Surviving Funemployment: How to Stay Motivated during the Job Search
Hello again, everyone! Welcome back to my ‘Surviving Funemployment’ series.
Today’s topic is on motivation which can be so fickle, especially during trying times. I’ve outlined a few tips I’ve learned through my own journey!
You are more than the job search
Don’t stop your life just because you’re job searching.
Keep up your creative and non-screen hobbies. Carve out time for family, friends, partner and pets. Volunteer. Go to the movies on the weekend. Take yourself on a solo date to a cafe.
Have goals outside of job search. Go to the gym. Cook a new recipe. Do not feel like you have to ONLY focus on job searching to get a job. This is counter-intuitive. The more you pigeonhole yourself, the more depressed and anxious you will get. Set a solid routine, wake up early, use the pomodoro method, but after 8 hours of work, let the job search go. Eat dinner, go outside, color a drawing book, talk to your family.
Don’t have a toxic routine where you’re job searching when you’re with family and friends, in line, bored, on the toilet, staying awake till 2AM on LinkedIn, etc. Set a specific time interval every day, and don’t forget to take microbreaks, drink water and eat snacks. It sounds so basic but I know a lot of people who spiral downward because they want something so bad. I also fell prey to this for a time last year. Don’t let it be you. Be patient, be consistent, and stay positive, and what you want will flow gently to you like water.
Know what you want
Above all, you need to know what outcome you desire and are working towards. This means not applying to every and all opportunities you see, but being selective and intentional when you do apply.
Outline in a document what job titles you want, skills needed, other non-negotiables like location, industry type, remote or hybrid, etc. Put your target companies in a sheet. Put the timeline by which you want a job by on your computer screen or phone or on your walls. It’s so much easier to stay motivated when you know what you want, and doing this quality over quantity approach will a) give you less rejections and b) more interviews, which means a higher chance of getting a job.
Handling Rejection like a pro
Rejection is the #1 killer of motivation for most people. I advise checking your email no more than 2 times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. That way, you’re not reading rejections emails during your day and having your positivity drop multiple times a day. And one thing I want you to remember: everyone gets rejected, and everyone gets rejected alot. But no one talks about it. That’s why you think you are unique in this, but you are not. Don’t let the rejections sway you. Just say “Oh okay, it wasn’t a right fit,” and move on. There is so much power in moving on; don’t get hung up on one position or company. Know that there is an abundance of opportunity (yes, even in a recession, and yes, even when you’ve received tons of rejections) you just have to find the ONE that is a great fit. That’s it. The more you get emotionally hung up on a few rejections, the longer you’re keeping yourself from your “yes.”
Celebrate the amazing-ness that is YOU
Celebrate small wins. Give yourself flowers for doing a certain number of coffee chats, applications, research, interviews etc. Even the smallest thing like messaging someone for a coffee chat or reaching out to a recruiter should be celebrated, you deserve to be celebrated because you have taken one step closer to your goals. Nothing is too small to make a difference. I love this quote:
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito” (Dalai Lama)
The little things add up, and matter, so they should be celebrated and that will keep you staying positive during the day even when you read rejection emails or get ghosted. And positivity, believing: “I can bounce back from anything. I can do it, I know I can” is the most impactful thing that will keep you motivated and confident.