Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
Are you a few weeks or even months into a job search and find yourself struggling to get out of bed? Do you wish that you could rediscover the enthusiasm you had when you launched your job search?
Initially, you imagined all the possibilities of a new position and woke up each morning excited to find the perfect role. But now, it’s hard to muster the energy to get excited about new postings, and everything has become terribly monotonous.
Realistically, that’s not uncommon.
The average job search can be lengthy — meaning you need to find some ways to sustain your energy and enthusiasm for the long haul.
If you feel like your job search has hit a lull, consider some of the suggestions in the following list to bring new energy to your job search.
When you’re under stress, taking care of yourself is essential.
You can’t put forth your best effort when you’re feeling fatigued or run down. Instead, prioritize sleeping well, eating well, and taking breaks when needed to help you stay focused and energized throughout your job search.
Take a Break
When you’ve been looking for a job for a while, it’s easy to get into a rut.
One of the best ways to gain new energy is to take a break. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a week off from your job search but routinely stepping away each day.
However, a vacation isn’t out of the question if your job search is lengthy. Go for a walk, read your favorite book, or take a nap. A break can refresh your mind and give you the energy you need to keep going.
Spending all day on your computer or phone makes it easy to get burned out.
Make sure to unplug regularly and take some time for your mental health.
This might be exactly what you need to stay balanced during your job search and keep up your momentum.
Spend Time Outside
Fresh air can do wonders for your energy levels. Try to spend some time outside each day, even for a few minutes.
Walking in the park or sipping coffee on your balcony can help you clear your head and recharge. You might be surprised at how creative you feel once you return to your tasks.
Meet New People
When was the last time you interacted with a live person who wasn’t a recruiter or hiring manager?
If you can’t remember, it’s time to boost your feel-good endorphins and get back into the world. You might discover that you’re getting out of your comfort zone and seeing things from a new perspective.
Interactions with others can ignite your enthusiasm in ways you can’t accomplish alone. Make it a goal to interact with new people and grow your daily interactions.
If you’re working in your jammies every day, it’s no wonder you’re feeling tired. Make it a focus to get up and get ready for your day.
Otherwise, your mental energy never has a chance to switch into go-mode.
When you’re dressed and wearing shoes, you might be surprised at how much more focused and professional you feel.
Find an Outlet for Your Stress
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your job search, finding an outlet for your stress is essential. Otherwise, it can start to feel like a never-ending cycle.
So, find something that helps you relax and unwind. Maybe exercise or meditation, reading, or anything else that makes you feel good.
Taking time for yourself can help you recharge and return to your job search with new energy.
Take Control of Your Job Search
If your job search is overwhelming, it’s time to get organized. Otherwise, you might end up feeling like a victim of fate.
Instead, create a system for tracking your applications, networking contacts, goals, daily schedule, and task list.
Build a Daily Schedule
Are you treating your job search like a job, or are you just working at it whenever you can muster the energy?
Consider creating a daily schedule to help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed.
It’s easier to submit resumes each day from 8 to 10 a.m. before taking a break than it is to wake up with a vague idea that you need to focus on your job search at some point.
Just ensure that you hold yourself accountable to the schedule — clocking in and, possibly more importantly, clocking out. You’ll be better able to maintain a sense of balance and avoid burnout.
Create a Plan
Have you ever heard of a successful rocket launch that didn’t have a clearly defined plan behind it? Probably not.
Likewise, you need a plan, rather than just a goal. A strategic path can motivate you to keep going when your goal is still several steps away.
So, sit down and map out your job search strategy. Set realistic, attainable goals and list smaller steps you need to take to reach them.
You’ll be more likely to find success than if you have a vague goal swimming around in your head.
Clearly Define Your Desired Outcome
Perhaps the issue is that you need to define your outcome better. Use the following questions to get your creative juices flowing:
- What job are you looking for specifically?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Do you want to lead a team or work autonomously?
- Are you looking for flexibility? Fully remote or hybrid work?
Once you have a clear picture of what you want, it will be much easier to take steps to achieve it.
Write an intention statement, such as: “In five years, I plan to be a marketing manager at a nonprofit that focuses on conservation where I can create a healthy work-life balance.”
Then, ensure it’s accessible.
Make a List of Your Tasks
Never underestimate the power of a good list!
The visual affirmation of completing a checklist can help you see that you’re making progress at a time when you desperately need the boost.
List everything you need to do in your job search. Include items like updating your resume, networking, and applying for jobs.
Once you have everything written down, focus on each task one at a time. You’ll be able to stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed in your job search.
Set Smaller Goals
If you’re overwhelmed by your job search, it’s time to set some smaller goals.
