Five Ways To Stay Motivated During a Job Hunt

Written by Emma Atkin

I recently found a job that I was actually excited to apply for during my job hunt. I got all my documents ready, updated my CV, and was just about to start my absolute favorite part of applying for jobs – the cover letter. However, when I clicked on the job posting, the post was gone! I called the organization to see what happened. They had hired someone internally. 

I was quite honestly, devastated. 

In moments like this, it feels easy to give up and it can be hard to stay motivated. Below are five things I do to get me up and running again during the job hunt. How do you stay motivated while you look for your next career?

1. Get Moving!

Step away from the job hunt! It may seem counter-intuitive, but it might be just what you need. Wherever you do your job hunting, whether it’s on the couch at home, local cafe, or at an office, sometimes you just need to physically get out of there and move. I’m not saying to exercise because maybe that’s not your thing. But do turn the computer off, charge your phone in another room, and just go somewhere else. 

Whatever you do in that somewhere else is up to you! For me, I like to watch an episode of my favorite series, make an especially extravagant hot chocolate, organize one of the many drawers that need organizing, or complete literally any other task that’s been on my To-Do list. You can do something indulgent or do something productive. Do whatever you feel will be best for you! The goal is to get motivated again for your job hunt.

2. Acknowledge Yourself

The job search process can be draining and create a lot of self-doubts. In these moments, reflect on your strengths and acknowledge yourself for how far you’ve come. Think about what you have accomplished already on your job search, how many applications you have done and what you have learned about yourself so far. Reflect on the people in your life who care about you, and whose lives you have a positive impact on. This is self-care central: you have the talent and skills to reach your goals. Be grateful for the experiences you have had, and that you can learn from them! 

The reality is, your value is not dependent on who responds to your applications or your future career, it’s in how you appreciate yourself.

3. Phone a Friend

Nowadays, we all usually know someone who is also job hunting or has searched for a new job in the past. So phone that family member or friend! I’ve found it helpful to set up a network of people that I can contact in these kinds of situations specifically. There are also tons of social media groups where you can post and share your experiences. You’d be surprised by how many people share your frustrations and would love to have a chat over a cup of coffee. Empower Amsterdam also has an incredible support network that you can reach out to on FacebookInstagram, and a new Meetup group. There you’ll discover a wealth of practical advice and knowledge that you can use during your career search.

4. Find inspiration from others

Use this time to further evaluate what it is you really want from your next position. What I found helpful was finding five people who I admire and uncovering their career journey. Try it! If you know them, even ask them to meet up for a walk or coffee.

Afterward, ask yourself some follow-up questions:

  • Could the kind of position they have or that environment give me energy? If not, what would?
  • What skills do I need to develop or learn to get the position they have? 
  • Out of all the people you talked with, whose job do you want to have in three, five or even ten years? 

You could end up finding out about a career you’ve been dreaming about or choosing something totally different! This activity is basically an informational interview and is useful to reevaluate your career goals and maybe explore what a new career option looks like.

5. Find a coach

Today, there are coaches to fit everyone’s needs. Sometimes what you need is for someone impartial to hear you out, trust that you can handle this, and hold you accountable in a way that feels empowering to you. If any of you have the constant pressure about your career search progress from friends and family, a coach is the exact opposite of that, and I can recommend it for everyone! If you’re an international in the Netherlands, then Empower Amsterdam can help connect you to a coach right away. If you’re employed and looking for a career search, feel free to look at our page of international coaches. If you’re unemployed we offer free coaching, all you need to do is sign-up here.

Contact Empower Amsterdam today to see what works for you. After my set-back, I cleaned out my closet, helped out a friend with a professional project and signed up for a coach with Empower Amsterdam.