Job hunting can be a stressful and demotivating task for anyone, especially in today’s climate. Whether you’re re-entering the job market after a long break, seeking a job for the first time, or juggling job hunting with a full-time job, staying motivated is a challenge for many people.
We sat down with our colleague Recruitment Assistant Steph Tickner, who is a Positivity and Mindset Coach in her time outside of work with MRG Global, where she supports recruitment projects in the Malaysian/Asian Markets. We discuss motivation, mindset, and tips to help you to stay focused and motivated in a world full of distractions and challenges.
- Set realistic goals: Set achievable and specific goals for your job search. This will help you stay focused and motivated.
It’s always good to use the SMART principles when setting your goals – ensuring that they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. You can set short-term goals – such as applying for roles, researching companies, and tailoring your approaches – as well as long-term goals, thinking about your wider career over the span of 5 or 10 years and what you ultimately want to achieve. “I always say you need to practice, practice, practice to see progression in anything you want to achieve.” Steph says. “Take the action steps to make new habits a success – small steps each day. And celebrate when you’ve worked towards those goals. Even the smallest of wins count – you don’t always make progress straight away.”
- Develop a routine: Create a daily routine that includes job searching, networking, and updating your resume and cover letter. This will help you stay organised and motivated.
Steph believes that a strong morning and evening routine is vital for staying positive. “A good tip for staying motivated and focused whilst job hunting, is having a solid morning and evening routine. For me – my routine involves not looking at my phone until I’ve done my mindset practice, my meditation, and my cold shower. Cold showers are proven to reduce anxiety and alleviate depression by calming the nervous system. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly stuck, I have a little dance to my favourite song. Having a structured morning routine really helps you develop a positive mindset too, and looks different for everyone, depending on how much time you have. For some people, that might just mean having time for one cup of coffee in the morning, reflecting, setting yourself up for the day with no distractions. It can be as simple as that. Having a consistent routine that you stick to, is key.”
- Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks from job hunting to avoid burnout. Do things you enjoy, like exercise, reading, or spending time with friends and family.
“It helps to have the foundations of good mental health to help you overcome obstacles in life – ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, regular physical activity, healthy nutrition, and having good methods to cope with stress management.”
- Stay positive: Stay positive and focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Don’t let rejections bring you down.
Steph strongly believes that how you frame things is important. “Try and see challenges as a blessing because you always learn a lesson from them. Changing the way you approach these challenges can take you from a lack mentality to an abundance mentality and a growth mindset. Challenge yourself to see things from a different perspective.Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are a common issue with many people, and it stems from your own inner critic, the things you’re saying to yourself on a daily basis. I encourage people to name their inner critic as it has been proven to be an effective therapeutic technique, and by naming your inner critic you are able to start to combat those intrusive thoughts.Combating self-doubt and limiting believes means working on your negative self-talk and replacing it with positive self-talk. It’s both equally likely that you “can” or you “can’t” so rather than telling yourself you can’t, try and believe that you can. It’s possible. You need to teach your brain, through mindset, that the negative self-talk isn’t fact. Remind yourself that your job is something you are good at, but it doesn’t define you. Not receiving a response from a job application or receiving a rejection doesn’t reflect negatively on you as a person.”
- Volunteer: Volunteering can help you gain new skills, make connections, and add experience to your resume.
Volunteering can be a great way to learn new skills while also giving back to your community. Look for opportunities that align with your interests and career goals. “Even if it’s just being open minded to trying something new, giving something a go – that’s a success in itself.”
- Learn new skills: Take courses, attend workshops, and learn new skills that will enhance your CV and increase your chances of finding a job.
There’s a wealth of online material you can access at your fingertips, and much of it is free or very low cost. Platforms such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy offer free and paid courses on various property-related topics, such as real estate finance, property management, and property valuation. YouTube is also a great resource for free educational videos. You can find tutorials on a wide range of topics, from learning a new language to learning how to use software. “Learning is a great way to fill those little nuggets of time in your day.” Steph advises. “Get into that process of feeding your mind”.
- Network: Attend industry events and connect with professionals on LinkedIn.
Attending industry events, such as conferences and seminars, is a great way to meet professionals in your field and learn about new trends and technologies. These events often have sessions and workshops that provide valuable insights and knowledge.LinkedIn is also a powerful tool for networking and job searching – connecting with professionals in your field and engaging with their posts and articles can help to raise your profile. Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry and participate in discussions. “Staying connected with like-minded, positive people, can help to boost your morale and open doors for your job search.”
- Celebrate small wins: Celebrate every small win, like getting an interview or making a new connection. This will help you stay motivated and positive.
“Finding a new role which is the right fit for you is a process of discovery,” Steph advises. “A phrase that really resonates with me is ‘Divorce the result, marry the process’. Which means taking small steps and trusting that something good will come of that. Interviews are an opportunity to hone your presenting skills, meet new people, and get feedback on how you are seen professionally. A “no” isn’t necessarily a setback, it’s something to learn from. Sometimes, when we just focus on the result, it becomes too overwhelming and that’s when people give up. “
- Stay focused on your goals: Stay focused on your career goals and keep your motivation high. Remember that every rejection brings you one step closer to finding the right job.
Steph says – “Don’t compare yourself to others; you only want to compare yourself, to yourself, because you’re on a journey of self-development and finding the right job for you. And you have to accept when you go backwards sometimes, that’s normal. Success isn’t linear.There’s also a big difference between giving up and failing. You have to be comfortable with rejection because I think you need to fail in order to grow. Always ask for feedback. Think of it as ‘failing forward’ – you learn from your rejections and grow from them.”
Further reading: specific techniques or strategies to develop a positive mindset and maintain a sense of self-motivation.
“I recommend listening to a motivational podcast to boost your mindset. You could listen to a 20-minute podcast while taking a break from job hunting, going for a walk or cleaning the house. I would highly recommend The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial. He’s really good for short snippets – no more than 20 minutes per episode. Great for people on the go, busy people who are short for time.
A good book I’d recommend is Eat the Frog! By Brian Tracey. One of the best books I have ever read on the psychology of procrastination and how to overcome it.”
Steph is a Recruitment Assistant at MRG People Asia and a Positivity and Mindset Coach. You can reach her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephtickner/
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – Book/Audible/Kindle
Eat that Frog by Brian Tracey – Book/Audible/Kindle
The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial – Available on various podcast platforms.