Episode 102 - How to feel motivated when looking for work
Which one of these 3 job hunters are you:
You need to find a corporate job as soon as possible, but you are exhausted and have zero motivation;
You don't know how to get your job search going: every time you start, you quickly give up; or...
You're not sure if you're doing the right things or important things, and this anxiety creeps up on you and affects your motivation.
If you can relate to 1, 2, or 3, then this episode is for you! Let’s get those motivational juices flowing!
I’m going to address 8 tips to help you stay focused and motivated, and I also have a final bonus recommendation at the end that I think is the most important of all:
Tip#1: Treat it as a personal project nor a job hunting project.
Tip#2: Gamify your project: create challenges, rewards, develop and test strategies
Tip#3: Follow a routine and stick to it
Tip#4: Fall back or advance your routine as you get more or less motivated.
Tip#5: Do the hardest things first.
Tip#6: Read books or watch movies and documentaries that inspire you.
Tip#7: Include playtime and rest as part of your routine.
Tip#8: Bookend your days with a gratitude journal.
Bonus Tip: Listen to the episode to find out!
Resources mentioned in this episode
Timestamps to guide your listening
03:41 - 1: Treat your job hunting as if it was a personal project
06:02 - 2: Gamify your project
06:52 - 3: Follow and stick to a routine
08:40 - 4: Fall back or advance your routine as you get more or less motivated
11:14 - 5: Do the hardest things first
12:59 - 6: Read books or watch movies and documentaries that inspire you
14:07 - 7: Include rest and play as part of your routine
15:32 - 8: Have a gratitude journal
17:03 - 9: Bonus Tip
Transcript of this episode
Renata: Imagine this situation - you need to find a corporate job as soon as possible, but you are exhausted and feeling completely flat. You have no motivation whatsoever. Or let's say you don't know how to get your job search going. You start job searching. But every time you do that, you quickly give up. Or you may be doing it, but you're not sure you're doing the right things or the important things. And this anxiety starts creeping up and it's affecting your motivation. If you have time for job hunting, but you don't know what to do with that time. And you'd rather be productive than spending time worrying about it. Then this episode is for you. Let's get those motivational juices flowing. I'm going to address eight tips to help you stay focused and motivated. And I also have a final bonus recommendation at the end of the episodes that I think is the most important of all.
Renata: But first, I need to talk to you about my newly updated free resources that I have on my website. Designed just for you. If you don't know where to start your job search, my free resources can really help you. The Optimized Job Search workbook and masterclass are free and designed by me to help you build the best routine that suits your needs. No matter how much or how little time you have. You will reduce your job search time and get the right things done with no overwhelm and no procrastination.
Renata: So reduce the job search time and get the right things done. Work effectively and efficiently towards your goals. And you can relax because you are in good hands. It was designed by me and that's my expertise. Job hunting is what I do for my clients. I love to help people find the best solutions in going for recruitment and selection, doing career advancement, career transitions, and finding new jobs, and new opportunities. So go to my website and you will find the resources there on the first page, or you can go directly to the landing page for these resources. It's https://www.renatabernarde.com/schedule . You can watch the free master class as soon as you land there. And in the masterclass, I will show you how to use the schedules and we deep dive into each of the activities in the schedules, and I'll give you extra additional steps for you to accelerate your success if you’re ready for it. If you don't want to watch the masterclass, that's fine too. All you need to do is download the workbook with the three schedules and get going. We will talk a little bit more about the three types of schedules as we discuss how to get motivated, to look for work.
Renata: So, as I said, I have eight tips here for you. And tip number one is this - treat your job hunting as if it was a personal project and not a job-hunting project at all. You see many times, I see people saying to put down your goals first, but what I think is that by trying too hard to figure out exactly what you want to do and have your goals all set up, you are actually procrastinating and not really activating what you need to do, which is go out and talk to people.
Renata: So if you treat this time as a personal project, I think it's more useful, less taxing on you and more fun to take it a step at a time. And also, I don't want to feel too concerned about writing down your goals before going to market. I find that many articles that I read and even tiny courses that I find online about how to find the motivation to job hunt. It usually starts with the goal setting. And I don't think that that's a good place to start. I recently read a post from my friend, Lynne Cazaly, and she wrote a LinkedIn post about this issue specifically. The issue of professionals wanting to know everything in advance of doing things. And this leads to inertia and leads to you procrastinating and trying to be too perfect in your job hunt. The best thing about having this time to look for work is to figure out what's happening in the market.
