Careers

10 ways to stay motivated during your job search

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Job hunting can be tough.

Scouring websites, completing long-winded application forms and crafting the perfect covering letter is a full time job in itself. And once you secure an interview? That's when the real challenge starts.

While we like to envisage sashaying into an interview, oozing confidence and responding to the most challenging question with ease the reality can be very different.

And we all know the power of a rejection letter to knock our confidence and have us scuttling back under the duvet and deciding that any aspiration to climb the career ladder should be ignored.

Knowing all this, we wanted to bring some wisdom to those of you going through the challenge of job hunting.

So we got on the phone to the brilliant Aimee Bateman from Career Cake, whose insightful videos - which cover careers, interviews and confidence tips - we have been fans of for a long time.

Aimee kindly shared her top 10 tips for staying motivated during a job hunt.

Over to Aimee, and happy hunting!

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1) Have a plan

Not an idea of what you want to do, but an actual written, thought out plan. You wouldn’t set up a business without investing quality time preparing a business plan, yet job seekers approach the market without doing just that.

You can only control the controllable and having a plan will help you stay focused when everything else around you feels so undecided.

A clear plan might have helped Girls' Hannah Horvath avoid some bad career moves

2) Create a Hot List

Identify 20-50 companies you would love to work for and make a note of ‘why’ for each one. This will get your creative juices flowing and can be a fun, motivating exercise. Then research the influencers within these industries and focus on building relationships with the ‘why’ at the forefront of your mind.

3) Give yourself Targets

It helps to set daily or weekly targets. E.g. this week I’m going to begin building relationships with fifteen influencers. This can be done via social media, email or just picking up the phone (which I’m a huge fan of).

4) Surround yourself with lighters

Lighters are the people who make you feel invincible. They light up your life and make you feel like you can take over the world. We all have friends or family members who feed off our energy (the people who enjoy drama and negativity). We love these people, but sometimes they can be a drain on our emotional resource. Try your best to spend time with a lighter every day and preferably face to face rather than via skype or over the phone.

No naysayers allowed! Surround yourself with inspiration and people who will encourage you during your job hunt

5) Subscribe to motivational blogs/resources

Reading blogs and articles is a great way for you to ‘top up’ your motivation. I watch a Ted talk on YouTube every single morning, whether I’m on the train or sitting in my office. Even though I work with hundreds of people each month, I don’t actually have any colleagues, so this is a great motivator and it stops me feeling isolated.

6) Subscribe to Industry specific blogs/websites

The only way to be better is to surround yourself with people who are better than you. I surround myself with thought leaders every day, even if this is done via blogs and social media. Knowledge is a huge motivator and this will help sustain your passion for your dream career. In addition, if you know what is going on in your industry you have reason to reach out, comment and begin discussions with the influencers on you hotlist.

7) Give. Give. Give.

This can be done through volunteering or just helping someone who needs it. Giving is the quickest

way to feel truly valued. When we give happiness, we receive happiness. It is that simple.

8) Create a brag file

There will be days when you feel undervalued, but this is the perfect time to get your brag file out. Collect testimonials, references, emails from happy colleagues and customers. You can even save positive texts and tweets from friends and family. This file can be for your eyes only, but you need to remind yourself how wonderful you are at times and be your own best friend.

9) Visualise it

This may sound fluffy, but visualising the end result is so powerful. Create a vision board and ensure it is visible every day. It may include pictures of your dream home, car and office. This will help you stay focused and on track when you are feeling low and uncertain. I have my current vision board stuck to my fridge for the last 6 months and it includes writing for stylist magazine (yes, really!)

10) Be kind to yourself

This is the most important factor in my opinion. We often feel we should be a hundred steps ahead of where we actually are and that feeling can be totally exhausting.

When we are feeling negative it is even harder for us to produce anything positive, but please remember, your value does not decrease just because someone else fails to see it.

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