8 Ways to Stay Focused When Looking For a New Job

Looking for work or a change in career? Excellent! Identifying the need for positive change in your professional life is the first step towards actualising it. But jobs aren’t attained through well-wishes alone; it also takes action, self-motivation and focus.

Most fledgling job seekers’ first thoughts will be to fire up their favourite job search engine, key in terms relevant to their career aspirations and send their resume to the three or four best-fitting returns. After submitting their resume the ball is in the universe’s court; they’ve done all they can reasonably be expected to do, so they sit back in their favourite swivel chair and play the waiting game.

It’s true: finding work can take time, the modern job-hunting climate is very competitive, however, remember: losing focus is the job seeker’s natural enemy. With that in mind here are some tips to keep you on track and motivated.

Keep Organised

Track your progress by writing down your goals and aspirations. These can be categorised into long and short-term, abstract and concrete. Stick the list somewhere you’ll see it, like on the fridge or above your computer. Many of the world’s most successful business people use goal-setting techniques to stay focused, and will constantly reassess and refine what they’re working towards.

To-do lists are a great way to increase productivity. Many job seekers profess to feeling a loss of control. Completing tasks helps wrest back some of this control. Make sure you keep your list items clear and manageable. You’ll accomplish more and feel great about completing scheduled activities!

Limit or avoid time-draining recreational activities, like online shopping, watching television and perusing Facebook or YouTube. Set alarms to monitor the time you’re expending on these activities. Be diligent; hours can easily slip away with all the potential distractions out there.

Stay Social

Socialise with others during this time. Regular social interaction can help you remain positive and goal-orientated.

Don’t be afraid to seek help from peers, friends and family. Talk to them about your job search. They can provide support and may even have contacts or know of vacancies.

Be Productive

If you are waiting to secure a new role, you may find yourself with a surplus of free time. It’s important to spend this time wisely. Try spending this interim completing long-overdue projects or take part in some volunteer work.

Do your research, take the time to increase your industry knowledge by reading trade articles and related industry blogs.

Look After Your Health

Poor diet and lack of sleep can leave you feeling lethargic, which in turn saps motivation. Ensure you are regularly exercising during your search for work.

Exercise has many health benefits; chiefly, it can help clear your mind and creates endorphins.  These endorphins will also boost your self-confidence, which will put you in good stead for prospective interviews.

Create Your Own Opportunities

The internet is full of prospects, there are plenty of non-traditional work opportunities for those willing to think outside the box. This can be useful until you receive a call back regarding your preferred job.

Consider self marketing and call or email prospective clients. Introduce yourself, detailing your relevant skills and work history. Some may not be actively hiring, but will keep you in mind if an appropriate position becomes available.  If they can see by your CV that you’re suitable, you’ll likely be their first point of contact. After all, you’ve already impressed them by demonstrating initiative.

Improve Your Skills and Employability

Consider further study. It’s a good way to explore options and discover your passion. If full-time study is too large a commitment, short courses are a viable way to improve your skills and employability.

Attend job seeking seminars (often listed on government websites or in employment offices). These will develop your self-confidence and better prepare you for the interviewing process.

Develop skills that will make you a more attractive job applicant and research some careers blogs. This may give you an edge over other applicants.

Be Proactive and Cast a Wider Net

Don’t limit yourself to only the biggest and most obvious job seeking websites. Try minor and local ones, too, as it’s possible they will have exclusive listings. If you have a specific company in mind, try perusing the career portal on their website.

Scour the employment section of your local newspaper. Some of these listings may not appear online, which means there will be fewer applicants.

Be selective, but flexible. Your search for the perfect job can continue even if you’re currently employed.

Thanks to the internet, many jobs can now be performed remotely. Familiarise yourself with networking resources. If your ideal work permits it, expand your search to include interstate or overseas positions.


Use LinkedIn and other forms of social media to connect with like-minded professionals. Demonstrate genuine interest in their projects. It fosters goodwill, and they may someday return the favour.

Involve yourself in your chosen industry’s community. Go to industry events, like launches, seminars and trade shows. You may keep abreast of these by subscribing to relevant mailing lists.


Guest Blog Author: Tom O’Connell.
Advocate Resumes Guest Post.

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