Stay motivated whist job hunting

Looking for a new job isn’t easy. It’s a road paved with failure and rejection. Constantly making your way to the next interview and then waiting and hoping that maybe this time they’ll reply with good news.

Lately, I’ve spent my time rewriting and redesigning my CV, creating profiles on thousands of sites, (some of which I can’t even remember the name of anymore), updating my LinkedIn page and building a new portfolio website. Trying to find that magic ingredient that not only gets you an interview, but will ultimately land you the job.

It’s tough when you have a belief in yourself and know that you can add value to the roles that you are applying for, but get little in a way of response. Over the last 3 months, I estimate that I’ve applied to over 80 companies and have been invited to maybe 6 interviews in that time. Statistically that’s not a great percentage of return.

It’s hard to stay motivated when the only thing you’re faced with is a deafening silence and rejection. Your thoughts often wander and doubt starts to creep in. ‘Maybe it’s me?’, ‘Am I too old for this industry?’, ‘Am I actually good at what I do?’. Maintaining that self belief that got you into the industry in the first place becomes difficult in the face of rejection.

Staying Motivated.

In the words of Winston Churchill :

That’s not to say looking for work can be equated to some of the most hellish processes on earth, but when you’re in it it’s easy to lose focus and see the light at the end of the tunnel, or a job at the end of your CV.

Keeping yourself motivated during that time isn’t easy. God knows I’ve had days over the past few months where I don’t feel like getting out of bed, when I feel that sending out any more applications is pointless. But then I pick up the ruined pieces of myself and keep going again. I have to, as I want a job. I WANT to work goddammit!

We’re always told, ‘if you want something enough, then you can get it’, and that, although it doesn’t seem it at times, has to be true doesn’t it?

With that phrase in mind, I try to get up each day and motivate myself to become better. To achieve something every day, however small, that will give me a sense of achievement.

Finding what motivates you.

You need to find the things that interest you. Not simply to try and get you that next job, but something that will engage you and push you to become better. Set yourself a goal and work on it each day, whether it’s creative writing, developing an app, designing a poster or just engaging with your community. There’s always something that can help you to be a better version of your(already amazing)self.

For me I decided to start writing my thoughts and opinions down and post them here, giving myself a task that I would write something new once a week. It’s become an incredibly cathartic and interesting experience, and I’m humbled to see how many people are interested in what I write. My first article has now has been read now over 1k times, which is amazing and makes me feel great! (thank you to everyone for that :D )

I also, after reading Esther Crawford’s amazing article, was inspired to create a similar resume style Chat Bot that I can now use to help me find work. I’ve spent the last two weeks researching human interaction design, building it and speaking with some incredible people who’ve helped me create something that I now feel incredibly proud of.

It’s not easy, but I’m convinced that keeping myself motivated will pay off eventually. It’s already helped me to feel better about myself and give me back some of the confidence I lost from those initial rejections. But I have to keep working at it, becoming better at it all, because it’s all to easy to fall back into feeling dejected once you receive yet another email saying ‘ thanks, but we’ve decided to pursue a different candidate.’

Motivating yourself is difficult yes, but once you start working at something that interests you, you’ll be more ready for what comes next. And what comes next could just be that dream job.

“We attract what we’re ready for. — unknown.”

What are your thoughts on keeping that motivation whilst looking for a job? Any advice of tips for me? Any suggestion for other ways to keep motivated?

Let me know below or over on twitter, as ever I’d love to hear from you. :)


For more thoughts, head on over to my blog here or follow me on twitter: @butterhalfsix