Quick ways to stay motivated in your job search - Secrets of the Job Hunt Career Podcast

The average job search in the U.S. is 4-6 months and slightly shorter in Canada. Dismaying statistics.

Keeping up your motivation to spend another day gathering leads, making contacts and polishing your hiring package can be daunting, never mind the constant rejection. Do yourself a favour. Be kind to yourself in this competitive job market and don't abandon your search altogether.

However, here are some quick strategies to stay motivated and competitve:

1. Focus on what is going well rather than not well. As a career coach who is certified in solution-focused interviewing and counselling, I really believe in seeing the positive in any situation. "Solution-talk" is replete with positivity. For our purposes, this means really identifying your successes, however small. Did you make another cold call in person today? Did you persuade a decision maker or influential person to set an informational interview with you in the next week? Did you step out of your comfort zone to try something completely different in your job search, as in using the telephone or tapping into the hidden job market strategically?

These are all small successes which add up to dividends in your job search. Write them down. Post them on your fridge. Celebrate and revisit those small successes for a later day.

2. If you are losing motivation, ask yourself, "Is my self-talk preventing me from reaching my goals?" Self-talk refers to the endless ream of messages that may consume your brain and drive negative behaviour. Self-talk can be positive or negative. It's simply your choice.

Replace your "old" self-talk (negative self-defeating beliefs?) with "new self-talk," Talk back to yourself positively. Despite the evidence and commonality of a long job search these days, be honest with yourself in evaluating your job search activities. Is your negative self-talk valid? Are you negative beliefs reflecting the whole picture of what's going on during your job search?

3. Ask yourself," What do I need to change to move forward in my job search? How important is change? Identify any roadblocks you may have and replace them with possible solutions.

4. Focus on achieving your goals. Motivational speaker and multi-millionaire Brian Tracy emailed me an article today on seven goal-setting questions we need to ask ourselves repeatedly. In my opinion, one of them was particularly meaningful to a successful job search:

"What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt? Fear is a common emotion to experience in a job search, especially a prolonged one. (Just today a client admitted only at the end of our first meeting that she was afraid. Very common). This question helps you see more clearly where your fears could be blocking you from doing what you really want to do. "

What's my favourite goal-setting question of all time?

"What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" Wow, a powerful question that elicits so many possibilities. And that what staying motivated means in a job search. Envisioning possibilities of what MORE you could do to maintain your energy level and pursue your job search.

5. Kick your BUT's (roadblocks again)

Has your brain pumped produced this negative self-talk:" I want to work BUT...."

Replace that statement with "I want to work AND...."

Perhaps earn more money, have more responsibility or gain credibility in your industry or chosen field.

Remember, unemployment is temporary. Maintaining your motivational level can be a permanent strategy in your personal and professional life.

Melissa Martin, bilingual career coach and ebook author, How to use social media in your job search


Follow me on Twitter @ravingredhead or on Facebook: melissacynthiamartin

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