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How to find motivation when you're job-seeking?

I know personally that it can be tough to stay motivated while job searching. Here are some steps that have helped me a lot and I hope they will do the same for you.

Photograph: iStock

Text: Greete Eluri

The three keywords here are: Weekly action plan, weekends off, and last, but not least – get curious. Do you have it all under control?

A weekly action plan – Monday-Friday

Just as if you were working full time, when job seeking, it is a good idea to have a structure in your everyday life. When I was a job seeker for the first time in 2015, I did not have a plan, which did not help me at all. I realised later that sitting with my computer 12 hours a day will not get me a job. I hope you will not make the same mistake. Think of job-seeking as a process where you need to climb many stairs before you get to your goal. Sometimes, you have to pause, evaluate, and then continue.

You have five days a week to actively fill your calendar with activities that can get you closer to your target. Fill these days with writing applications, networking online and offline (very important!), exercise (do whatever clears your mind), coffee meetings (online and offline), learning new skills, unforeseen activities. Hopefully, learning Danish is also part of your week.

Having a structure helps you ease your mind, so you know you have everything under control. Follow your to-do list every day and relax when you have time off.

Even though job seeking is a 'full-time job', it should not be a 24/7 job – it's not healthy.

"Having a structure helps you ease your mind, so you know you have everything under control."

Weekends should be off – it is crucial!

Have you ever wondered why you cannot reach job consultants or other professionals on the weekends? Well, they also want to rest and recharge – so should you.

Do whatever makes you happy and recharged. I, for example, enjoy a walk or a bike ride in nature, it is very calming and gives me peace of mind. Doing yoga, reading a good book, baking, or kayaking – weekends are for all these activities which you might not have time for during the week. And it is so essential for your mind, body, and soul.

If something pops into your head related to job search, write it down for your Monday's to-do list, so you do not have to worry about it rest of the weekend. Out of sight, out of mind.

Curiosity can be the door-opener for you

I have heard it multiple times and have experienced it myself. Curiosity could be the trait which gets you ahead of your competition. For example, do research in the industry you want to work in. Find books, podcasts, or e-books about it – there is so much knowledge out there. Just take it all in.

Write to people who work in companies where you want to work. Reach out to them, ask questions like, 'How is it to work at Company X', 'How is the working culture at Company X' or 'Would you recommend working at Company X – tell me about them.' People are generally nice and eager to help others. Be humble, say 'thank you' and take in all the golden nuggets which you can get. Reach out also to new people who you don't know and get inspired.

A weekly plan, relax during weekends, and genuine curiosity – these are the three steps that can help get you back on track. Happy (job) hunting!

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