How to Stay Motivated during the Job Search

Finding the right job takes time. As the search wears on, the day-to-day work of finding work can slowly weigh you down, suffocating your confidence.

A rejection email here.

An unreturned phone call there.

With every new application comes a little leap of faith; you are repeatedly asked to thoughtfully reflect on your career and sum up your professional dreams, all in the hopes of being noticed by a potential employer. After a while, putting yourself out there without seeing success in return can destroy your motivation.

Don’t let the grind of searching for a new job cause your confidence to make a crash landing! The best way to break out of a rut is to start with small changes. Consider these simple options for switching up your job search; they may just give you that extra boost you need:

Switch Tactics

You’ve heard it before, “finding a new job is its own job.” Just like any other job, you might find yourself falling into a regular routine; wake up at this time, check the job boards at this time and submit the same old resume and cover letter (with a few minor tweaks) over and over again. Keep at it long enough, and the job postings, applications and days of the week just start to blend together.

Break your hunting habits and try different search tactics you may not have considered. Maybe it is time to rearrange your resume into a new, bold format. Or branch out of the mostly online search and start testing out career fairs and informational interviews. There are any number of ways to reach your goals; why not try a new one today?

Dive into Your Interests

You control your schedule. For once, the meetings you set and the projects you complete are determined by you and you alone. Take this opportunity to dive headfirst into a personal passion. From art and design to health and fitness, taking the time to consciously switch gears and focus on something other than finding your “dream job” can recharge your inner drive.

It is important to note that even if you don’t realize it in the moment, your personal interests can contribute to a position you may not have even found yet. Employers are interested in well-rounded candidates with a passion for everyday learning, so take some time to leave your applications behind.

Stay Connected

There’s a life outside of the job search. The digital drain of clicking away at job boards and connecting via email can make you feel disconnected from those around you. However, staying in touch with your friends, family and professional network can keep you motivated, and in touch with the real world.

Take some time every week to meet with people in person. Whether it’s a cup of coffee, a casual lunch or even a jog, find a way to really connect with those outside of your job search sphere. Not only will the interaction help you to think about other things, but you’ll be keeping connections open all around you that might just lead to your next opportunity.

Lifting your application to the top an employer’s list is hard work. If you feel your motivation falling back down to Earth, sometimes all it takes is a little leap to keep you going.

How do you stay motivated when searching for a job? We’d love to hear your tips in the comment section below!

54 thoughts on “How to Stay Motivated during the Job Search

    • My eyes welled-up with tears when I read your advise on staying positive while searching for employment. There are those moments you start thinking, are my best years behind me? I still have so much life to yet live. Then you receive another rejection. The thought comes racing to the surface, “well maybe I should just go dig a hole and jump-in”.” Its over.” Wwell maybe I’m not good enough or I’m not smart enough, but the worst is, maybe I’m not young enough. gets into your head is an insult to your self-esteem. You look around, there is no one else to share your feelings of spiraling uncontrollably through the dark tunnel of self-doubt, no idea if you will brake through into the light of self-assured, I am a viable person.

      • Hi Katherine,
        Thank you for sharing your experiences as a job seeker! Self doubt has a way of creeping its way in as the job search wears on, so it’s important to find moments of empowerment and encouragement.

      • Oh Katherine, you must have been in my head. I could not have said it any better. Thank you for expressing my thoughts so clearly. Andrew thank you so much for the motivational post. The tears came and fell down. I know a new dawn is coming.

      • Wow! I believe your living my life. I’m also middle-aged, but I look younger than my age. Then I start to reveal I have a Thirty One year old son & faces start to try & compute my age. The article was a great pick me up even though I’m already doing the aboved metioned.

      • Great thoughts, Sunday. And I hear ya, even the success of receiving a call and being in the RUNNING for a position, even when it ultimately ends with, “sorry, we’ve chosen a different candidate”, is an accomplishment. The worst experience is never even making it into the hunt where they want to chat with you on the phone.

        All I can say to my fellow road warriors is, “hang in there”. We many be older, or have been out of the work force for a number of years being a stay-at-home parent, or like in my case, attempting to completely switch fields after 27 years in the same industry. It doesn’t matter half as much as the old axiom that “attitude is everything”. if we harbor a sense of defeat in our gut, it will come through in every new cover letter we write.

        Hang in there friends! I just completed a bucket list item in August of 2015 and became a college graduate at 51 years old. I am HOPING it was a good investment financially and physically, as it was an exhausting four year run.

      • I agree, I never had a difficult time trying to get a job in the past. I decided to become a phlebotomist to help people after being my mother’s caretaker for about 10 yrs. I can’t believe how close I get and them the rejection letter, if I am lucky I get the letter. Sometimes I just get a phone call and they make it sound like I sound perfect for the position and then nothing.
        I am a motivated person and like helping others, I am constantly reading information on phlebotomy to keep up to date. I am licensed /certified phlebotomist technician 1 who lives in socal and want to be hired. Please someone just give me a chance to get the experience.

        • Hi Kathi,
          Thank you for sharing; it definitely can be tough to maintain a positive attitude during the job search.

          If you would like to talk with one of our recruiters, they may be able to help you find a position, if anything matching your skill set is available. Here’s a quick link for the contact information for each of our offices:

    • Thanks for sharing I have been laid off for 9 months this is the hardest time of finding great employment. As you described in your article I’m going through it over and over. I continue to have faith.

