Now that the Christmas break is a few weeks behind us, it is time to look at our ‘New Year’s Resolutions! January has been seen, for many years, as the time for dreams and aspirations, to make plans and to move forwards, whether you want a career change, a new job or perhaps just a way of progressing within your current one. It is the time when most of us formulate plans. But how many of us actually take these plans to the next level?
We’ve heard all the statistics about the amount of people who take out gym memberships in January compared to the percentage who are still actively using the gym in March. And it’s the same principle with careers – lots of people start the New Year with a career-related resolution but, 2 months later, how many have actually got stuck into these challenges and how many have actually just got stuck in their old rut?
The solution to all this can really be as simple as action-planning, writing a ‘to do’ list, setting yourself individual targets…whatever form it takes and whatever you want to call it. The fundamental mistake that people so often make with their challenges is that they get so overwhelmed with the greatness of the final goal that the forget to plan in any detail the steps they need to take in order to get there successfully. There is a huge amount of power in the simple process of writing these plans down. Don’t just keep them in your head. Similarly there is a huge amount of power in the process of ticking off these smaller steps once they have been accomplished. Seeing that you are working towards success, however small these steps are, is a real motivating factor.
So, don’t let your only New Year’s Resolution be to get a new job. Instead, have 10 smaller resolutions which may, for example, include getting your CV reviewed, attending a networking event, researching industry-specific recruitment agencies, completing a training course in xyz – whatever is relevant to your particular circumstances. And make the final one ‘Getting a New Job’. Give yourself realistic timescales for each one and reward yourself as you make progress.
Okay, I am not going to tell you that it is easy to find a job in the current challenging climate, and staying motivated when you are job seeking can be hard, but it is important not to lose sight of your goal. Follow these top ten tips on staying motivated to keep you motivated and on plan.
- Stick at it
I’m not talking strictly come dancing routines here, and true perhaps you don’t yet have to go into the office, but for now, job hunting is your job. Get up, get dressed and stick to a routine to keep you focused.
- Have a Go…al
Knowing where you want to be, and having the vision to achieve it, is important, thinking about your career aspirations, read at our exploring career idea leaflet which may help(link).
- Don’t give up
We all suffer rejection at some stage in our lives, but the trick is to realise that we aren’t alone. My first job was for the macRobert, but I applied for loads before I even got an interview. Staying positive and confident no matter how many rejection letters you receive and keeping a positive frame of mind will keep you focused in achieving your goal. Look at every application and learn from it, think about what you could do better next time.
- Use your friends
Job seeking can be a lonely experience, friends and fellow job seekers can keep your morale up and keep your job search focused.
- Set objectives
Okay, your aim is to get a job, however remember to set yourself smaller objectives, which lead towards your aim. Having small daily goals such as sending off targeted applications, networking, or following up on sent applications for feedback, stay motivated by doing something constructive.
Create the habit of only rewarding yourself once you have achieved your daily objectives. Don’t stop to just read the paper, make that the reward, this is a great way to keep yourself motivated and your mind sharp.
- Focussed applications
Does your CV or application ‘sell’ yourself effectively enough to a potential employer? Have you really thought about what the job description is asking for and tailored your application to meet its requirements? Employers write job descriptions for a purpose, a sure way to get rejection letters is not to pay enough attention to it. Read our pages on CV writing.
- Unsuccessful interviews
So, you have been getting interviews but can’t seem to nail that job! Reflect on how well you answered the questions as soon as you can after the interview when it is still fresh, ask the employer for feedback, It might be worthwhile to take some time to sit in the interviewers shoes and think about what questions they might ask. Arrange to discuss the interview process with one of our careers advisers, and read our pages on interview technique.
- Is it all about the location location location?
You may have very close ties to particular geographic area, sometimes moving away is not an option, but you need to think if these restrict you search to other locations and moving away.