Staying Motivated During Your Job Search While in a – Hello! – Freaking Pandemic!

We don’t have to tell you that it’s rough out there: about 31.8 million plus folks are out of work nationwide (as of early July).  In fact, Los Angeles County itself had an unemployment rate of 19.4 percent in June.

So it’s understandable that, if you’ve been looking for work for two or three months, that your job search motivation might be, shall we say, “lagging” a bit.

Yes, it’s rough, but if there’s one thing to focus on, it’s this:

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You are a job seeker of one. There’s one of you; you need just one job. Don’t worry about ALL the other people applying to the jobs available. Instead, focus just on getting the job you need.

That said, even if you’ve been looking for work for weeks with no luck, even if you feel beaten down and just can’t bear to look at a job board ever again, let alone send in an application, you definitely can get your motivation back. Here’s how.

Set short-term goals

You’ve done tough things in your past. Perhaps you’ve:

  • Given birth/gone through labor
  • Run a marathon
  • Lost 50 pounds
  • Saved up money for a new laptop (rather than put it on a credit card)

What do those things have in common? They were relatively short-lived and you looked forward to a specific outcome when you finished them. You knew “the end” was coming.

Looking for work, on the other hand, has no set timeline. You don’t know when “the end” will come. You have a goal – get a new job – but it has no set endpoint that you can control.

So set short-term goals. Goals such as:

  • You will reach out to 15 people by Friday.
  • You will apply to 15 jobs by Friday. (This is a different goal than the one above because reaching out to people is different than applying for jobs. In addition, you will tweak your resume/cover letter to be specific to each position to which you’re applying.)
  • You will post at least one comment on the LinkedIn groups to which you belong by Friday.
  • And so on.

Give yourself rewards for meeting each goal.

And we do mean EACH goal! Looking for work is hard (as you well know). It’s definitely “not fun” (putting it lightly). You definitely should celebrate when you reach a goal. You truly deserve it!

Focus on processes, not results

Your goals shouldn’t be, “I’ll get a job by the end of September.” “I’ll get 2 interviews a week in August.” Why shouldn’t you make these types of goals? Because you have no control over whether the goal will “be met.” (For example, you have no control on whether a hiring manager will call you in for an interview.) Instead, focus on what you can control: the process. Send out X resumes a week. Reach out to X people per week. And so on. Work the process and the process will work for you.

Keep looking and you WILL land a job!

It’s amazing what consistently “working the process” does when it comes to just about anything (weight loss, exercise, learning a new skill, etc.). It’s the same with the job search, no matter what the “conditions” are surrounding your efforts, setting small, process-focused goals – and meeting them – will help you get your job-search mojo back and land you a job sooner than you may think.

Helpmates has several job opportunities available right now and many of them need people to start working immediately. Take a look at our current openings and follow the instructions for applying to the ones that interest you.

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