      • Hi Sylvia,
        The repetition of the application and interview process can be draining. I hope our tips are helpful in keeping you energized on the job hunt! Thanks for your perspective.

    • Thank you so much for tjis article on being motivated while jb searching. I do have a job, but, I am STUCK in a rut because I am not happy. I have tried everything imaginable by switching my hours or just asking for different things to do at work. Maybe this is just what I needed change everything while I job hunt.

    • Hello! I have just read your blog on confidence building. I strongly agree that taking a brisk walk, going out for coffee or just hanging out, will keep your mind focused on life, itself. Job searching is hard work. And sometimes, I feel bogged down. But the search itself, coupled with human interaction, walk hand in hand. I don’t feel like “A Lost Child.” Thanks for all your assistance, Pamela B. Garde

  1. For every door that closes another opens up, so remember that finding a new job, career, position, title can be intimidating but remain optimistic and continuing to balance work life and personal life should remain in the forefront of this drive. Clearing the mind and acknowledging that hard work will pay off in the end should continue to fuel your motivation and lessen the strain of finding the perfect job. Good luck to all out there!

  2. Nicolaos – That was well said and something I needed to hear this very moment. All the comments were well received. Thanks

  3. Just today I was feeling like this! 6 weeks looking for a job and confidence is taking a nosedive.
    This morning AImee tweaked my resume and signed up for a job fair next week.
    This post was right on the money and exactly what I needed to hear.

      • Thank you for this article. I’ve been looking for a few months and I was so energized in the beginning. It is very easy to doubt yourself and wonder if you will ever land. I do need to change it up a bit so I thank you for the reminder. I will get out more and meet with colleagues to keep a balance

  4. I’ve been searching for over 2 months. I thought every time the interview went great and thought for sure this time I was going to get a call back. I’ve gotten compliments about my resume. Still unemployed and my family is starting to suffer. I will definitely try these suggestions because my motivation and confidence are shot. I have to find something soon…I will find something soon! Thank you! I really needed to see this today.

  5. I am a high believer of faith. However, the ride does become very bumpy and dry. I’m currently in this position, on the the job market. With reading inspirational books and going to the gym helps me keep my stress level way down. Thinking positive can carry you a long way as well. It’s all about the mental & how you’re willing to deal with something that’s most likely temporary! Best wishes to all,

    • Hi Marschee,
      Thank you for sharing these fantastic suggestions! Employers value well-rounded candidates. Embracing reading, exercise and other stimulating activities not only comes with health benefits, but may simultaneously boost you as a candidate. Have a great day!

  6. Thanks Andrew…This was awesome and motivating!!!! When at my last job I knew I wanted more…not only to be appreciated for my efforts and dedication, but also to find a better fit where I could enjoy more balance between work and life. I have tried to enjoy the fact that I have this opportunity to do so now during my job search….but sometimes do get too caught up in the grind of the search itself…this was a great reminder!! Make decisions that make you feel the best…stay true to yourself…. feed your soul in a positive way…and all else shall fall into place.

  7. This article has great points/tips. But my question is when your resources are limited (ie:bus fare/gas for interviews) how do you further stretch your budget to include attending Job Fairs?

    • Hi Lauren,
      This is a great point; each job seeker’s options may be a little different based on their unique situation and limitations. I would encourage you to find what works for you – whether its a job fair, an informational interview, or just practicing answering potential employer questions with friends! What’s most important is finding a new way to approach and energize your search. I appreciate you sharing your perspective today!

  8. I have been in the job search cycle for 3-5 months and it has come with highs and lows. There was a stagnant period where I wasn’t getting any call back or emails (which can really tear down your confidence) and once the new year came I was getting calls for interviews and that felt like such an accomplishment, even if I didn’t land the position (lol!). I would also recommend recruiting agencies because I was doubtful in the beginning but I landed a position not to long after and I’m glad I did. There are legit agencies that are used by good companies and DO NOT charge you money. Although most are Temp, if you prove yourself in the company there is no telling where the position can go.

  9. Thank you for this email I needed to read this now. I graduated college this past December after being a stay-at-home-mom for 16 years and the lack of experience has really been hurting my chances of finding a job.

  10. I’ve been looking for a job for 2 going on 3 months now. I’ve had many interviews that I was sure I aced. At least 3 were what I thought was my dream job. The countless resume submissions, rejections and constantly seeing you’ve already applied to this position, has really started to make me doubt myself and lose confidence. It’s been emotionally exhausting!
    Thank you for this article it was much needed!!

  11. Wow! Makes me feel better knowing there are others who are going down the same road as I have been travelling ever since I got a lay off back in 2002! Ugh
    However, I had this comment from my part time coworker this week telling me that I need to get out and have some fun and get out because they think I am depressed. I work part time retail trying to find full time office work. I have over 200 hrs of college work. Almost two degrees and excellent computer skills. Duh! Yes I am depressed. The negative has a way of grating on any human being.
    My tactics are simple, as one wise man said, “Never, never, never, never, never give up! But as you all have said, the human mind needs some other positive interactions in life.
    The road we travel will become lighter. I also give my burdens over to God who can do all things! He, and He only can deliver me from these job trials. But I feel that He is preparing me for something greater. I just have to keep on proding. Faith comes in here..
    I have this quote in my Bible:
    When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

  12. Proper jobs are difficult to come by and it might never come so I have made job hunt my habit and this blog is quite motivational

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