Renata: And it's that research, that intelligence, those conversations and that continuous improvement of your plan that will make your goals much better and crystal clear as time goes by. And not at the beginning of this process when you don't know much at all. Let's be frank. You need to go to the market to understand what the market needs and wants. So that's my first tip for you. I will put the link to Lynn Cazaly’s post below so that you can go and read what she said. Because I’m not going to speak for her. She is wonderful. And I love the way that she illustrates her posts as well. So you might find that fun.
Renata: The second tip that I have for you is to game-ify your project. Create challenges, reward systems, develop and test strategies as you move along with your personal project. This way, it becomes a game. It becomes something interesting and fun for you to do. It's okay to have fun when looking for a job. Job hunting doesn't have to be a drag. Okay? So figure out things that you can do at the end of the day or at the end of the week to reward yourself for the steps and the opportunities that you're creating. And I think that that's, you know, a wonderful strategy that worked well for me. And I hope it works well for you too.
Renata: The third tip that I have is for you to follow and stick to a routine. And that's where the Optimized Job Search Schedules can really help with you understanding the time allocations and how much time to spend with each of the tasks that you need to do when you're job searching, organizing them in an optimized fashion during the week or during the day. So that you're doing those tasks when they matter most and not, you know, let's say when you can. I see a lot of people doing things late at night or during the weekends. And I find that that's not a very good use of your time. And actually you're not accessing people at the best time if you're posting things on Linkedin, or if you're sending out applications. I believe that they're best times for you to do that. And that's why I wrote the optimised job search workbook. And I recorded a masterclass to really tell you what I think are the best schedules for you to follow.
Renata: And I have three versions. I have a full-time job search schedule, a part-time version and a light version. And this way you can block time in your calendar for the tasks that you need to do. It was designed by me, as I said, it's been downloaded thousands of times and it's used by my clients and loved by many, many people. And that's why I thought I really need to review this document and this master masterclass and do them again, make sure that they are fresh and up-to-date, and that's what I've done a few weeks ago. So they're ready for you. Now, just go to my website, there's a link in the bio. There's a link in the episode, show notes, and you can download it and start using it today.
Renata: Number four is fall back or advance your routine as you get more or less motivated. There's no reason for you to be hard on yourself. One of the things that's really trending on social media is this hard 75, I think it's called? Like a test. It's so, so tough. I don't know why people would do that. It's really not me. And I don't think job hunting needs to be anything like that. It's okay to take days off when you need to. And in fact, you should take two to three days off during the week as well. Job hunting can be really taxing and tough. It's mentally exhausting and emotionally really draining. So days off are really important. So not only those regular weekly days off like a Saturday and a Sunday, sometimes an extra day off might be what you need as well. But for me, I remember when I was job hunting, I really needed to take a few days or at least one day off after a major rejection.
Renata: And if you're job hunting, you know what I mean. You know, you're really excited about an opportunity and then you're not called for an interview or you go for an interview and you don't get the job. The work that you do immediately after that big rejection is really not very productive or effective. You're not going to be optimizing anything at that time. You need time to grieve and to overcome that rejection before you move on in a productive and motivated way. So when I felt I was too invested in a project and the rejection was really hard on me, or even if there wasn't a rejection, but I was just sort of too anxious or there was too much adrenaline in my body. I used to take time off and you can then come back, either in using the light version of my schedule or the part-time version and then move towards the full-time version.
Renata: If you haven't been job hunting, or if you have all the things that you need to do, let's say you're caring for kids or you're caring for older parents, or you have a full-time job. You can't job hunt full-time and it's better for you to kind of at least adapt one of my three versions to suit your needs. And that's why I designed three different versions for you. So that's number four.
Renata: Number five, do the hardest things first. This is a tip that I learned doing it the hard way and over and over thinking that I could do the hard thing last. So whatever you know you're procrastinating about, do it first. First thing in the morning. First thing in the week. First thing on your to-do list. I'll give you an example. A lot of people say to me, I really want a job. I really want a job. And then they get a job interview. And because they're busy because everybody's busy, they think, okay, I'm going to do everything I need to do this week. And then I'm going to prepare for that job interview.
Renata: That's really not getting your priorities right. I hope you can see that. And it's you procrastinating and not really understanding that the job interview preparation is the most important thing for you to do. And potentially also the hardest thing for you to do. You need to put that first. Your kids will eat. You’ll have to eat, you know, scrambled eggs and there will be no laundry done that week. Or you might have to take a few days off work. But that is the most important and the hardest thing that you need to do. Do it first thing in the morning. Do it first thing the week before anything else. Whatever it is. For me these days it's exercise. If I don't exercise first thing in the morning, it just doesn't get done. So I need to do it first thing in the morning, even though it's really annoying for me because I want to use that first time in the morning to do some creative thinking or writing, but no, I have to exercise.
