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#HereToHelp - How to stay motivated during your job search

By Lee Shorter

#HereToHelp - How to stay motivated during your job search

There are a lot of people who have found themselves in the unfortunate position of being out of work at the moment and recent unemployment figures released by the government are very high. 

So I’d like to share some advice on how to stay positive, motivated, and achieve your ultimate goal of getting back into the workforce. 

Have a plan and know what you really want to get out of your job search 

Would you consider freelance work? Would you be open to a contract and if so, what would be the minimum length that you would consider? Or are you solely focused on finding your next permanent opportunity? Really knowing what you want to get out of your search will help you stay focused and achieve your goal. Also know the type of role that you would be ideally suited for, or that you want to get into. Don't just send out multiple applications, willy-nilly, to any job ad because you think that you could do it. There's obviously a lot of experienced people who have found themselves out of work at the moment. There's 100’s of applications for every job. Make sure that you are staying focused on what you would be the best fit for and that you're not setting yourself up to disappointment by just applying to any job that you find on SEEK or LinkedIn. 

Stay focused on your search and treat it as a priority 

If getting back into work is your priority, you need to make it your priority. So don't get distracted. Don't think, I need to do the shopping today and then I've got to go to the gym and I'll pop to the post office. Jobs are not just going to come to you, so be dedicated. Set yourself a time every day to stay focused on your job search. Apply to some roles. Reach out to some connections on LinkedIn. Re-engage with the recruiters that you registered with. Having a plan and dedication to finding your next role is really going to benefit you.

Keep a record of all of the roles that you're applying for 

Keep an Excel spreadsheet of every job ad you applied to and the date that you applied. This will help you stay organised and allow you to follow up on all of those applications that you've made. 

Bonus tip

I'll share a bonus tip on how to correctly manage the follow-up process. It's a three point plan.

  1. Quite often, if the role is on SEEK or on LinkedIn, it will have details of the hiring manager that's responsible for that ad, so make a note of that person.
  2. The second part of the followup is that if you haven't received a response, whether it be a phone call or an email within the first couple of days of making the application, follow-up with a LinkedIn request to the person who is hiring for that role. That way, you're getting back in front of them and they'll see your name again. 
  3. If they connect with you and you still haven't received a phone call, you still haven't received an email, and you still haven't received a message to your LinkedIn connection, send them a message through LinkedIn and say,

    "I've noticed that you're advertising for this role. I've submitted an application and I'd be really pleased if you could just take a look at my LinkedIn profile and just see if I might be a match to this position."

Three points of contact, you've got your application, you've got your follow-up LinkedIn requests, and you've got your follow-up message, which should all then result in that person being inclined to speak to you because you're consistently getting yourself in front of them.

Really know your worth

It can be quite disheartening if you're sending out lots of applications and you're getting no responses or interviews. Or you're having interviews and you're not getting callbacks, or you’re unsuccessful. 

Think about everything that you've achieved throughout your professional career. I'm sure there are multiple achievements and great things that you've done. Just because you've been unsuccessful with a job search, or you're out of work at the moment, it doesn't devalue those achievements in any way.  

You're still competent, you're still capable and you should really know your worth. What you should not do is drop your usual rates or salary expectations by too much, just because you think that it will make a company more inclined to hire you on that basis.

For example, if you get approached about a role and you're asked for your salary expectations, don't say anything like, "In my previous role, I was on 120K, but I would consider $70K or $80K given the state of the job market." 

Know your worth, stick to your value. If there needs to be flexibility with the salary, you can manage that at the end of the process, but don't do that from the outset because you're devaluing your experience and your achievements. If you're somebody who’s been working for a long period and have never really had to change roles or focus on a job search, then you might not really know what to ask for. There are good tools out there so you can benchmark. We have one ourselves. It's called Compare My Salary where you can anonymously find out how your salary compares to your peers and what the current market rate is. Check out what you should be paid, know your worth and stick to your value.

Control the process 

Stay in control of the parts of the job search process that you're able to control. The amount of jobs out there right now and which companies are hiring, can't be controlled by you. But what can be controlled is the way that you approach your job search. So making sure that you're making those applications to suitable jobs, making sure that you are following up on any applications that you've made, your attitude to your job search as well, that can be controlled.

We've all seen posts on LinkedIn from job seekers getting disheartened and going on a bit of a rant, but is that going to positively affect your job search in any way? Probably not. So just making sure that you're making those applications, you're following up, you're staying positive, you're doing all of the things that you know are likely to result in you getting a job. If you control those things, it's going to be much more likely that the desired outcome is the one that you want.

Upskill yourself

We've also got lots of tools available to help you upskill. If you're out of work at the moment and you want to do some digital courses to get job ready, we've got Aquent Gymnasium, which is our online learning platform, and lots of good resources available. So reach out to us, we'd be happy to help.

We're here to help

For anybody who’s out of work, we know it's hard. If there's any help and support that we can provide, myself and the team are available for anybody that needs us, particularly those that work in the digital marketing, creative and development space. 

We've seen an increase in the number of roles coming through, so reach out to us. If we've not got jobs for you at the moment, we're always happy to provide help and advice that will help with your search.


About the author

I have the great pleasure of leading our Talent Agent team in Sydney. I help my team to devise sales and recruitment strategies aimed at building on their candidate and client networks in the digital and creative space. My day-to-day involves coaching and mentorship, devising strategies for team and individual growth, identifying new business opportunities and implementing effective recruitment processes.

I'm someone who likes to lead by example and would never ask my team to do something I would not do myself. I manage based on outcomes and believe that people do their best work when they are encouraged to think for themselves and approach things in a way that works for them. The number one priority for me and my team is to deliver an exception client and candidate experience.

Originally from London, I started my career working in advertising before relocating to Australia and entering the world of recruitment.

Outside of work you'll find me watching or playing football (proper football, that you play with your feet) or binge-watching documentaries on Netflix.

Author's Website


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