Wednesday 3 October 2012

Keeping motivated

A number of people have remarked to me that they are impressed at how I keep up my motivation and energy during the job search.  Job searches are difficult and discouraging, and yet every day I have potential leads, new applications sent out, interviews scheduled, and news of some kind. At the same time I am sharpening my skills.  I exercise every day and am learning German at lightning speed.

The secret to my endurance is routine.


I used to consider routine to be a dirty word.  I was proud of flying by the seat of my pants, and was convinced that talent alone was enough to get me through any rough patches of life.  I saw routine as dry and meaningless.  Routine for me was another word for 'wasted life'.

Well "to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." Yes, you can waste your life by falling into a routine when things are easy.  However, when times are difficult, having an established routine can keep you going.

I treat looking for work like a full time job.  I get up in the morning and check emails over coffee. I usually make phone calls at this time because many of the jobs I've been applying to are in Europe and I need to account for time-zone differences.  After this I exercise, running or weight training on alternate days.  In the afternoon I try to apply to one or two new jobs every day. After this I do online German lessons until it's time to make dinner.

Avoiding Discouragement

Usually a job search is discouraging because it is an attempt to change our life situation - to find employment.  Our goal is to find work, and that is something we have little control over.

This job search has been different for me.  My goal is to stick to the routine - Do my exercise, improve my German, send out 1 or 2 well done job applications every day. Success in that sense is completely under my control, and having a sense of control is what keeps me from getting too discouraged.


Anonymous said...

Good luck Nathan! :)

Sherri said...

Wow, great insight! I've often wondered how you manage to keep going and use your time so well. So proud of you!

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