How to Stay Motivated When Applying for Jobs

How to Stay Motivated When Applying for Jobs

Struggling with cover letter fatigue? Get re-energised with our top tips for staying motivated when applying for jobs

Words Joy Montgomery


As it’s often said: applying for jobs can feel like a job in itself. It’s so easy to become consumed by the process – it’s all you think about and what all your energy is channeled into. This can often become a source of frustration, especially if the process is taking longer than you anticipated (as is often the case). An important part of maintaining your sanity is keeping things in perspective. Remember that life is more than your career and periods of frustration are common but not without end. The right thing will come along at the right time.


When job hunting there’s a temptation to mentally check out of your current role. This is understandable because firstly, for whatever reason you’re ready to move on and secondly, you’re spending all your energy thinking about new and exciting opportunities. The reality is until you get that new job you have to stay put, so for your own sake it’s good to stay invested as possible. Also, having a project to throw yourself into is a good way to keep your mind off applications.


It might not feel like it sometimes, but applying for jobs is not the same as dating. When you get that 100th rejection email it’s essential not to take it to heart – if you do you may end up a self-critical, anxious mess. Remember that the job application process is hard and there are hundreds of different factors that can lead to a decision. You can only do your best. Also, it might be hard to see this at the time, but it can sometimes be a good thing when an application doesn’t work out. Perhaps you weren’t ready for the responsibility or it wasn’t the right fit.


This is particularly relevant for when you reach the interview stages. Learning how to take constructive criticism is an important part of staying motivated. If you aren’t offered feedback after an interview make sure you take the initiative and ask. This will help you to take something constructive from the experience. Even though a rejection can feel disappointing, there’s the potential for each one to teach you something and help you get one step closer to that dream job.


If you’ve been applying for the same sort of jobs for a while and not getting anywhere then it might be time to reassess. It can be helpful to think outside the box and consider roles that are less obvious. Career paths are no longer linear and millennial are much more likely to chop and change jobs throughout their lives. Getting experience in a different but related field might give you a wider breadth of experience and consequently an edge over other candidates long term.


As we said earlier, it’s good to keep thing in perspective when applying for jobs and a good way to do this is to give yourself a break every now and then. Don’t neglect things that make you happy – whether it’s dinner with friends or a run in the local park – they’re all essential for staying motivated. This can be particularly hard when you get stuck in a vicious cycle of obsessively looking for and applying for jobs. In this scenario it can be helpful to ignore job sites and applications for a whole week in order to take a step back.

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