Break down your big goal into manageable pieces and focus on one thing at a time. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting discouraged.
For example, “land a job” is a huge goal that you’re unlikely to check off at the end of the day — even if you have a promising interview.
Instead, list smaller plans, such as “apply to five jobs” and “research two new companies.”
Take Action Every Day
One of the best ways to create new energy is to take daily action.
Even if it’s just something small, taking steps toward your goal will help you feel more motivated and focused. That might even include taking time off.
But if you’re doing it to create a healthier job search, it helps to see that it’s all part of a bigger picture, and you’re more likely to feel in control.
Interact With Others
It can be easy to let the professional world slip by when you’re not clocking in daily.
If you’re feeling run down, be intentional about finding others to interact with, and perhaps borrow their enthusiasm and energy when yours is waning.
Find a Mentor
Having someone to look up to can be a great way to get new energy in your job search. Find someone who has already achieved what you’re looking for and ask for advice.
You can learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.
Discover a New Networking Group
When you’re job-searching, it’s easy to feel alone. That’s why finding a new group to interact with can be so helpful.
Devote some time daily to your LinkedIn profile and interact with groups relevant to your desired career field.
You’ll still feel like a part of the industry, rather than someone on the outskirts waiting to get in the game.
There’s a lot of power in hearing about the innovation and resilience of others.
When your job search needs a little life breathed into it, consider taking time to seek inspiration from others.
Read Success Stories
Look for stories of people who found jobs, even when the odds were against them.
Ideally, find someone with some of the same dynamics you have, such as needing a flexible job to balance caregiving or changing careers in retirement.
Others’ stories can help remind you that anything is possible and help you stay focused on your goal.
Read a New Book
Is there an entrepreneur that inspires you? Perhaps someone who’s brilliantly mastered time management? A career development book you’ve had on your must-read list for years?
Now’s the time to schedule it into your day.
Not only will you get a mental break, but you’ll be building your business understanding in a way that will make your interviews more successful.
Discover a Passion for a Company
When you’re job searching, it’s easy to get caught up in the process and forget why you’re doing it. But if you can find a company that you’re passionate about, it can make all the difference.
So, take some time to research companies that align with your values.
Not only can this help you feel more connected to your job search, but you’ll be able to use different avenues and convey a lot of enthusiasm when you interact with hiring managers.
Watch a TED Talk
Energy and enthusiasm are contagious, but a job search can be incredibly isolating.
Without a team to interact with, you need to go looking elsewhere for a daily dose of inspiration.
TED Talks can be a great way to get inspired and motivated.
Maybe choose a talk related to your career field or job search and watch it when you need a pick-me-up. Or, listen to a person passionate about a different subject and let that rub off on you.
Change Your Routine
If you’re feeling stuck, sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.
So, try changing up your routine. If you usually job search at home, try going to a coffee shop or the library.
Or, if you typically network online, try attending an event in person.
Sometimes, all it takes is a slight change to jump-start your job search and inspire you to keep going.
Build Your Value
When your job search is stagnant, consider finding ways to build your value.
With new learning or experiences to add to your resume, you might find that your job search gets new life — possibly from you, as you discover a renewed passion for your career through the new experiences.
Begin to Freelance
If you’re having trouble finding a job, it’s important to remind yourself that you have a lot to offer. Having some income doesn’t hurt either.
One excellent option is to freelance. You’ll be building your value and improving your resume while keeping your mind engaged.
Volunteer With a Passion Project
The old saying about finding more joy in giving than receiving can be applied to your job search.
Taking the time to support a cause you’re passionate about can give you an enormous boost of confidence and positive energy in your job search.
Not only will you be helping others, but you’ll also be getting out of your head for a while.
And you never know when you might come away with a new perspective or skill — not to mention that employers love to see volunteer experience in their prospective candidates. It’s a win-win!
Start a Side Hustle
Another option is to start a side hustle, which can help you earn extra money and use your skills to reaffirm all you have to offer.
Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people and build your network.
Learn a New Skill
When you’re looking for ways to stand out, learning something new can be a great way to rediscover your passion for your career.
You’ll be building your value as a candidate while expanding your knowledge.
It’s also a great way to break up your daily tasks and feel more in control of your career.
Get a Job Search Coach
If you struggle to get traction, consider meeting with a professional career coach.
A career coach can provide valuable feedback and support, as well as insight into minor tweaks you can make to stand out from the competition.
Looking for a job is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So, it’s essential to be persistent and pay attention to your signals.
If you’re feeling worn down with the same old thing, it’s time to make some adjustments.
Just remember to take things one step at a time and stay focused on your goal. Reenergize your job search, and you’ll find success.