Whether you’ve been job hunting for days, weeks or months, it can be hard to stay positive and motivated when it seems like your inbox is filled to the brim with polite “thanks, but no thanks” emails.

And while it can be hard to keep your chin up, the best thing you can do for your  job hunt is to  make a plan to stay motivated and mentally healthy, by first recognising you’re not alone.

In fact, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Participation, Job Search and Mobility report, of the 677,000 unemployed people in February 2019, more than 85 per cent said they found it difficult to find work.

It’s certainly an unprecedented time but it’s important to keep in mind that there are tactics you can use, as well as people and organisations, like Maxima, that really can help you right now.

Here are some simple tools to keep you motivated, positive and to help you manage stress while you’re job hunting.

Keep a routine

Just like when you were working, maintaining a routine when you’re searching for a job is also incredibly important.

It can be helpful to think of your current job as finding a new job – so plan your day accordingly. Scan job websites, schedule appointments, network with your contacts, write and apply for jobs, and research courses or further study you could undertake in your field.

Setting tasks for yourself each day will also give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Outside of your 9-5, wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, get dressed (resist the urge to stay in your pyjamas!), maintain regular mealtimes and healthy eating habits and make sure you’re getting some fresh air and exercise. 

Volunteer your time

To keep you feeling connected and engaged with the world of work when you’re hunting for a job, why not consider volunteering?

Aside from basking in the warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you’re doing something for the greater good, volunteering also comes with

many advantages for job seekers.

It’s a great way to strengthen your CV – after all, work experience counts as work, regardless of whether you were paid – and develop new skills while you’re at it. It could also open up new networks, or even act as a stepping stone to career opportunities and paid employment. 

Set goals

When you find yourself out of work, turn lemons into lemonade and take the opportunity to identify your career dreams, goals and aspirations – as well as what you’re grateful for.

Whether your career goals are short term or long term, it’s important to be SMART when setting them. Your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant; and
  • Time-bound.

This will ensure that you stay motivated, and don’t get too frustrated when things don’t work out quite the way you’d hoped. Once you’ve identified your goals, you might like to write them down or create a vision board to boost your motivation, and help you visualise how you’re going to achieve them.

Finally, Career One recommends writing a list of things you’re grateful for to help you stay positive while job hunting.

“Your family, friends, health, or home are good things to remind yourself to be thankful for, but don’t be afraid to stretch your gratitude further.

“The more things you can list off, the better you’ll feel, and once you find yourself running out of room to write anything else down, the more uplifting of a perspective you’ll look at all areas of your life with,” the article states.

Treat rejection as a learning experience

Being faced with rejection time and time again is often the hardest part of job hunting. How you handle it can make all the difference between maintaining and losing positivity and motivation.

According to Tammy Homegardner, career coach, author and founder of The Job Search School, it’s important not to dwell on the negative.

“If you have a chance to ask for constructive feedback, do so,” she writes in an article for Forbes

“Learn from your missteps, realize that it wasn’t meant to be and move on to the next opportunity.

“There are many reasons why you might not have been chosen (e.g., an internal candidate got the position, the boss’ niece wanted the job, another person better persuaded the hiring manager, etc.).

“You should never take it personally.”

When you treat this feedback  as a learning experience, it allows you to think about what you can do differently next time.

Do you need to tweak your resume? Do you need to build your networks? Have you discovered a new interview question that you can answer better next time?

Take a break

If you’ve been job hunting for a while, one of the best things you can do to stay motivated and positive is take a break.

If you’re constantly focussing on job hunting you’ll wear yourself out physically, emotionally and intellectually. That’s why it’s important to enjoy some down-time, while focussing on other things in your life that bring you joy.

This could be going to the park with your family, reading a book, taking a long walk, doing an online yoga class, or having a cup of tea in the sunniest spot of your garden.

By taking some time off to focus on other things, you’ll improve your mindset, and come back to your job hunt refreshed, and more energised.

Finally, remember that you won’t be unemployed forever

Job hunting is simply a means to an end. With some perseverance, resilience, and a positive outlook, you will find a job!

“While this time might be frustrating, it is only a temporary situation. The frustration and worry will end when you find your dream job,” says Tammy. 

“Take a moment to breathe, because when you inhale confidence, you exhale doubt.”

Out of Work? Need Support? We are here to help.

During this difficult time Maxima is here to assist wherever we can.

For more information visit our Maxima Can Help page, or for enquiries call 1300 629 462.