A good friend of mine has been out of work for over a year and a half after being laid off from a senior level management position. It seems like every other person you talk with today has been laid off at least one time in their career. Unemployment has been the highest since 1988 with the average length of unemployment now the highest since 1948.
With the market saturated with highly qualified unemployed workers we continue to see a slow increase in new job growth nationally. In addition to the challenges of assembling an effective job search strategy, developing the right tools, contacts and daily routine, the number one factor impacting job seekers is their lack of motivation.
For those individuals who have held stable long term positions or worked for one company their whole career, being laid off is devastating and causes them to question their value, skills and marketability. A large number of those out of work don’t understand what it takes to find and land their next position.
Even the well prepared person who knows how to organize and execute an effective job search has difficulty keeping motivated after lengthy periods of time with no viable new position in sight.
Self motivation can be achieved through ongoing actions and a positive attitude, dedicated to moving forward regardless countless barriers and rejection, in an effort to meet and an end goal.
Here are a few of the typical challenges that make it difficult to stay motivated; not landing an interview for the job you were a perfect fit for, no call back from a network contact you hoped would be able to assist you, not making progress in finding companies who need your skills and experience, having two or three of what you feel are potential positions and none of them come through. There are countless other factors that make it difficult for job seeks to stay motivated including family pressures, financial strain, feeling of depression and many more.
There are many articles and tips written about motivation, but I’d like to pass along some things that have helped me and other job seekers. Some people say that 50% of you are challenged by maintaining a high level of motivation.
A wise man once said “There is no one giant step that does it. It's a lot of little steps.”
- Just like your job search, it is important that you develop a strategy and daily tasks that will help keep you motivated. Managing and eliminating stress will help you keep focused and productive.
- Accept responsibility for your situation and take ownership. Be positive and continually verbalize and discuss your plans to find a new position with friends, associates and family members.
- Associate with positive up-beat people who have a “can do” outlook. Form groups or partnerships with other job seekers and share your failures and successes.
- Practice good health habits to maintain the stamina you need to work hard at finding your next job. Work your job search like you would work at your job.
- Maintain a good outlook on rejection and do not take it personally. In some cases you will learn valuable lessons that will help you with your next interview or opportunity.
- Take time out for recreation even if it is a brief walk around the block. Put your job search aside and do something you enjoy.
- Focus on the good things daily. It may be something as simple as making a new contact that expressed an interest in helping or completing an e-mail about a new opportunity.
- Be creative in your search methods and alter your daily activities. Spend time researching areas and topics that will help you be successful. There are thousands of articles about networking, job searching, etc. This is an excellent time in your career to ask yourself, what do I really want to do?
- Lastly, visualize your job search success. A positive outlook and visualization of your next position will keep you moving forward and into your next position.
If you never fail, then you will never truly know success. Some of our greatest leaders and sports figures attribute their success to their experience with failures.
Michael Jordan said: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 Times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”