Motivate Yourself for Your Post-Grad Job Hunt with These 7 Suggestions


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It’s been a few weeks since your epic graduation celebration, and you’ve already binged five different Netflix series, posted all of your celebratory ‘grams to social media, and accompanied friends on at least one impromptu weekend trip. It’s pretty safe to say that you’ve been celebrating your accomplishments in the best ways possible, but now, it’s time to get back on your grind for the next big step: securing your first post-grad job.

Some of us have been waiting to enter the professional workforce for years, while others… well, not so much. Regardless of your position on the matter, there’s no way around it: you’ll have to find a new opportunity to fill your time – and fund your lifestyle – as a recent grad with a shiny, new degree. And while the whole idea of shedding your college t-shirts for a more professional wardrobe might elicit a few tears now, Future You will be glad you made the change once you find meaningful employment.

Fortunately, your pals at uCribs have made it easy to jumpstart your search with these motivation-boosting tips for anyone guilty of delaying the whole “adulthood” thing and putting off their job hunt. With these tips in the back of your mind, you’ll be well on your way to an awesome position before you know it!

Break your job hunt down into very specific tasks.

While basking in that post-grad glow, the last thing you want to deal with is an extensive to-do list. However, if you’re hoping to open the right doors to an amazing post-grad opportunity, you’ll want to embrace a bit of structured planning. You’re still a bit of a newbie at finding a job, anyway. So, rather than jumping head-first into the process, get specific with the exact steps you need to take to get a job offer in-hand. For example, you’ll probably want to start with a good social media sweep. Then, you’ll need to move on to polishing your resume, creating a basic cover letter, and compiling a solid list of references. Repeat your process – whatever it may be – with each job application, and you’ll quickly establish a routine that puts you in control of your search and leaves little room for job hunt anxiety.

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Don’t forget to mind your eating, sleeping and exercise habits.

There’s no doubt about it: your job search will likely be exhausting. It’s not easy to submit yourself to hours of interviews, while also juggling endless applications and all of the components those entail – recommendation letters, anyone? Admit it, you’re tired just thinking about it! So, treat your body like an athlete would and give it the fuel it needs to successfully continue the job hunt. That means consistent, restful sleep, regular exercise, and a nutritious diet. You’re likely already aware that maintaining good health habits is the key to enhanced cognitive ability and memory – plus, you’re much more likely to stay in high spirits when your body receives the care it deserves. The last thing you want is to forget your interview prep points midway through an interview, right? Avoid that disastrous situation by keeping your health in check and “training” your body for success.

Take your job search one day at a time.

When you’re a recent grad, you might imagine that finding a job is the cherry on top of your college experience, when in fact, the job hunt is completely different than enrolling in or even attending college. As a result, you might feel discouraged when you’re unable to locate your dream job online, or when your favorite potential employer ghosts you after a phone interview. Rather than take these small misfortunes as signs of complete and utter failure, understand that no one is expecting you to become the world’s youngest VP just weeks after earning your degree. Take things day by day, and you’ll learn to appreciate the process of the job search, while inching yourself closer to a career you’ll be proud of.

Remember the reason behind your job search.

If you follow motivational social media accounts, then you might have encountered the quote, “remember why you started.” Often posted as a reminder to keep sight of our goals, there’s a lot of truth behind this Instagram gem, and it’s not a bad mindset to have when the job hunt inevitably gets you down. Right now, you may consider steady payment the main motivation behind your search – and who could blame you, after years of living la vida broka? But, if you think about it on a deeper level, there are probably several other factors contributing to your non-stop ZipRecruiter scrolling. Odds are, you’re seeking meaningful employment that will give you something to look forward to every day. You’re probably also eager to make friends and learn new skills. Keep this mind when you try to “remember why you started!”

Give yourself a break when it’s needed.

If the last few weeks have been mostly crowded with researching potential places of employment, interview assignments, attending networking meetings, and going on in-person interviews, it’s probably the understatement of the year to say that you could use a break from your job search grind. Just like nonstop finals studying, you can experience too much of a good thing when it comes to your job hunt, and when that happens, burnout is just around the corner. Knock burnout on its ear by recognizing its warning signs, which include decreased interest in your tasks, a general sense of apathy, and overwhelming fatigue. Spotting the symptoms and scheduling a personal time-out will be key to staying sharp and motivated when the job search starts to drag.

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Surround yourself with a bit of positivity.

It’s easier said than done, but if you want to positively influence your job search, you’ll need to take a look at the emotional energy surrounding you to make sure it’s not derailing your efforts before you even begin. In other words, now isn’t the time to make plans with that sociable yet gossip-obsessed friend or fixate on other people’s dream lives on Instagram. Instead, find a tribe of personal cheerleaders who will keep your mood elevated, while you experience the highs and lows of job hunting. It’s been scientifically proven time and again that your physical surroundings impact your mental health – and who can argue with science? With this being said, your social plans need to include a few happy faces. Trust us, your job search is sure to flourish as a result.

Just do it!

It’s all too easy for us to wait around for the right moment to tackle a big project – whether it’s finally putting together your IKEA futon, conducting an epic closet cleanout, or starting your job search. But, the truth is, there will never be a better time to get a head start on your goals, so draw inspiration from your favorite brand of kicks and just do it! Start writing that dreaded cover letter, send that professional follow-up email, or sign up for that career fair. Usually, if we act with spontaneity, we forget why were afraid in the first place. In fact, many life coaches recommend taking action within seconds. This way, we don’t have time to let fear and procrastination invade our plans.  It’s been said that fortune favors the bold, and we’re pretty sure you’re in the market for a banging new job. So, what are you waiting for? New opportunities await!

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Amelia Woolard is a graduate of Millsaps College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and an Art History minor. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Amelia moved to New Orleans in 2014 to begin her career in marketing and design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art and language, and enjoys projects that merge the two fields. Amelia is an avid yet critical pop culture consumer and a loving mother to her cat Faulkner.

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