How to stay motivated during a job search

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Looking for a new job can be really exciting. Whether you’re looking for a career change or just looking for your next role, it’s the first step toward the next chapter in your work life.

But let’s be honest – job hunting can be super overwhelming at times. Not every interview or application is going to be a success. So how can you keep your head up and put your best foot forward, even when the going gets tough?

We reached out to members of our Slack community to get their advice for staying motivated during a job search.

Focus on the good

Stop focusing on the doom and gloom. Dwelling on the not-so-fun parts of the recruiting cycle can make everything feel more daunting than it needs to be. It’s important to remember that you’re more than your job search. 

If you start attaching your self-worth to it, it gets much harder to stay motivated. Because it's tough to keep doing something that hurts you. - Shafaq

Reframe your perspective and think about the things that you’ve learned and the things that you’ve done well. Even if you haven’t snagged your next role, you’re almost guaranteed to grow throughout the process. And remember, you’re more than the results of your job hunt.

The biggest thing that I’ve found that’s keeping me motivated lately is seeing the improvement in my own interview skills and that really comes down to reps and practice. - Alek

I think of all the awesome things I learned, how I've become smarter through networking, and how I've become more polished. Every opportunity I had (interview, phone call, case) was a chance to level up once more. - Raza

Keep moving forward

There will almost always be losses and rejections during the recruiting process. Maybe it’s not hearing back on your applications or not making it past a case interview you worked really hard on. We’ve all been there, and that’s not a fun experience for anyone. 

That’s why one of our community members, Alek, suggests keeping things moving on the search. Learn from your experience, and then keep moving forward. Look for the next thing you can be excited about. From potential roles to prospective companies, there are so many things in the job process that you can look forward to. It will also keep your mind off of any difficult situations you’ve encountered along the way.

Making sure to keep the pipeline moving forward so losses don’t hurt as much. - Alek

Make connections

Meeting new people and networking can help keep you motivated throughout the recruiting process. Not only is social connection good for your soul, but it can also help provide valuable information throughout the process.

One of the things that kept me going was just meeting people for coffee chats. I used to write into founders and VCs and go out to meet them if they responded. - Sandeep

This is particularly true if you’re looking to make a career pivot. The right mentors and connections can help introduce you to new people and provide insight into industries (or roles) that you’re interested in.

Get some physical exercise

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to keep yourself physically active. Making a career change can be draining. Don’t underestimate how much getting some exercise can really improve how you feel both mentally and physically.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out and run a marathon. Even a walk can help you reap the benefits.

Shutting my laptop and going for a long walk. Physical exercise really helps me with mental health. - Sandeep

If you’re having trouble finding the motivation for physical activity on your own, join up with some friends! Not only can it make exercise more fun, but you’ll have people around you to support you through the hiring process.

A brisk walk in na­ture with a friend com­bines three of the most ef­fec­tive stress-re­duc­ing and re­silience-build­ing tech­niques, ac­cord­ing to psy­chol­o­gists and sci­en­tific re­search: phys­i­cal ex­er­cise, so­cial con­nec­tion and spend­ing time in na­ture. - Abishek

Celebrate the wins along the way

The ultimate win for a job search is landing that perfect role. But there are so many things along the way that help get you there. Take the time to celebrate every little win. 

I haven’t given up, due to lots of positive reinforcement from peers and mentors in the community. Also, taking some breaks and celebrating small wins! Motivating each other. – Aya

From revamping your resume or learning a new skill, to moving on to the next round of interviews. These wins will help you feel like you’re moving in the right direction. 

Plus, it’s great practice for celebrating that big win at the end of the tunnel.

Final thoughts

A job hunt doesn’t always go the way you plan. In those moments, it can be really easy to lose motivation. Hopefully, some of these tips from real individuals in our community can help you through the process.

While it might not happen overnight, your next role is out there waiting for you.

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