How to stay motivated during a job search

Some outplacement candidates are keen to start their job search immediately. Others see leaving an organisation as a welcome opportunity to take some time out and catch up on all those things they never seemed to have time for when they were all-consumed by their career. Some can lose their way and feel that the right opportunities aren’t out there for them. In all cases, keeping motivated is crucial. 

Our experienced outplacement coaches have put together five top tips based on how they have supported people over the years. They are designed to help you successfully secure your next role.

1. Plan and establish a routine

Approach your next career move as a full-time job in itself. This gives you focus and a reason to get up every morning. You should aim to spend at least six hours a day proactively applying yourself to whatever it takes to secure that ideal next opportunity. Don’t give up after a few hours and think you’ll make the time up another day. You have a target to meet. There’s always something you can do to move yourself closer to it.

2. Respect yourself and keep up appearances

It is easy to loaf about all morning in your pyjamas, eating cereal at your lap top and doing job research with another eye on Cash in the Attic. There are dozens of distractions, particularly at home, and it is easy to waste time. Would this behaviour be tolerated at work? Would it be considered productive?

3. Be social

Part of those six hours a day includes getting out and about. Meet existing contacts for coffee. That alone can jog peoples’ memories about opportunities or contacts that might be useful to you. It doesn’t matter if you know them through work or social activities. They have their own circle of contacts and it can be surprising how one thing leads to another. Attend local business events – not just job fairs but seminars with talks by local business people. Many of these are free or low cost. You may be surprised at those little nuggets of information you glean from these encounters – chance remarks which open up potential opportunities for you to explore – plus the opportunity to extend your network.

4. Make time to exercise each day

Looking for your next career move can be stressful so you need to look after your wellbeing. You don’t have to subscribe to a gym. Even going out for a 30 minute each walk each day will do you good, physically, mentally and emotionally – and it’s free. Your head will clear, making room for ideas to float to the surface. The physical activity will release positive endorphins, enhancing your mood as well as keeping up your fitness levels. If you’re lucky enough to catch some sunshine, the natural Vitamin D will boost your immune system and make you feel positive.

5. Remember, you are not defined by your job

You may have spent years, decades even, introducing yourself at meetings and events with a job title and an employer. It is natural that something seems to be missing. First of all, understand that this is a totally natural feeling – that sense of belonging has disappeared. You’re out on your own with no team around you. But you will survive. Reflecting on who you are and what’s important to you in your life, both personally and at work, will help overcome any sense of loss.

Connor has been helping people with career transition for over 25 years. Talk to us to find out more about our outplacement services.


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