How to stay motivated and effective in your job hunt

2008-2009, a once in a generation recession. Those out of work were desperate for results as outstanding bills piled up. Employers trying to keep their businesses solvent were inundated with applicants attempting anything they could to try and gain employment. An awful and desperate time for both sides of the equation. Now, thankfully, is a very different time.

Below are 6 ideas to ensure you remain upbeat and driven in your job hunt:

Maintain perspective

It's not 2008-2009, things could be a lot worse. Sometimes it will feel your efforts are amounting to nothing, but this can still be satisfying. Let your gratitude for the responses you do get back from employers overshadow any disappointment from those who don’t and let it inform you on what you are doing well in your application process.

Treat it as an exercise to be proud of

You can control the impression you make (mostly). This will not be your last job hunt so any new connections you make will establish your reputation with this contact. Put effort into each interaction, do your best and prepare, so you can feel proud of your efforts. The way you conduct yourself throughout the application process is how people believe you will conduct yourself at work. Be proud of the person you are portraying.

Keep improving

Feedback, feedback, feedback. The more you practice the better you get. Always ask for feedback and take it on board to improve. If you’re continually developing and getting better you give yourself a better chance to secure the role you want. Practice asking and answering questions either by videoing yourself or in person with someone you trust. Seek guidance from mentors. Note your improvements.

Know what you want

Be specific and systematic about the position you want. Each position should be prioritised as: A (I want), B (I would), C (I could). Prepare and plan for each opportunity or prospect with the relevant effort. Keep a record of your success and progress with each opportunity to plan your next efforts. Imagine yourself getting those A jobs.

Focus on the small wins

If you are out of work: Set yourself targets on the number of calls, applications or emails you send out if you are an active job hunter. When you hit the target reward yourself with a break, a cup of tea, a walk etc. When recording your progress with opportunities use a spreadsheet or chart and reward yourself when you reach each stage. As you progress you get slightly larger prizes (e.g. a coffee for a screening call, a chocolate bar for an interview, etc).

If you are employed but looking for your next role: Do the same but focus on things that increase your overall brand - connections on LinkedIn, people you have wanted to meet, branding content you have created, etc. Congratulate yourself for something every day.

Leave nothing to chance

Prepare and plan. Create the best preparation that you can for each interaction and event - the best CV, the best prepared questions, the best outfit, the best email. This could be the job that changes your life or introduces you to the person that will. Each is precious, but once it’s gone let it go. There will be another one.

If you’re patient and diligent you will eventually secure the role that you want or a role in the business you want to grow your professional career in. It’s critical you are in the correct mindset once you meet the person that will employ you, so stay positive and you may be surprised at what presents itself.

Good luck!