Renata: Number six, read books or watch movies and documentaries that inspire you. Find inspiration everywhere and not just in non-fiction or industry-specific content. Yes, I think you should read industry-specific content. That's part of the tasks in my optimized job search schedule anyway, but you know, when you have that downtime and you want to relax, watch something fun, something that is motivational, inspirational. Read something that's really going to drive you and keep you upbeat and high energy. Be careful with the news and even TV series or movies that bring the energy down that are wonderful movies and great TV series. I get it, but it may not be the right time for you to be watching them. These things do matter, especially if they're the last thing you do before you go to bed. And I want you to be very careful with how you feed your brain, as well as how you feed your body.
Renata: Number seven. I want you to consider including playtime and rest time as part of your routine, not as a reward. So this is really important because I mentioned before, gameifying your project and creating reward challenges. And that's really great, but playtime shouldn't be part of the reward. Playtime needs to be part of the schedule. Rest needs to be part of your schedule. You don't want to overdo with your job hunting and then burn out. When you have an important meeting coming up, an important job interview coming up.
Renata: So, make that schedule holistic, and make play and rest be just as important as job hunting for you. There is an episode of the job hunting podcast. It's number 93. The one thing every successful executive has in common, and I'm going to break it to you. It's time. And I think it's important for us to understand that allocating time for everything from job hunting to rest and relaxation and playtime is really important. So if you haven't yet listened to episode 93, do so after this, and there will be a link to it below, or you can just search for it wherever you found this episode.
Renata: Number eight. Bookend your days with a gratitude journal. Now, some of you may find this woo woo. Others will say, oh yeah, of course, she would say that. It's really great. You know, I've been doing this for years on and off. You know, sometimes I take a break from gratitude journals, that's fine too. But I have a lovely journal. In fact, I'm going to link below the journal that I use because it's so pretty. And it's a nice gift and you might want to give it to yourself or to someone else. But even if you just make one yourself, you know, where you start your day saying what you're grateful for, what you are looking forward to today. And then at the end of the day, you reflect on those things, you know, that you've achieved and how you can make the day better the next day. It's such a great habit. And it has been so useful to me. I know many of my clients have enjoyed doing it as well. And whenever they stop, they tell me, oh, you know, I need to go back to the gratitude journal. And I'm like, yeah, do that. It's really a lovely thing. And you will feel wonderful by doing it. I really promise you that. So bookend your day. Start it and end it with that gratitude journal and writing it down is more special than thinking about it. So I recommend you write it down.
Renata: And I promised you my final recommendation would be the most important one. And I truly believe that it is. I want you all to remember that chances are, you will be just fine. You are job hunting, and it may be a time of anxiety and uncertainty for you, but be kind to yourself and be careful how you frame this experience and how you interpret the risks. Because the risks in your reptile brain are probably telling you that you're going to fight against the big bear and it's making you very anxious. But the truth is you may be reading too much into this situation and making yourself miserable and unmotivated by how you're explaining this job hunting experience to yourself. Many times I have heard from clients that they find a job only to look back at that time that they were job hunting and say, oh, I wish I took more time to, you know, enjoy. As you know, once you are back in a job, you have no time for anything. It's really busy, especially in that first year when the job is so new and the learning curve is so steep. And it's just as stressful, honestly, than job hunting. And you might regret not enjoying and taking that time to play, to rest, to be grateful, to be inspired, to feel motivated for your career. It is the silver lining of being between jobs is that time for reflection and really solidifying and crystallizing important things in your life.
Renata: So be kind to yourself, be careful how you interpret this period that you're job hunting. And remember that you will be just fine. This is all for now folks. I look forward to seeing you all here, again, listening to the next episode. Bye for now. And don't forget. Subscribe, follow this podcast. If you have time and you can give me a gift, please review this podcast, give it a five-star review and a ranking. I would love, love, love that from you. And don't forget to go to my website and download the optimized job search schedule for you and start organizing your job search routine. There are three versions there. I'm sure one of these versions will be very helpful to you. Again, bye for now. And I'll see you next time.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.
My free resources for job hunters: The Optimized Job Search: Weekly Schedule & Masterclass.
Learn more about my services, courses, and group coaching: RenataBernarde.com