Keeping Motivated During Your Job Hunt

If you’re out of work – for a little time or a long time, make sure you don’t waste your energy on negativity.  There is no bigger turn off in a job interview than someone who is feeling down. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but there are some tips you can use to keep yourself motivated and positive as you seek employment.  And, they may help you score a terrific position.  Just searching job postings and sending a resume isn’t enough anymore unless you are VERY, VERY lucky.  So consider any or all of these possibilities:

1)  Schedule your weekdays as if looking for work is your job.  Make a plan:  What are five to ten things you need to do this week and next week?  Schedule at least a few hours every day to work your plan. Here are some ideas:

  • Online Research:  What companies are hiring, or undergoing management changes that might result in an opportunity for you?  What areas might you shift into if your old profession is shrinking?
  • Set up informational interviews to learn about companies or new professions
  • Call two to three people a week to network with;  ask them for suggestions of other introductions for further networking and for informational interviews
  • Make sure you have a terrific resume and several cover letters.  Get help from friends or professionals if you need it. Create several resume versions if you are looking at a variety of opportunities
  • Learn about social media, like LinkedIn and Face Book.  Create a presence for yourself online that could help with employment.

2) Keep your existing skills sharp or learn new ones

  • Get a part-time job doing anything that might be fun or interesting – you never know where it will lead
  • Take a class or go online to learn new skills or to improve existing skills
  • Read the latest books and periodicals in your professional area; attend trade events; look for free online webinars and research
  • Do some volunteer work that offers you an opportunity to use current skills or to learn new ones. This may also broaden your network, and at very least show a potential employer that you have been productive and will give you something to add to your resume.

3)  Allow time to do fun things.   Most of us have been working for years and rarely get a break.  Since you have time off, take advantage of it:

  • Take care of yourself:  work out, nurture a hobby that you have always been interested in – do whatever makes you happy
  • Visit friends and family that you might have neglected
  • Read great books!

4) Turn a Dream into a Reality.  What have you always wanted to do, but were too afraid or too busy to do before? Could you create a plan to get it done?  Maybe it’s a new business venture, or it’s writing a book.  Why not?

5) Put your focus on the actions you are taking, and don’t worry over the outcome.  If you work your plan daily, you will make progress.  Don’t waste time worrying that it won’t work out.  Simply do the next thing and allow it to take you where you need to go.

Remember, just because the economy has shifted, doesn’t mean that you are not worthwhile. Nor does it mean that you don’t deserve to be happy.  To the contrary, you are still your fabulous self, only now you also have an opportunity to explore, rethink, be creative, and to turn lemons into lemonade.  Yes, there may be financial considerations – but your creative potential for problem solving is unlimited if you can manage yourself away from negative thinking.

As Buddhist writer, photographer and monk Matthieu Ricard says, “Nothing goes right on the outside when nothing is going right on the inside”.   Good luck and get those insides right!

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Date: Tuesday, 16. March 2010 2:57
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