Job Search Motivators You can Actually Use
If you’re in the middle of a long job search, it may be difficult to get out of bed some mornings and pound the pavement one more day.
Heck, even if you’re just starting to look for a job, motivation can be hard to come by. You might need an occasional pat on the back — or kick in the rear — to get going.
If so, here are three ways to motivate yourself and get back to work faster …
1) Find the Right Why
If I offered you $5 to chop off your big toe with a steak knife, would you do it? Probably not. Five bucks is hardly reason enough to maim yourself.
But … what if your big toe were stuck in a bear trap and a blizzard was coming, and you had to chop it off so you could escape to safety? Would you do it? Yes, probably.
Your different actions in both cases stem from having different reasons why.
If your job search is floundering, take a moment to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Why do I need a job, anyway? Why?
Example: Do you need a job to feed your family? If so, consider taping a picture of your spouse and children to your cell phone or PDA, so you can see your “reason why” throughout the day.
Or, do you want a more fulfilling job, one where you can use your God-given talents to make a difference in the world? Then find a picture of someone you admire or who does that sort of work and tape it to your bathroom mirror where you can see it each day.
Follow the advice of Friedrich Nietzsche, who said, “He who has a why can endure any how.” If you give yourself the right “why” today, you can stay motivated, endure all the “hows” along the way, and find that job you seek.
2) Give Yourself a Deadline
Here’s another nifty quote. According to journalist Aki Soga: “If man could live forever, he’d still be a fish. Why would he evolve? He could always do it later.”
If your search for work hasn’t yet “evolved” into a rewarding job, it may be because your subconscious mind thinks you can always make that networking call tomorrow or set up that informational interview later.
Why not motivate yourself to take action by giving yourself a deadline? This is how all great projects are accomplished, if you think about it.
Example: Steve Jobs didn’t tell his engineers to invent an iPhone “pretty soon” or “in a few months.” He told them to finish it before he walked onstage to introduce it at MacWorld on January 9, 2007. He set a deadline. And look what he got done!
So, why not treat your job search like the incredibly important project it truly is? Give yourself a deadline to find work. You may be surprised at how quickly you get hired.
Worst case scenario: You miss your deadline. Big deal. Do a quick post-mortem to figure out what to do differently. Learn from it. Set a new deadline. And continue.
3) Write Your Job Search Goals Daily
In his book, “Influence,” psychologist Robert Cialdini describes how the power of written goals can change your attitude and actions.
Example: The Amway Corporation has, for years, encouraged its members to set individual sales goals in writing. As one member said, “There is something magical about writing things down.” There might be something to this — Amway sales have totaled as much as $7 billion per year.
Another example: Ever wonder why companies like Procter & Gamble run those “100 words or less” testimonial contests, in which entrants mail in personal statements about why they like a certain product? Apparently, one reason is to get you to go on record – in writing – as liking their product, because it makes you more likely to buy it later.
According to Cialdini, one reason written commitments are so powerful is that, “they require more work than verbal ones. And the evidence is clear that the more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater is its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it.”
Why not adapt this to your job search?
If you write down your employment goal first thing every morning – including your job title, desired salary and deadline for getting hired – you are guaranteed of starting your day off right. And that can make all the difference.