How to Stay Motivated and Focused During a Tough Job Search

army soldier speaks to travelers manager
An Army soldier speaks to an operations unit manager for Travelers at the Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program. (Photo: Mr. Leejay Lockhart (101st Airborne))

The job market ebbs and flows, and it's easy to get discouraged when the market has little to offer. However, it's important for you to stay focused and motivated during this difficult time. Here are tips to help you through this professional lull, according to Stacey Lane's - a career and life coach - published report: Challenge Yourself. Try to change the way you approach your job search. You might find improved results and get a confidence boost as well. The number of interviews does not equal success. Don't measure your success by the number of interviews you get. Measure it by how you're extending your network. Get Connected. Find a job search group that works for you (keep shopping until you find one). Or, you can start one. Do something informal. Enlist a friend as your NP (negativity police) - who will let you know when you're negative. Negativity begets negativity - and people are like dogs - they can smell it from a mile away. Hang out with employed friends. Spend time networking with friends that are employed. Maybe they have the inside track on open positions at their company. Take a break from the news. It's great to be knowledgeable of current events, but you don't need to hear about job market fluctuation constantly. It's good to substitute hard news for light-hearted, human-interest pieces from time-to-time. Have some fun. Allow yourself time to laugh, exercise and relax. Don't neglect hobbies or your interests when you're looking for a job. Get inspired! Find something that inspires you and tap into it. Read biographies, daily motivational e-mails or talk to friends who have been in a similar situation. It helps to have perspective and know that unemployment is temporary. Help others. Remember that networking is a cycle, and if you want to be successful you have to give so that you might receive one day. Get support. Enlist the help of others to ensure that you stay focused and motivated. In fact, have a friend or family member call you daily to make sure that you are diligent about your job search. Be generous. Your time, your energy, your participation will help others with their job search. And, if you pass job leads along to other job seekers they will remember your kindness. Push or pull, you decide. You can either search for jobs (push) or wait and let the jobs come to you (pull). In most cases, it's best to push. It's best to take a proactive approach to finding a job. It's rare that jobs fall into your lap. It's easy to get frustrated when your job search isn't going your way. But remember, that unemployment is temporary and your ideal job is right around the corner. For more information or job search advice visit's Veteran Job Center.

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