Staying motivated whilst looking for jobs

It can be hard to remain motivated and positive in the transition between university and your next step. And the phrase finding a job is a full-time job is true! Plus, being turned down or not even hearing about an application is not a great feeling. Here are a few things to consider.

Being organised

There are a lot of logistics that go into looking for a new job. You must keep track of not only all the jobs you applied for and which documents you sent in, but also which companies have got back to you, which have scheduled interviews, when those interviews are, what you need to prepare, when to follow up and so on. It is a lot to manage and you do not want to drop the ball so the best thing to help is be organised. Being organised makes things easier which I think will keep you be a bit more motivated.

A system that allows you to stay on top of the details is the best way but everyone is different so you will need to find one that makes sense to you. You might try:

  • A spreadsheet – For every application you send, add a row with the company’s name, date of application, job applied for, a link to the website, contact name, etc. Also, remember to save a copy of the job description because it will be removed online as soon as the deadline is reached – I have seen numerous students floundering because they forgot to do this and are preparing for an interview for a job that is important to them. As you go through the process you can add columns for interview dates/ times and maybe a section for notes. 
  • A project management app – Maybe a spreadsheet is not your style so how about an app that helps with your planning.  I am not an expert in this area but I have found apps on, Trello, Asana and Wrike. Why not check these and others out yourself if you like the idea.
  • Old school style – some may like hard copy versions as they like seeing everything printed so a folder/ binder might do the trick.

In addition to these organisational tools, set up a file on a platform that allows you to access the relevant files from anywhere. Set up a folder for each organisation and save your CVs/ letters, applications forms, presentations and their correspondence, etc. 

Keeping positive

A support network is important so talk to your friends and family about your next career steps. Online tools can also be a support and I like TEDX talks as there are many free talks covering a range of topics that are only minutes long that can motivate and inspire. Check them out here: TEDx Talks | Watch | TED

Take days off

Doing something job-search related every day, from connecting with alumni on LinkedIn to targeting your CV to searching job sites for every type of entry-level position imaginable can burn you out.

Everyone is different but a good way to deal with a motivational slump of any sort is to take a few days off. By taking a few days off here and there, can help refocus and enable you to tackle the search. You will get there, have the belief!

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