Recently laid off? Looking for a new job? Here are four tips to ensure you stay motivated during the lazy daze of summer.
Set achievable goals. Making unrealistic claims leads to neglecting your responsibilities. Setting goals depends on the person. For example: submitting one résumé per day can be a realistic goal for you, while others may set three résumés per week as a realistic expectation. Twelve résumés in one day may seem achievable to some people; however, if you’re spending less than one hour on readjusting your résumé and cover letter to match the job posting, you’re probably not going to hear back from many employers.
It’s important to know yourself and what you’re capable of. If the goal is too unrealistic, you will have no motivation to pursue it.
Set a time to wake up and get dressed, especially if you’re job searching from home.
Would you go to work with unkempt hair and pajamas still on? If you’re working from home, your house becomes your work – and you need to get ready accordingly. This small change in your morning routine will prepare you for the rest of the day. This will also combat the relaxation vacation vibe that everyone feels in the hot weather. Another trick is to work in a cool environment. Colder air keeps you focussed, so if you have a laptop, try bringing it with you to a local, air-conditioned coffee shop for the day.
Volunteer with an organization.
Having a structured schedule can be important during the summer when relaxation is most tempting. The best way to achieve minor goals and create structure into your daily routine is to volunteer in the field you plan to pursue. Not only is volunteering a good way to network and gain contacts in your field, but it looks really good on résumés. Employers are looking for experience and volunteering is a great way to get it!
Treat yourself when you’re working hard.
It’s so critical to be kind to yourself. Job hunting can be stressful, and procrastinating on the job search can result in even more stress. One way to combat job search apathy is to reward yourself only when a résumé is submitted. The best way to do this is to develop a tiered system for your achievements. For instance, submitting one résumé may result in a snack, and submitting three personalized résumés could call for a Netflix break or a mid-afternoon lounge by the pool.
If you find yourself constantly giving yourself large rewards for minor achievements, there will be no motivation to push harder to get more done.
By Pam Simpson, a summer student with The Career Foundation.