Have you found yourself back on the job hunt? As employers make cutbacks on promotions, training opportunities and unfortunately, in some cases, their headcount, you may feel overwhelmed and directionless when job hunting in a post-pandemic market. However, while you may feel like your career has taken a backwards step, it’s important not to allow this ‘bump in the road’ to stall your career.

Whether you’re re-entering the jobs market, or your job hunting for the very first time, the process of looking for your dream job, applying for jobs and interviewing (and interviewing remotely) for jobs can be daunting for anyone, especially if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Keeping up a positive morale and staying optimistic all of the time can be difficult. So, in our Keeping Your Career on Track series, our recruitment specialists have outlined their top tips to help you stay motivated on the path to your dream job:

1. Set yourself targets

Set realistic goals for yourself i.e. instead of setting out to apply to 20 jobs in one day, go for quality rather than quantity. Starting with small but effective actions such as cleaning up your LinkedIn profile, following target businesses and connecting with the right people in your industry will help expose you to your opportunities of interest. Setting unrealistic targets will only leave you dissatisfied when you cannot reach them.

2. Outline a plan

Start with the basics. Ask yourself questions such as ‘What companies are top of my priority list?’. Outlining even your top five preferred companies can help you to devise a smart and targeted plan for your job search. Next steps include researching your chosen top five and learning about the companies, competitors in their industry, skills requirements, employment offers and career growth opportunities to figure out what it is you're looking for and how your skill set matches up. Setting a clear plan in place can help you tick the boxes along the way and stay on track.

3. Visualise your dream job

Where can you see yourself working? Visualise your dream job- your dream job title, company, salary, location. Picturing yourself in your ideal situation, while also visualising the end result, can help you remind yourself why you’re doing this and what you’re doing it for. Creating a ‘vision board’ can help with this.

It is important to be kind to yourself during this process. Encourage yourself the way you would like someone else to support you during a job search, and remember your value doesn’t decrease just because someone else hasn’t noticed it yet.

4. Subscribe to motivational speakers

Research motivational speakers and subscribe to watch or read their content. You might be surprised at how watching one ‘Ted Talk’ for example, can spark an idea or give you that extra push you were looking for. Once you’ve found speakers you identify with, set up alerts so you’re notified of their new content, that way you’ll never miss an opportunity to learn!  

5. Subscribe to industry specific blogs

Use this time to surround yourself with leaders in your industry. Keeping up to date with their content can allow you to become familiar with the market and any industry specific updates or advancements. Becoming more knowledgeable about the industry will allow you to engage in a higher standard of discussion at interview stage.

6. Create a portfolio of testimonials

Creating a collection of any testimonials you might have, can help remind yourself of your skills and talents that you perhaps have not highlighted on your CV. This can be anything from a LinkedIn endorsement, to a client review, or a manager’s feedback. While you can reference these testimonials to potential employers during the interview process, they also benefit your personal motivation. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and be proud of how far you’ve come.  

7. Practice gratitude

It’s important to remind yourself of all of the things you are grateful for, both personally and professionally. A great way to stay motivated is to write down three things at the end of each day that you are thankful for. Reading back on these points at the end of the week can help highlight all of the positives and push through uncertainties or insecurities that have been holding back your job search.

8. Explore where you can add value

The best way to feel valued, is to support and show appreciation for others. Give back to those around you who may help you along your job hunt journey by sending a thank you note. On a broader level, from volunteering for a local cause, raising money for charity, to helping out with a project you believe, charitable acts put you in good stead to build positive relationships and realise that your actions make an impact.

9. Avoid being your own worst enemy

When things don’t go as planned, the first person we are hard on is often ourselves. It is important to be kind to yourself during this process. Encourage yourself the way you would like someone else to support you during a job search, and remember your value doesn’t decrease just because someone else hasn’t noticed it yet. Keep on going until your potential is seen and heard by the right employer.

10. Know your support network 

Some people lift you up, motivate you and bring out the best in you. Surround yourself with these kinds of people, who want what’s best for you. The positive energy of a strong support network will encourage you to push on and strive for the right role for you.

Take a look at how to find a job from the comfort of your couch.

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