your health -- HALT -- are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Chances are when you are feeling low, one of these areas needs adjustment.
Although it may be uncomfortable to have so much free time, use it to get in touch with your full TALENTS. Take a class you've been putting off. Read up on professional journals and trade magazines. Do some self-assessment exercises to understand your true interests and values for your new job. You may find that the time you spend not worrying about a job will be the time when you make realizations about yourself that will lead to a better job in the end.
CATCH UP ON THE THINGS YOU'VE MISSED
Finish those household projects that you have put off. Talk more with your children and family. Write letters to friends. Read those books you never had time for before. Many times these activities offer you the true GIFTS you can receive from this otherwise uncomfortable moment in your life.
TREAT YOUR JOB SEARCH AS A FULL-TIME JOB
You have probably heard this before but it's a critical part of staying focused. This is not to say that you have to search from 9-5 every day. Gauge how PRODUCTIVELY your time is being spent. If you are tired or frustrated, you will only get out what you put in. Try going to a place outside the home every day to work on your job search -- such as the library. The ROUTINE of getting out can almost feel like going in to work.
CREATE A TO-DO LIST FOR THE WEEK
This list could include the networking calls you will make that week, the web sites you will review, the time you will spend at the public library doing research. Once you have completed the items on your list you can relax and be less likely to worry about what you should be doing, knowing that you are working toward your goal on a REGULAR basis.
CONTINUE TO NETWORK
Meet people for lunch, after hours for a drink, go to seminars and open houses. Staying fresh and AVAILABLE to people within your industry will give you something to look forward to and make the time pass more easily. You never know where it can lead -- dig in deep to find that right contact.
Take a few hours each week to volunteer at your favorite church or charity. It will give you something to feel good about and remind you of what you do have. Plus, you never know what CONTACTS you might make through your volunteer work.
FORM A SUPPORT NETWORK
Rely on your friends and family to encourage you and provide you assistance. Be SPECIFIC as to what they can best do to help you.
FIND A PART-TIME JOB
There is nothing wrong with waiting tables or signing on with a temp agency. It may even lead to a PERMANENT job. Showing your desire to stay active in any capacity makes a positive impression with interviewers and is certainly understandable in this economy.
Reflect on the time you've spent so far. Measure your RESULTS, analyze areas of weakness, or look for ways to IMPROVE your strategy. Pat yourself on the back for maintaining your determination and drive towards find your next perfect job!
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
With a strong foundation in a positive attitude, structure and support you will get through this "bubble" in time. You will be able to look back on this challenge with pride and a deep realization that you were RESOURCEFUL and resilient! Keep your chin up and your feet forward!
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