Keep Motivated During Your Position Search

It can be very frustrating during a job search, especially an extended search, to stay motivated and on track. It’s very easy to become undisciplined and unfocused, especially as the financial and emotional toll of an extended search mounts. There are some tips that can help to keep you focused an on track, and that can help you stay upbeat, and keep your position top of mind with those around you.

Think back to the last political campaign you followed or know about. How did you come to know anything about the candidate or the issue? What steps did the candidate or cause use to advance their agenda and your knowledge of them or the issue? This same thinking should be part of your overall position search strategy. Most candidates or causes knock on doors, network heavily, shake hands, invest time and energy in community causes, and the like. They become *visible*. They let it be known what they are after and why. The same principle applies in your position search. Be visible. Meet people. Let people know what you need. If things aren’t working, take a hard look at what you’re doing – perhaps, for example, you are always the second finalist for a position – could it be that you have unrealistic expectations about salary, or perhaps you just need to fine tune your interviewing skills. Doing the same things over and over without evaluating what’s working and what’s not will result in the same less than desirable result.

Evaluate your last or current position. Does the function or even the industry still exist? If it does, is it growing or shrinking? Is the writing on the wall? Perhaps it’s time to evaluate the industry or position type and look at new options. Daunting as this sounds, it’s not hard to do, but it does take committed time and effort, and quite possibly, some financial investment. There are a multitude of people – career counselors, career coaches, resume services, interview preparation services, even the people at your local Unemployment Office – all of whom help people like you everyday. So, this may seem daunting to you, but to them, and to me, it’s their/our job. They (and I) help people, hopefully because it’s their passion. It’s mine. We will help you get over it. You may have to invest some money – the investment is in yourself and your future, and quite a bit of time. But, that time is better spent preparing for a new career than chasing after one that may no longer exist, either now or shortly. That investment may be in coaching or a new resume, or even more training and/or formal education. If this is you, sit down and evaluate where you want to be, what you think you need to get there, what’s realistic given your circumstances, and then map out a plan of action. Breaking something like this down into smaller parts will make it less overwhelming, more comfortable, and ultimately, more achievable.

One of the best ways to stay visible, keep your skills (or learn new ones) up to date is to volunteer. There are a ton of volunteer opportunities in any community, and it’s a great way to meet new people – people who may be able to lend a hand, an introduction, or some other information about someone who needs to fill a position. It also shows potential employers that you weren’t sitting around watching soap operas all day; that you did something to better the community, to keep yourself productive, and to keep your skills sharp. This is a huge plus when you’re invariably asked in the interview what you’ve been doing with your time.

Using these tips can help you stay motivated during your position search, may lead you to a new career path and/or to new skills, and hopefully, into the new position of your dreams.

Copyright © 2010, Michael Trust & Associates. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Trust, MPA, SPHR-CA is a Career Strategist, and president of Michael Trust & Associates,, a Career & Business Coaching firm. His Coaching, Business, and Human Resources experience spans twenty years, and he has had major roles in staffing in all of his Human Resource positions. In addition, he has coached individuals at all career levels relative to their career paths, job search strategies, business strategies, and related areas. Mr. Trust is also a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).