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Staying motivated

Searching and applying for jobs takes time and commitment. Staying motivated during this time is crucial in ensuring you stay on track with your job search. This guide provides you with hints and tips to maintain your motivation.

In his video, Steven Kirkpatrick, Managing Director of Spring Personnel, emphasised the importance of staying motivated whilst seeking a first graduate role. Before he could start his career he had 180 rejections, but kept on going, taking note of the feedback he was given. He believes that interviews are good - you learn from the experience!

In the current economic climate with such fierce competition, the wait to find your first job can be demoralising and sap the very confidence that you need to get employment. The important thing is to keep motivated and focused on your goals. Below are some suggestions to keep you on track.

Ways of maintaining motivation

Stay in touch with the world

Keep reading the newspapers, checking the news websites and finding out what the key issues are in the sector within which you wish to work. Local London libraries all have Internet access, as well as newspapers; use their facilities at no cost to you.

Join the professional networking site, Linked In

Make sure that you stay in touch with people; it could be that someone from your course knows of an opportunity for an individual with your skills and knowledge.
Greet the day. Get up as though you were going to work and don’t foster bad habits! Sleeping too much causes lethargy and you need to stay energised and enthusiastic.

Structure your day

It is easy to become despondent and depressed. Have a plan of what you wish to achieve in order to reach your ultimate goal. Make a daily task sheet; the agencies to call, the websites to check, the e-mails to write. Keep a record of your activities. Schedule in listening to radio and TV programmes that might be informative and helpful. It is important to have a routine.

Don’t stay at home all day

Give yourself periods of time to go out and meet friends, or at the very least plan a walk. You will need a break as all day job hunting can become demoralising.
Stay fit. This need not be an expensive gym membership; jogging and walking cost nothing.

Attend free cultural events

See the Building your experience guide for examples.

Join the UEL alumni

They have lots of social events and there are opportunities to meet a range of successful people.

Keep up appearances

Even though you may not be dashing off to the job of your dreams, you are a professional. It is important that you pay attention to the way you look; take advantage of very cheap haircuts in London salons by being a model for trainee hairdressers. Many colleges of further education around London offer treatments and hairstyling for all types of hair at modest prices.

Read biographies of successful people

They too will have had periods of despondency, learn from their success.

Take a part-time or voluntary job

You will at least be out and about meeting people. Some voluntary roles may only require 2/3 hours a week of your time. You will be making a contribution to society and being valued. You may also have access to their intranet and find out about vacancies that are coming up.

Work from a coffee shop

Relocate your job hunting schedule to a place that is lively and buzzing. A cappuccino can be made to last a long time. Free Wi-Fi is accessible in many places.

Sign up for job alerts

While you are receiving these you can stay in touch with the types of positions that are available; contact agents that have posted the vacancies and develop a rapport with them.

Get feedback

Always ask for feedback from organisations that you have had interviews with. Note their points and address them. If you were sent to an interview via an agency, ensure that you speak to them about why you were unsuccessful.

Take opportunities

Take up opportunities offered from professionals willing to meet you to discuss your career development.