Staying motivated

2013-06-16T00:00:00Z Staying motivatedBy BOB MOULESONG Times Correspondent
June 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

It would be a great scenario if everyone viewed the job search as an exciting and invigorating opportunity. But in reality, the process can be stressful, exhausting and emotionally draining, particularly when job candidates are coping with rejection, financial hardships, and uncertainty about their future.

It's important for job candidates to realize that the job search doesn't have to be a negative experience. Job candidates can take several small steps that can help toward a more rewarding job search.

Job candidates, who are out on the street, talking and meeting with people, are those who maintain their energy and confidence. It generally shows in their mannerisms and attitude. Even if they do not have any luck landing a job that particular day, they left an impression of positive energy wherever they went.

On the other hand, those who sit back at home and mail / email out their résumés are often those who get more discouraged. The feedback they get during the job search comes from receiving either no response or some form of a rejection letter. With each rejection letter, the attitude cringes a little bit more.

There are several small steps that a job candidate can take to motivate their job search.

· Set up some kind of office that is used to direct the job search. Make this a place to take calls, handle correspondence, keep track of research, and other pertinent job search information. A separate room works best, but even a corner in the basement can help. Make it look like an office, sans the budget. Most, if not all, that is needed is already in the house -- a desk, chair, phone, computer, Internet access, space to file materials and information, and space to work. It's important to pick a place where the job search can be conducted with the privacy needed to direct a plan of action. When in this space, the candidate is "at work."

· Maintain a normal schedule. Don't sleep late. Job candidates should prepare each morning just as if they were going to be out talking to people -- because they probably will. The job search is the job, until a real job is landed. Treat it with the same importance.

· Participate in some kind of physical fitness program. It doesn't have to cost money that can't really be budgeted right now. Job candidates can jog, walk, lift the weights that have been in the corner for five years, or other forms of exercise. The important thing is to do something. Exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety and enables one to think more clearly. Exercise also releases body chemicals that help keep depression away.

· Eat right -- balanced, reasonably sized meals. Excessive coffee can increase tension and appetite. Excessive alcohol can dull one's thinking ability. Excessive sweets and sugars can increase tension and irritability. Balance, as always, is key.

· Set weekly and daily goals in terms of contacts to make and research to conduct. Keep a record of your activity. People who devote four to eight hours to their job search per day get new jobs faster than those who devote only a few hours each week. Take time on Mondays to set up these goals, and time on Friday to document progress.

· First impressions are important, and job candidates want to make sure to maintain their appearance. That doesn't mean a three-piece suit to pick up a quart of milk, but it also doesn't mean running into a potential boss in the one outfit that'll kill the deal. Job candidates like it or not, need to be remindful that the world is the stage.

· Do as much face-to-face networking as possible. Contact network associates at regular planned intervals. A great way to face-to-face is to volunteer at a local hospital or other nonprofit organization. This is a great opportunity to meet new people who can extend the job search network. It can also provide a way to keep skills sharp.

· Limit exposure to the news. Everyone needs to know what’s going on in the world, but they don’t need to wallow in the latest dismal job-market reports.

· Avoid “glass-is-half-empty” folks. Everyone knows people like this. Minimize exposure to them as much as possible.

· Hang out with positive people who feel good. Find and stick with friends and family who are respectful, friendly, positive and upbeat.

· Be exposed to inspiring media. Choose books, blogs, magazines, movies, and TV that are uplifting.

Job candidates are often very hard on themselves when faced with daily rejection, or lack of action. It's natural to begin to feel down. But it pays to remember that setbacks are only a bump on a long career path that will have ups and downs. Those who stay positive will have a much higher success rate in the end.

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