Are you standing still?
No, I don’t mean literally. I mean has your mindset come to a standstill?
Robert Herjavec, Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank and founder of Herjavec Group, recently wrote a post for LinkedIn about the best advice that he has ever received: “The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Nothing.”
Yep, doing nothing is even worse than failing so miserably that you have to go incognito for a while to escape from the shame. Herjavec uses a mountain climbing analogy in which you are the climber and “success” (whatever that means to you) is at the top of the mountain.
As you’re climbing, there will be times when you have to choose which crevasses to hold onto or which side of the mountain to climb, but no matter what, you have to move. Sometimes you might even have to climb back down in order to find a better route. That’s okay. You can’t just hang out in one place forever.
So, how can you keep your momentum going as a recent graduate looking for a job?
Here are five tips for staying motivated in your job search:
- Create a bomb playlist
There’s a reason that movies have soundtracks. Songs totally affect our moods and can take us from feeling depressed to ecstatic in a matter of seconds. I loved the line in Music and Lyrics where Hugh Grant says, “you can take all the novels in the world and not one of them will make you feel as good as fast as ‘I got sunshine on a cloudy day / when it’s cold outside / I’ve got the month of May’.”
Songs are that powerful. So create a playlist that is going to spice up your mood and get you pumped for whatever stage of the job search you’re in. If you need some help, we’ve put together a little playlist to write your résumé to.
- Enlist a job search support buddy
Sometimes you need someone else to hold you accountable. I know that, personally, when it comes to exercising, I need someone else to encourage me and make me feel guilty about not going to the gym. If this is how you operate, recruit a friend or family member to check up on you during your job search.
Schedule weekly meetings. Knowing that someone else is going to be keeping track of your progress will encourage you to actually get things done.
Sometimes you’re feeling stuck because you’ve spent too much time focusing on one thing. Give your brain a break and meditate. And you don’t have to do Tibetan monk, lotus seat, om mani padme om meditation either (though you can if that works for you).
You can go to a yoga class or just sit quietly in a calm environment. I often take walks or go for runs to clear my head. Just try to fit in anything that will allow you to take your mind off of the job search for a little while.
- Give yourself mini challenges
Break your job search up into sections. Then make a game out of it. Write three cover letters on Monday. Research two companies on Tuesday. Tailor your résumé to a couple job descriptions on Wednesday. Then give yourself little rewards for each challenge you complete. For example, you get to watch one episode of Friends for each cover letter you finish or you can spend 20 minutes on social media for every company you research thoroughly.
- Get out of your house
It’s so easy to get stuck in front of your computer while looking for a job. You’re researching companies, reaching out to people on LinkedIn, reading job descriptions, and applying to jobs, but all this time spent cooped up can really start to wear on your mind after a while.
Remember that a lot of jobs come from personal connections. When you start to feel a little stir crazy, go out there and meet people. Remember that networking can happen anywhere. But you don’t just have to go to the nearest Starbucks to strike up a conversation. You can do something that doesn’t rely as much on chance like earning a little money when you leave your house by working with a temp agency.
Did we miss something? Have any other tips about staying motivated in the job search or in another aspect of college student/recent grad life? Share them with us in the comment section below.