Staying motivated in your job search

Have you felt a loss of motivation and mojo in your job search recently? We have some tips!

By Michele Rapp

Job searches require persistence and resilience as they can be a mix of success, and uncertainty. The process is similar to training for a 5k race or gardening as it takes sustained commitment and effort, or the patient work of planting seedlings and waiting for them to bear fruit.

Change it up
Start by trying some new approaches. Get out of the house to do your work and try a co-working space, library or your favorite coffee shop instead. Get energized by starting the day with exercise, a class at the gym, a networking call or a lunch meeting. Spend less time online and more time interacting with people, especially to get feedback and fresh ideas.

Set goals and create structure

Experiment with setting weekly or monthly goals and find a method that works for you. Set weekly goals for networking, research and job applications combined with tracking your progress. Try to build in some rewards to look forward to. Having a system that works for you is the best form of motivation!

If you’re working fulltime, you can set goals and/or identify weekly times for your search. Emphasize quality activities over quantity: one informational interview with an innovative company can be more valuable than sending out lots of online applications.

Keep growing your list of target employers while prioritizing your time and efforts; spending about 80% of your time on networking is recommended.

Refresh and recharge

Practice self-care. Whether that means exercise or taking time in nature, find your version of self-care and utilize it. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a break from your job search.

Learn and lead

Find classes to learn new skills and grow your network. Look into adult education programs, community colleges, professional association workshops, an online learning, such as LinkedIn Learning. Engage in volunteer or leadership activities to further skills, build relationships and see the positive impact of your efforts. Investigate these opportunities through community organizations, professional groups, Idealist and VolunteerMatch. Developing a side hustle can also boost your energy, skills and income.

Michele Rapp, Associate Director of Alumni Career Strategy creates diverse professional development programs and networking events for alumni. She oversees the NUsource networking platform and guides alumni from diverse sectors and career stages to:

  • Clarify their direction
  • Develop an effective job search
  • Network
  • Advance their careers

June 6, 2022

Get support

Don’t go at it alone! Seek feedback, encouragement, accountability and fresh ideas from others, whether it’s a career coach, mentor, or job seeker’s group. Many professional associations offer opportunities to be matched with a mentor. And you can connect with fellow alumni on NUsource and LinkedIn for career insights, advice and more.