5 essences to help you stay motivated during your job search
2. Act one step ahead:
use your effort to achieve more goals than just finding a job.
Finding a job might take some months, even if you are a high-quality candidate and you work hard at it. This is probably not a new piece of information for you, but the fact that you already know it, doesn’t make it any less difficult, does it?
What can help you feel less bothered by the time demands, is finding a strategy for working on your job search while at the same time achieving other results and fulfilling other needs.
The key is using the perspective “one step ahead”. Sooner or later you will find a job (yes, you will!), but how can you use all the work you put into it so that it’s also an investment in your future working life and career, beyond the point of getting a job offer?
Although your main objective now is to find a job, try to list some other goals as well that you can achieve while working on the 8 tasks towards finding a job.
JOB SEARCH TASK 1: Explore what would be the ideal job for you.
ONE STEP AHEAD: If your next job is to be in the direction of your future career, do you know what the ideal direction for you is? What would you like to be doing at the peak of your career in this field? Which possible pathways lead there?
JOB SEARCH TASK 2: Decide how flexible you are ready to be for now.
ONE STEP AHEAD: If you consider your next job to be just one step in your long-term career, how flexible are you ready to be (= what type of job positions and work conditions would be acceptable for you) within that step?
JOB SEARCH TASK 3: Get information about the relevant labour market and develop contacts for now and later.
ONE STEP AHEAD: What type of contacts would be helpful for you – for now and the future? How could you start developing them already?
JOB SEARCH TASK 4: Identify relevant vacancies and opportunities.
ONE STEP AHEAD: Once you have a job target, how can you learn about job openings that meet your criteria? What can you do now to increase your chances of hearing about current and future non-published job openings? When making a list of potential employers, include those that do not have job openings right now – you can keep checking on them, or use the list as a useful database of organizations in the field, later on.
JOB SEARCH TASK 5: Reconsider the width of your job target
ONE STEP AHEAD: If your job target is too narrow or too wide, what would help you optimize it step by step? Which criteria could you adjust in the future to preserve those that are the most important to you?
JOB SEARCH TASK 6: Work on your self-presentation.
ONE STEP AHEAD: Which self-presentation skills would be useful for you now and also in the future? Which ones should you focus on developing?
JOB SEARCH TASK 7: Apply, and follow up on your applications.
ONE STEP AHEAD: How should you write applications and follow up on them, so that they make a positive impression and “keep the door open for you”, even when they do not select you right away? How could you use (all) your job interviews to learn more about the industry and develop useful contacts for the future?
JOB SEARCH TASK 8: Keep developing your knowledge and competences.
ONE STEP AHEAD: Which competences and knowledge would you like to gain in the next months or years? Which of them could you already be developing, so that you can add them to your CV later on?
Every task you fulfil, every goal you achieve and every day you keep committed to your work, means some progress towards a quality working (and private) life. Value every step, and enjoy the journey.