How to Stay Motivated During Your Job Search

Job Search

You may find it difficult to stay motivated during your job search. If you’ve been unemployed for a while, this can impact your self worth. When you apply for many jobs and no interviews turn into offers, it’s easy to start thinking you’re not good enough, talented enough, skilled enough, or likable enough to gain employment. That can become massively demotivating. It may lead you to aim too low in terms of your job search, or it may zap your motivation to stay proactive in your pursuit.

It’s a pretty common experience to find yourself being super motivated at the beginning of your job search only to have your motivation depleted when you’re still looking at job boards some months later. If you’re finding it difficult to stay motivated to get the job that you truly want, all of these other factors may fall outside your scope of concern. If you feel your job search energy plummeting or lacking, try the following tips.

Set a Schedule

Like with any goal-oriented activity, it helps to have a schedule. Sticking to a daily plan takes discipline, and this helps you stay motivated. The problem with not having a schedule is that your motivation can become much more arbitrary and sporadic. Setting a schedule will not literally force you to wake up early, but it gives you a reference point and a reason to get up when your alarm goes off. Sticking to your schedule during your job search will help you more than not having a schedule will.

Job Search Schedule

How you set your schedule is up to you. You don’t need to go overboard and churn out job applications for 8+ hours a day. If you do so, you will probably get burnt out, which may make you abandon having a schedule altogether. On the other hand, you don’t want to dedicate an hour or less every day to bettering your career prospects. It’s important to find some middle ground.

Moreover, don’t be too hard on yourself if on some days you don’t stick to your schedule. Having a bad day doesn’t mean your schedule isn’t working – it just means you’re having a bad day and that tomorrow could be different.

Achieve a Work-Related Goal

It’s important to set daily goals during your job search. This will help you to feel that each day you’re getting closer to employment, even if you’re taking gradual steps to get there. You don’t want to be overly ambitious when it comes to your goals, such as being determined to apply for a set number of jobs each day. This will lead to you constantly looking and applying for jobs, which can lead to job search burnout.

Job Search Goals

Instead, set a realistic and reasonable goal, such as applying for at least one job a day, and be diligent when completing the application. Quality over quantity is what matters here. Even if you don’t apply for any jobs one day, just looking for one can count as a valuable goal, as this searching can still provide you with beneficial information, such as what resources are helpful or unhelpful.

There are other goals you can set, too, that will benefit your career prospects. This may include taking up a new hobby (like learning a new language), updating and improving your CV, taking a course, and working on a relevant personal project (such as a creative endeavor if you’re a creative professional). Even making small progress in one of these areas can count as achievement of a goal. By writing down your goals, be they small or large, and crossing them off each day, you will be able to see evidence of your productivity, which will help you stay motivated during your job search.

Diversify and Improve Your Job Search

One reason motivation can be lacking during a job search is that it can feel like there’s nowhere else to look for work. You check the same sites every day for jobs and no new, relevant vacancies appear. This is why you need to diversity your job search. This will improve your chances of finding the ideal role.

Firstly, diversify the major job sites you use. They don’t all have the same listings. It’s recommended to create a list of job sites that you can refer to so that when you do your job search, you don’t forget to check a site that you haven’t used in a while. It’s also worthwhile to consider more niche job sites. For instance, if you’re a freelancer, you can use job sites tailored to this kind of work.

Job Search Diversify

But you can look for work in many other ways besides using job sites. For example, you can find work through word-of-mouth by asking family, friends, former colleagues, or acquaintances if they know of any work available. On social media, you can also search for work opportunities by using relevant hashtags and following employers or industry leaders that interest you since they may post about vacancies.

By diversifying your job search as much as possible, you’ll see that there are plenty of good opportunities out there. This will help to keep you busy in your applications, as well as allow you to discover fantastic opportunities you may otherwise miss. This can help boost your motivation levels.

It’s a common experience to find the job search demoralizing, especially when it drags on. But by following the above tips, you can easily stay productive in your job search, which will keep your morale high and lead you to stay motivated.

Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe is a freelance writer with more than 8 years' experience writing and blogging. His main areas of interest include mental health and psychology and using the insights from these fields to better inform his writing on productivity. You can find more of his work at