One of the most commonly asked questions from job seekers today is "How do I stay motivated?" And it is no wonder, the majority of mid level career job seekers have been at it for months. They've faced rejection and indifference. Some are blaming the bad economy and age discrimination as the causes of their prolonged job search.
At some point, they need to look inside. What are they responsible for, what can they do to keep themselves on track.
Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.
-- Helen Keller
"I think I can, I think I can" is the motto of the little engine. He has a goal and a strong motivation and mission to get those toys to the children who so desperately need them. Quitting is not an option. He can't just leave the toys on the side of a mountain.
As a job seeker, starting with your mission, goal, most desperate desire, is one of the keys to staying motivated. However, let's face it, you lack survivability skills. You have never had to go through this before. You are ill-equipped to compete in this game. You probably don't remember what it was like to live pay check to pay check. Before you start with your mission and goal, what is your most desperate desire?
To keep food on the table, to keep a roof over your head, you need some money coming in. That should be motivation enough, according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Yet, that might require that you take some pretty undesirable actions. You might have to take a job below you, really below you. And perhaps you'll need to work more than one. There is no shortage of service sector jobs right now. And if you were to get creative or entrepreneurial, is there a service you could provide that would generate income... you earned?
I hear unemployment recipients tell me that they can't afford to take a job because it pays less than unemployment. Hmmm, work, self esteem, feeling valued, or, continue to collect unemployment? Are we a lazy society? Do we feel entitled to unemployment? Maybe. Yet when you look at the long term repercussions of collecting unemployment you see a lot of depression, lack of self confidence, anger, frustration, i.e., lack of motivation.
In honor of Labor Day, let's start laboring...really working, roll up your sleeves- get dirty and sweaty.