Job hunting isn’t easy but these strategies will help keep you motivated
Anyone who’s ever had to look for a new job, whether after being laid off or leaving an old one or coming out fresh from university or high school, will tell you that finding any type of work is time consuming, let alone landing a job that makes you feel fulfilled, both financially, physically, and mentally.
If you have some form of disability, then the job search may become even more challenging. If it’s any consolation, however, you can take solace in the fact that you’re not alone. Plenty of other job-seekers are going through the same thing, and a lot of them have successfully navigated the proverbial waters of unemployment.
Their secret? Staying motivated.
Not giving up and staying positive is key to landing a job. With that said, here are some tips to help you stay motivated as you look for employment.
1. Focus on your strengths (and your weaknesses)
Landing just any job won’t do you good. In fact, just accepting every offer, if any, that comes your way, can make your situation worse.
The important thing when job hunting is to look for work where you can apply yourself fully, which can help boost your confidence and self-esteem. Not to mention, seeking jobs where you feel that you can bring something meaningful to the table can give you a sense of satisfaction and stability, both of which are crucial to your mental health.
Now, this might mean that you’ll have to look for a job outside of your usual field of interest, but that’s okay.
It’s a lot easier to stay motivated if you know exactly what it is that you’re looking for, and by knowing your strengths, as well as weaknesses, it makes it a lot easier for you to find jobs that gives you a chance to perform at your very best.
2. Treat your job search like a job
Humans are creatures of habit. This is why it’s incredibly important to have a routine and stick with it. According to Northwestern Medicine, routines “offer a way to promote health and wellness through structure and organisation.”
But, you may ask, how do you develop a routine when you don’t even have a job yet? It’s simple. You treat your job hunt as your job. Your job is to go out there and look for a job. Everyday, when you wake up, think ahead to the day that you’re going to have. Even if you don’t have a job, you still have a lot of things to do. Program yourself to do the same set of things every day until you find a job. Doing this can go a long way in starting your day on the right note.
So, don’t wait to have a job. Stay organised. Stick to a routine. Take the time to prepare all of your essentials for the day, from an updated resume to picking out an outfit to wear, as well as what you’ll be changing into if you land an interview, as well as what other productive things you can do for the rest of your day.
It’s easier to stay focused and motivated if you’re treating your job hunt like it is your job. Not to mention, having a routine makes it easier to feel less anxious that you didn’t accomplish anything throughout the day. Because, you did, and, once the day is over, your mind is less likely to think about looking for a job so as to give you more time to focus on yourself, family, and your friends.
3. Try not to worry too much
They say that worrying is like rocking a chair — it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
This common adage makes a lot of sense.
It’s important to remember that, while worrying is a natural reaction to the uncertainty of unemployment, it’s better if you try to find something more productive to do to keep your mind occupied.
It would be best if it wasn’t related to the job search at all!
It can be anything that you can think of, from going for a long walk, to lifting weights at the gym, or even watching a movie. Doing something that you enjoy will make it easier for you not to worry too much about finding a job and give you another reason to celebrate life, which can help you stay motivated for the many days of job hunting you still have ahead of you.
4. Network as much and as often as you can
And no, we’re not talking about networking online. We’re talking about in-person networking with your friends, family, a former colleague, or even a client.
Also, don’t be afraid to seek help.
Depending on where you live, there are potentially multiple resources that people with disabilities can use to ask for support when looking for a job, like asking for help on how to deal with questions about your disability and what you’re legally entitled to disclose, as well as how to write a proper resume and even how to overcome your fear of meeting new people, plus so much more.
Ultimately, what we’re saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid to let people know that you’re looking for a job. The more people know that you’re looking for employment opportunities, the sooner that it’ll be that you’ll get hired.
5. Appreciate the small wins
You may not have landed a job today, but at least you got an interview. Or, you managed to get your card or resume into that company that you’ve always wanted to work for. It may even be something as simple as getting a phone interview!
No matter what kind of win it is, celebrate and appreciate it.
It’s easy to feel sad and to pity yourself. That’s okay. That’s a perfectly understandable reaction. But, try not to wallow in it too much. Sure, it’s important to acknowledge what you’re feeling, but it’s even more important for you to shift your focus and to celebrate all of your small wins.
Don’t hesitate to give yourself some well-deserved pat every time something good happens.
It doesn’t matter how big or how small a win is. A win is a win.
6. Don’t fixate on any employer or company
As much as you’d like to get a job at a certain company, it’s not good for your mental health to fixate on just getting that one job.
Instead of waiting for a reply, focus on applying to as many jobs that you feel is fit for you as possible. Although it would help to contact the employer or HR department for a follow-up after a week or two, it’d be better for you to just keep on applying and casting a wider net, or so to speak. Don’t consider each non-response as a setback, but rather, as an opportunity to apply for yet another one.
7. Focus only on yourself
Your value, what you can do, as well as what you can offer as an employee are the only things that you should be worrying about.
Everything else, from what your potential employers think about your disability and how other able-bodied candidates are seemingly “better” than you, is just noise and you’re better off not thinking of things that are outside of your control.
The things that you can control are the only things that matter.
Right now, what you can control is your ability to convince the hiring manager or HR professional, or whoever is in charge of interviewing you, that you are capable of handling the responsibilities entitles with the job effectively.
How you demonstrate that is up to you.
A good start is to wear proper attire when you show up, project confidence and positive body language, and answer promptly, as well as clearly, whenever a question is thrown at you.
Don’t forget, your goal is to sell yourself as the best possible candidate for the position available.
Regardless of what your situation is, focusing on your goals and on yourself, as well as finding a way for you to apply yourself in the most meaningful way possible, can go a long way in helping you find a job that can accommodate your needs.
Finding and keeping a job can be challenging. If you have a disability, injury, or health condition we may be able to help you find and keep a job. Join thousands of job seekers who have been given a new start, new skills and a new job through DSA. We find employment that fits you, not the other way around. Call us today at 1300 372 121 or make an enquiry here.